Taking Notice of the People Used as Samples to Sell Photo Frames

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Today was Father's Day and the family spent some of it shopping for a few things that we'll need for the book signing next Saturday June 22 at Churchill Grounds Jazz Cafe in Atlanta, GA.  One of the top priorities was a nice pen for autographing the books.  (That feels so good to say by the way).  One of the places that we stopped was Michael's -you know (personal opinion here) the cheesy arts and crafts store. 

While strolling through the aisles I came across the section for frames.  I immediately noticed something that stood out to me.  I was actually quite impressed by it.  It showed a level of intentionality and effort on someone in marketing's behalf that simply isn't exerted on a regular basis.  it seems simple and may go unnoticed by some but it certainly didn't by me.

So you know those typical 8.5x11 images that are printed on the cheap white paper that are inevitably thrown out...you know those photos that they put in the frames to help you imagine yourself inside of them...those photos that they include instead of just typing "insert photo here" on a piece of paper...those photos that show beautiful families smiling and striking awkward poses or playing in the leaves...that are either LITERALLY the same family every time or a family that looks like them?  Well today I noticed something completely different.  All of the families looked different.


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I called Kari over and showed her and she was like, "Ummmmm OK" and kept it moving.  When we started unpacking our thoughts later, I commented on how noteworthy it all was to me.  She let me know that at first it wasn't particularly noteworthy to her because (and I love these types of conversations that we are able to have by the way), "As a white person growing up, you don't stop to notice what the people in the photos look like.  They always look like you and it never even registers to pay attention.  When the make up of the people is different, I still didn't really notice because they just look like people."  

My reply was that I've noticed Every Single Time a black family or a family of another ethnicity is used.  I guess it is because I'm so accustomed to NOT seeing myself when I go shopping for frames that when I see one it jumps out at me

...unless of course it is in the "ethnic expressions" section.  You gotta love that title, huh?

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As I looked further I knew for certain that there was a level of intentionality made on the part of the marketing team for "Studio Decor".  When I saw a frame with this photo, I thought I had drank too much Sangria at Red Lobster.

The next time I buy a quick plug and go frame, I think it might be a Studio Decor frame from Michaels.  If no one else noticed their tiny bit of effort, I sure did.


Posted on June 16, 2013 and filed under art, blog, family, personal stories, skin tone.