Another (hopefully short) blog from your DWN photographer, Jenna.
At least once a week we hear from a client who calls excitedly or emails us immediately, pleased with their most recent purchase. And they always say the same thing, "You know, I loved the photos, but this coin looks even better in person!" So that begs the question - why do I not show you exactly what you can expect when you open a package from DWN?
I stand by my photos, and they are an accurate representation of our inventory. But they are also an accurate interpretation of the coin at hand. As I discussed in an earlier photography blog, I can only do so much with a 2D photo of a coin. Realistically speaking, producing high-quality video of a coin on rotation would be impractical. As I wrote before, "The camera can never, ever reproduce the range our (miraculous) human eyes and brains can. The best any of us can do is represent the coin accurately, according to our own values and experiences. Again, this is a subjective process. This is where a trusted dealer can really make or break your collection."
I could oversell every one of our items, juice the colors, hide the flaws, change my lighting to show you the coin at its absolute best. But I would by lying by omission - I would be neglecting to show you the hairlines, or the chatter, or the rub. I could be an unethical eBay seller with fantastic photos and disappointing coins, or I can be honest in my photography and attempt to show you the best and worst a coin has to offer. We all know sometimes coins look great at one angle, and "meh" at another. I can't, in good conscience, hide the "meh" if it is present.
Now, I'm lucky that Doug doesn't buy "meh" coins, but the point is that I don't ever want to make you think a coin is something it is not. I would rather you view my photos and get an overall feel for the coin, and then unwrap it at home and be pleasantly surprised, than have you get really excited by the photos and incredibly disappointed and return the coin. I don't ever want my images to be cause for anger or a miscalculation on how well an item might fit into your collection.
As a photographer, I cannot image something that isn't there, yet conversely I can hide things that are unflattering. (It's what people pay me for when they hire me to do family portraits.) However, in a business where we rely on your trust in our products, our opinions, and where you rarely get to see the coin before you buy it, my honesty and integrity are on the line professionally with every photo I share.
I'd rather you call us weekly and rave how much you love the coin in hand than ever call me and wonder what on earth I did in Photoshop to so grossly misrepresent a coin. And, if my brutal photographic honesty ever makes you hesitant, go ahead and give Doug a call. Ask him what he thinks of the coin in hand. My ego is just fine if I hear him say, "No no, that scuffy spot is hardly noticeable in hand, it's there under magnification, though." It's my job to make sure you aren't ever unpleasantly surprised when you open a shipment from us, I'll leave the Photoshopping to my landscape photography and portraits. I promise.