Found: One Possible Solution to Save the Portrait Industry.
Look out! There is a fork in the road ahead. Turn right or turn left? Soon a decision must be made.
~Professional photography is waiting for the next innovation in portraiture to launch a new era of consumer demand.
~By innovation we mean products beyond where the industry is today. For one major reason, we would certainly place our bet on technology leading the way. That’s because consumers under 30 years of age are totally engrossed in everything technology.
~Current product life extension of portraiture isn’t cutting it: even with prints on metal, print wraps and floats, images on ceramics, wedding albums with exotic leather covers or as press books (a.k.a. children’s Dr. Seuss books).
An all important question.
Are Seniors and Brides really waiting in lines to book appointments to get their hands on a metal print or a press book? Millennials are balking at such products as we speak, more so everyday. Ask any professional photographer, even the “home run hitters”, their answer is a resounding, no. If Millennials do call and book, they want that disk before they are willing to purchase anything additional.
Traditional marketing methods, Internet and Cloud Marketing are not producing hoped for results. Apathy is just too intense, even with some Moms, which puts a dent in not only your income, but also greatly impacts photography vendors, suppliers, labs, Kodak and Fuji as well.
OK. What is the answer? Imaging technology seems promising.
Like the digital camera, imaging technologies are fantastic tools in the hands of professional photographers. New products must be developed by professional photographers who are willing to explore cutting edge “technology and software.” Such products must attract millions of apathetic consumers back to professional studios.
” Steve has an idea for you that uses current technology borrowed from advertising agencies to create immediate impact.
IMPACT is what professional photographers need right now. Steve recognizes his idea is just the tip of the iceberg. Brainiac pros need to explore my idea’s potential, he says, and run with it.” Read on.
How so? First and foremost, photographers are on the front line. They should be conducting research for new product development ideas given they are in constant, face to face, contact with the buying public. This is where market research must take place given the numerous paradigm shifts caused by the digital age.
When we ask the big suppliers if they are in direct contact with the buying public, their answer is “minimally” at best. Why so? The major reason is nearly zero revenue in pro and amateur film sales and reduced usage of photographic paper no longer warrants extensive marketing research. What does that mean? Mostly that photographers, album suppliers and labs basically are on their own. There is no calvary coming to save the day. It’s up to us. We must team up.
Second, no matter what technology is going to be used, the professional must sell an “image.” Any forth coming innovative process is still all about “image creation” that the consumer is willing and eager to purchase.
There are two parts to the long term solution: 1. image creation and 2. the medium by which the image is shown. Right now the millennium consumer is overly interested in the Cloud medium: Facebook, etc., while shunning anything hard copy.
A world wide problem has ensued. Far too many consumers have arrived at the conclusion that they or someone they know can provide all those important image creations, more or less for free. Uploading to Facebook is a simple task for them to accomplish on their own with wireless technology: cell phones, Ipads, etc. Also, an avalanche of free APPS is not making life for the pro any easier.
What needs to happen is a major paradigm shift in the image creation process far beyond what the consumer can do for themselves, even right now, with or without major changes in technology. Results must easily create consumer demand. That is key.
Solutions are all around us right now, but they have not been assimilated into portraiture, just yet. Call to action: We all can help each other find the right direction with the right technology if we work as a team.
Here is Steve’s solution that must be explored more in depth: Live Pictures a.k.a. Cinemagraphs. You be the judge if cinemagraphs will renew consumer interest in professional portraiture.
All we ask is that you take a good look and consider all the possibilities of Cinemagraphs & Tutorials before your competitors do.
Consider your website and Facebook page drawing renewed attention using the Live Pictures concept.
Your comments are welcome and will be appreciated by everyone. Sharing knowledge is a gift.
To your continued success, Pechman Marketing Team