“In an era of unscratchable touch screens and sleek, perpetually Internet-connected devices that seem to smoothen all the edges of the world, people suddenly find themselves yearning for the reassuring roughness of the imperfect.”

In a recent article in The China Post, the writer questioned if we may just be at the tip of a brand new era. Technology? Nope. Information? Not quite.

Instead, what this writer proposes is we may be at the beginning of the nostalgia era. People are looking for a way to revive the feelings they once had by things of the past before we morphed everything into a digital rendition of itself. We miss touching and feeling things that had meaning without the necessity of plugging it in or running an “app” for that.

And in fact this article may be on to something.

Think of the most recent sale within the photography industry. Instagram sold for $1 billion dollars; its an app designed to make photographs have an old-world look.

When you take a photograph, you simply use an app to turn it into something from another time. With a touch of a button, you capture an image and apply various techniques. Then shoot it out to your friends through your favorite site, whether its Facebook or simply placing it on your blog. You aren’t giving up the things you love about today – instantaneous capture and manipulation, and sharing with friends around the world. Yet you’re giving it a look you remember from your youth.

And this isn’t the only example.

Yes, you may love your iPad, but you have to have something to carry it in. Why not turn it into an old vintage book? Twelvesouth has created a very popular BookBook case that has a vintage look and feel … as if you are holding a real book. This gives you the option of curling up with a good book; yet you can easily have hundreds of books at your fingertips.

 

I’ve seen teens on Facebook trying to sway Seventeen magazine from airbrushing, Photoshopping and editing to make a girl look anything but realistic. By quickly setting up a petition on Change.org, this teen is able to spell out her issue and share it with her friend base. She’s simply tired of looking through a magazine and seeing photographs she knows aren’t real. In fact, you may not even recognize the model in the photograph if you saw her in person because of the amount of changes done in the editing room. She longs for the “old” days when people looked real and were showcased for their true looks and talents, not what someone made up on a computer storyboard. Thanks to the wonders of social media, it can quickly go viral … and possibly have an impact (we’ll see).

In short, people want the “good ol’ days” without having to actually go back.

That’s why images with camera flares and washed out coloring are in. It brings back the feeling of a different time entirely.

And in many ways, this will drive the industry for the coming years.

We still want a great portrait experience. But now that portrait experience is morphed into also having a way of sharing images online as well as in traditional format.

We still want weddings covered completely from beginning to end. Yet maybe a traditional album isn’t what we want. How about a wedding album app on a specially fitted iPad, tucked neatly into a custom designed, handcrafted album cover.

We still want commercial images. Yet in addition to print ads, we also want them available for online advertising.

The key is to find a way to bring the best from the world gone by into today’s modern age.

If you can find a way to morph the two together, your target audience will love you.

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