Thursday, July 31, 2014

How Does it Feel

Smartphone in Audience
Smartphone image by Mark Mueller
The photo industry is changing and most acknowledge that the primary reason is the ubiquity of smartphones. Everyone has a camera with them all the time and there are more images captured than ever before. The images are shared with friends and family via Facebook so there is no need to share prints. And why even make a print when the phone also serves as a storage and display device.

With less demand for prints, what opportunities exist for those of us in the photo industry? One answer is revealed by the nature of the smartphone itself. Take your phone out of your pocket or purse and open up one of your pictures. How does it feel?  What is the emotional response to a smooth, flat, shiny screen?

If we want to interest people in doing things with their images, we need to emphasize products that are not smooth, flat and shiny. Interesting products, presented in a fun way, and manufactured on beautifully textured, ultra-thick stocks feel completely different than the phone screen. And they evoke a much stronger emotional response.

Memory Game by Pinhole Press
Memory Game by Pinhole Press
One of my favorite companies that does this particularly well is Pinhole Press. The Memory Game shown here is a perfect example. Twelve photos turn into 24 beautiful cards in a game that teaches memory skills while preserving memories through the photos chosen. And the cards are printed on an ultra-thick, luxuriously textured eggshell finish so they feel as nice as they look.

Notebooks and Journals by Ann Page
Notebooks and Journals by Ann Page
Another favorite is Ann Page whose notebooks and journals in the back-to-school collection highlight that fact that personalization doesn't always require a photograph. And the growing list of retailers who carry the brand proves that you don't have to sell online to be successful.

Building on the positive response to it's LOFT ultra-thick cards, Black River Imaging recently introduced a new variant that feature a core of color to spice things up a bit. ColorTHICK business cards and greeting cards come in a variety of sizes, colors and thicknesses.  Of course, I have ordered my own business cards made on the ColorTHICK stock.

ColorTHICK greeting cards and business cards
ColorTHICK greeting cards and business cards by Black River Imaging
What are you offering that makes both a tactile and visual impact?

You might also like:
The Price of Canvas
Are You an Artist 
Print Can Be Art