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  1. #1

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    The Retail Photo Business

    An interesting article on the retail photo business: http://www.aikenstandard.com/story/0...ref_map=%5B%5D

  2. #2
    MaximusM3's Avatar
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    Sad..sign of the times and not for the better.

  3. #3

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    I was in my local lab picking up prints this week, and the photo tech lamented the "crappy cell phone pictures" her own daughter sends her. People are being told "good enough" is, well, good enough, and I suppose it is... but for as long as I can, I'll strive to make the best images I can, whether film or digital. And maybe even print a few.
    In life you only get one great dog, one great car, and one great woman. Pet the dog. Drive the car. Make love to the woman. Don't mix them up.

  4. #4
    jp498's Avatar
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    "Good enough" has been the theme since before my grandparents were born really... Before digital, we had disposable cameras, APS cameras, disc cameras, 110 cameras, cheap 35mm cameras you got free with a magazine subscription, old zone focusing imitations of quality, soviet imitations, brownie cameras, etc... Some of them have charm, but their market segment was "good enough"

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by jp498 View Post
    "Good enough" has been the theme since before my grandparents were born really... Before digital, we had disposable cameras, APS cameras, disc cameras, 110 cameras, cheap 35mm cameras you got free with a magazine subscription, old zone focusing imitations of quality, soviet imitations, brownie cameras, etc... Some of them have charm, but their market segment was "good enough"
    In some cases, maybe. I think today the quality has vastly improved outside of cell phones (and even some cell phones take decent images). I have never had a bad digital camera. The cell phone of today is the 110 or disc camera of yesteryear with the twist that you know, immediately if you got a shot, no shot, good shot, or crap. As long as you got a non no-shot, it's good enough. With film you could screw up in any number of ways and not even know you screwed up. So back then, if it was important, you hired a pro or made sure you used good gear.
    In life you only get one great dog, one great car, and one great woman. Pet the dog. Drive the car. Make love to the woman. Don't mix them up.

  6. #6

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    One local camera shop has stop printing photos.

    Jeff

  7. #7
    foc
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    There is an interesting article from Photokina
    http://www.showdailys.com/E-publishe...kina2012_day2/

    See page 17 regarding film sale tracking volumn and how the 4x6 print market is changing world wide.

    I own a photoshop/minilab in rural Ireland and yes the number of people getting prints from digital cameras and phones has decreased. It came to a stage where I woundered if I could survive in business. I spoke to other lab owners in other parts of the country and they had the same problem. I approached Fuji Ireland and they were of the same opinion. If something wasn't done soon a lot of photo shops would close.

    The solution was an all out effort to make the customer awear of the value of a printed photo. The national advertising and local window display pushed home the idea of " if your pc crashes/ lost memory card/ stolen phoone, you loose all your photo, so print them now"

    And guess what, it worked. Ok it did take time but the scare tactics worked. I now have regular customers coming into the shop and ordering 100, 200, 300 + prints from phones and memory cards. They also buy albums to store the prints.

    And it has a good knock on effect for my film processing. We now get "Oh you still develop film? I have a few at home in the drawer, I must get them developed"

    I even had a few digital customers go back to film because they liked film but thought it was dead.

    I now sell lots of second hand 35mm film cameras and usually to people in their early 20's.

    So what I'm really trying to say is that photo retail can survive but a lot of effort is needed from the retailer. There is a market out there, you just need to find your niche.

  8. #8

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    I live in the charleston Mt. pleasant area and have to say the ritz there absolutely was horrible if you use film. Lack of pretty much everything film related unless you wanted to special order it.Film was restricted to a few rolls of kodak gold and tri x 400 and maybe a roll or 2 0r ilford delta 100 in 35mm forget medium format. I had used the other labs cross town from me some years ago when one of them processed 120 and e6 once a week,but they gotto where nearly every roll would be scratched so I quit them. Sad tosay fora city of this size but if you want it done rightor something a walmart doesn't offer you pretty much have to go mail order or internet or do it yourself.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by foc View Post
    There is an interesting article from Photokina
    http://www.showdailys.com/E-publishe...kina2012_day2/

    See page 17 regarding film sale tracking volumn and how the 4x6 print market is changing world wide.

    I own a photoshop/minilab in rural Ireland and yes the number of people getting prints from digital cameras and phones has decreased. It came to a stage where I woundered if I could survive in business. I spoke to other lab owners in other parts of the country and they had the same problem. I approached Fuji Ireland and they were of the same opinion. If something wasn't done soon a lot of photo shops would close.

    The solution was an all out effort to make the customer awear of the value of a printed photo. The national advertising and local window display pushed home the idea of " if your pc crashes/ lost memory card/ stolen phoone, you loose all your photo, so print them now"

    And guess what, it worked. Ok it did take time but the scare tactics worked. I now have regular customers coming into the shop and ordering 100, 200, 300 + prints from phones and memory cards. They also buy albums to store the prints.

    And it has a good knock on effect for my film processing. We now get "Oh you still develop film? I have a few at home in the drawer, I must get them developed"

    I even had a few digital customers go back to film because they liked film but thought it was dead.

    I now sell lots of second hand 35mm film cameras and usually to people in their early 20's.

    So what I'm really trying to say is that photo retail can survive but a lot of effort is needed from the retailer. There is a market out there, you just need to find your niche.
    I do use a digital device in my photographic pursuits when necessary.
    When someone rags on me for using film, I use a middle digit, upraised.

  10. #10
    benjiboy's Avatar
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    I was a manager in photographic retailing for more than twenty years but got out of the business just before digital imaging started and was very lucky to spent the last seven years of my working life before retiring working in the civil service, and glad to be out of retailing.
    Ben

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