Since the beginning of recorded history, humans have enjoyed images; they have used them to communicate what they had seen and what they’d accomplished. This started with cave paintings and wall carvings. And it continued on more intensely with the invention of the camera and the ability to take photos.
Over time, photographic technology advanced to make image capture easier (the Kodak Brownie camera), to make it more colorful (Kodachrome film) and to make snapshots the visual currency of our shared experiences (overnight and one-hour film processing).
With the advent of digital capture and instant display and sharing—on a device we always have with us (a smartphone)—photography has reached new heights of popularity. InfoTrends estimates up to one trillion photos were captured worldwide last year alone!
The proper response: if we as an industry provide customers with solutions to take, to make and to share these images, they will obviously make more.
Soft displays largely have reduced the need for 4×6-inch prints. But creative photo products, scrapbooking, large wall displays and even more innovative output options provide substantial revenue opportunity.
What about the unpleasant truth that billions of family photos, slides and documents are deteriorating over time? They have been left in shoeboxes, in basements and in closets. Even many existing photo albums are not made from archival materials.
This leaves precious memories susceptible to light, heat, humidity, moisture and other environmental perils. It’s not just those photos that are fading. It is memories and life stories that are being lost. Scrapbook pages and clippings are also in danger of being lost.
Bridging the Analog-to-Digital Photos Chasm
One way to gain substantial revenue is to it help consumers, particularly baby boomers, bridge the analog-to-digital chasm. Shoebox scanning services have made it easy and affordable to digitize in bulk multiple lifetimes’ worth of photo memories. And once those images are in digital form, they can live on through a variety of print products and services, such as slide shows, montages, collages, photo books, canvas prints and more.
Image enhancement services also are needed to bring those faded memories back to life. There are numerous opportunities to help the largest and the wealthiest demographic in recent history—the baby boomers—become part of “Transformation Tuesday, Throwback Thursday, Flashback Friday” or any number of socially driven opportunities. This will drive connections and opportunities all across the value chain.
For the imaging industry, the business opportunity is enormous! Imaging is thriving! Help your customers restore, relive and share their memories.
A former Kodak veteran, Rick Voight is a marketer, business developer and also a diver. He has created a billion dollar business through consumer and business research, product development, and consumer and business marketing for Kodak and HP. Voight is also the cofounder of Vivid-Pix, a software development company whose mission is to make it easy for ordinary photographers to restore and fix their images.