Monday, April 18, 2011

Storage of clients files? Forget it.

I have come to the conclusion that computers are too unstable for me to promise storing clients digital files for a year, 5 years or forever.

You do your back ups, but I figure computers, hard drives, CD's are not made to last.  It would be irresponsible to make a promise I may not be able to keep.

Sure I could do multiple copies, and store another copy off premise in the case of fire or lightening strikes etc.

What if I had a stroke and forgot the passwords?
What if in the future jpgs, RAW, psd files went the way of 8 Tracks, or Batamax?
Nope, too many things to go wrong.

Currently rejected RAW files are deleted as soon as the order is delivered. If they order pose #4, #17 and #33... all other files are deleted. Everything (RAW, Jpgs and psd files) from #4, #17 and #33 are stored for a short period, but nothing is promised.

If they want to buy an 8x10 for Aunt Lucy, they better buy it now.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Is this the death of the pro lab?

I was stunned when I heard that Art Leather had shut down. The world's most successful wedding album company. Times are changing I guess, and the desire to have a quality leather wedding album had dropped to the point they had to close.

Are the pro labs soon to follow? The pro labs used to provide quality you could only get from a pro lab. Now the one hour lab down the street offers comparable quality for less, and in an hour, and without the $10-12 shipping fees. No more lost orders, 2 week delays, or ordered that get shipped to the wrong studio.

And how many people are getting prints made anyway, many photographers are just selling the CD.  The images get emailed, put on Facebook, or just viewed on a computer.

Unless the pro labs can offer something you can't get down the street they may be doomed.

I suggested to one lab maybe they should start offering Fine Art quality photos on luxury papers, but I got no response.

Time will tell.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

What do car repairs have to do with marketing photography?

This week I brought my car in for $1214 worth of repair work to the local Canadian Tire.While waiting for the shuttle to take me home, I noticed the waiting room had no free coffee, no free donuts and a few other things I enjoyed when I had taken my car to the dealer. There would also be no free car wash after the repairs were done.

Fine with me I thought, I knew CT would do an excellent job and save me $100's over the price the dealer would charge.  It was a conscious decision I had made to give up a few perks to save money.

On the drive home I had to wonder if during this down economy if people would prefer a cheaper studio over a premium studio (given that the quality was the same) and forgo the fancy glitz and packageing to save money. Really goes against all the guru's claims that a high end boutique studio is the only way to go. 

But as small business owners  that's our strength right? To be flexible, read the market and adapt.

"It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change."Charles Darwin