By Ben Tyndell
These are a tough times for professional photographers. There’s more competition than ever and more pressure than ever to offer a unique and creative experience. For nearly 40 years, we have watched as technology has changed the way portraits are produced and delivered. Digital capture, digital delivery, digital sharing and now digital cloud storage have provided numerous options for photographers. In some ways, it’s leveled the playing field, in the sense the same equipment and lab services that were once available solely to professionals is now wielded by photographers without formal training. This is how digital technology works – it’s this same idea that lets musicians build a worldwide audience using a laptop and a YouTube channel.
In the rush for embracing technology, however, it’s easy to overlook the value of the analog experience. Due to the popularity of smartphones, more pictures were captured last year than in the entire history of photography in the years prior. Certainly most of those images were temporary grab shots or silly photos that are just for sharing with friends and family. That’s great.
The industry challenge
The challenge we have, as an industry, is how to make sure the lifelong, milestone moments are preserved and displayed with prints. I am advocating this not just because printing benefits my business, but because a printed photo is the best way to serve your customers. Printing was the go-to technology for displaying and for sharing photos for decades. It’s become too easy for consumers to rely just solely on digital files.
Marketing is necessary for a portrait photographer to differentiate themselves, and a cornerstone of a studio’s marketing program should be prints. A well-exposed, color-corrected and retouched print has higher perceived value and bottom-line impact than that same image presented as a digital file. A portrait displayed on a wall or a desk – bearing an embossed studio name – is an on-going reminder of the quality work of the studio.
At Tyndell Photographic, we are committed to your business success. That’s why we offer the largest selection, at the best prices, with the best service in the industry. But we’re not stopping there. We are advocates for photographers, and will use this space to provide meaningful information to improve your business.
So for your New Year resolution, plan to embrace prints and ways to market them. And we will be here for you.
Ben Tyndell is president of Tyndell Photographic