How Bacon and Photography are Alike:
The Paralyzing Problem of Too Many Options
Grocery shopping on a Saturday is different than shopping during the week. The demographic is different; there are fewer moms with kids, more couples, more guys. There are more people who don’t consider themselves “experts” at the grocery store, and find the weekend less stressful to wander through and find what they need.
Saturday grocery shopping also gives more chances for people watching. I don’t have to rush through the store so that I can get home and make something for dinner; I can lollygag around the store and make sure we’re getting everything on the list, but I also have the opportunity to notice what other people are doing at the same time. It was while watching one person last weekend as I waited for my husband to make a cheese selection that I realized the parallel between bacon and photography: There was too much of a good thing.
The man drew my attention because of the length of time he spent staring at the bacon case. He was not a bacon connoisseur, as far as I could tell. The man just wanted bacon. He paced back and forth between the options: thick cut, hickory smoked, honey cured, turkey, “facon,” low sodium. Back and forth, back and forth. Then he stopped and backed up a little bit to get a wider view of what he was looking at. There were several brands to choose from: Hilshire Farms, Oscar Mayer, Gwaltney, Hormel.. and each brand had several options. The choices were plainly daunting.
But here’s where it got interesting.
After all that hemming and hawing over the different kinds of bacon, he gave up, and bought the no-frills Kroger brand. Kroger isn’t exactly known for its superb meat production – not like Hilshire Farms at least, whose motto is “Go Meat!” – but with all of those well-known meat brands, he went with Kroger’s brand.
When faced with dozens of options for bacon, he chose the plainest, cheapest option, even with many better options in front of him. It wasn’t that he didn’t care what kind of bacon he got when he got to the case; he spent enough time deliberating, examining types, brands and labels to make it clear that he cared. But he got overwhelmed by the number of choices, and his exasperation won out over his desire for a specific type of bacon.
His desire to be finished with the decision led to a poor decision.
Many times, companies attempt to give tons of options so that they appeal to every type of person – the turkey bacon loving ones, as well as the thick-cut, hickory-smoked ones. But for those consumers who aren’t experts, and just know they like and want to eat bacon, all they want is for an expert to hand them the bacon they need, instead of having to choose among 50 different kinds of bacon, and ending up with something subpar.
This is why I changed my product line, to simplify the choices and help you make decisions. The product choices are very simple: canvases, prints, or albums. Canvases are one thickness, made a certain way and all come with a UV coating (not an extra choice). Prints are made on a luster surface (no hemming and hawing over glossy vs. matte), and albums have specific guidelines with only a few choices (how many pages you want, and what you want the outside to look like), to simplify the process and help you get your “bacon,” aka photos, without a lot of pacing back and forth, and without the exasperation that could lead to a beautiful session being downloaded to a thumb drive and stashed in a drawer.
Because going through all the work to get your session done and then throwing it on a USB drive in a drawer would be a poor decision.
If you long for an expert to help you figure out what kind of bacon is best for you, shoot me an email. Let’s talk about your needs in order to make the process as simple and helpful as possible for you.