Digital Imaging Reporter’s 2021 State of the Industry

Digital Imaging Reporter’s 2021 State of the Industry


Just When We Thought It Was Over . . .

I must admit I thought we were in the clear. States were rebounding; people were coming out of their houses again; and the economy was brisk and vibrant. Covid was behind us, and the great international nightmare was almost over. Then Delta hit.

Once again, the imaging industry has proven resilient and resourceful over the last 18 months. We all know it hasn’t been easy. However, along the way, we learned some lessons that very well might remain valuable and relevant; we also discovered within ourselves that our resolve was our most powerful tool.

For our annual State of the Industry report, we customarily ask industry leaders what they anticipate will happen in the coming year. However, given the challenges we’ve all faced in 2020 and 2021, we thought sharing the lessons we learned as an industry would offer valuable perspectives on how to survive when things are no longer in our control.

“The industry has proven it can reinvent itself in response to trends in technology and culture,” offered Joe Dumic. In addition, we recognized that in many cases, our products offered people stranded in their homes some hope. For example, Don Franz noted that “three prominent Swiss photo book suppliers . . . acknowledged that their photo book businesses skyrocketed (doubled for two of them) during the months following lockdown as consumers sought to reconnect with happier times.”

Further, Ed Lee reported that “in recent consumer surveys, 19% of consumers printed more photos during Covid. Moreover, 54% expected this change to be long-term. In addition, about 19% of consumers bought more photo products last year to preserve memories as well as stay connected with friends and family.”

The Silver Lining

So, there were certainly some silver linings among the dark clouds. Consumers grasped at photos as a lifeline to stay connected to their families. Some even sought refuge in a return to photography as a hobby long forgotten.

However, the real challenges are in the disruption of the supply chain that left inventories in tatters. Sales of photography-related products took a significant hit this year as inventories were depleted due to supply issues.

“Challenging has been the new normal since the beginning of Covid,” and “patience and strategic planning are needed,” reported Jay Vannatter.

What’s more, as dealers struggled to keep inventories on their shelves, they also professed to learn important lessons.

“The overwhelming lesson that I have learned from our current marketplace,” said Burke Siem, “is that each camera business must maintain a significant level of relevant inventory to survive. . . . Keeping a wide and deep assortment of products may mean something a little different for each photo specialty dealer. However, it is absolutely necessary to succeed.”

There is also the challenge of hiring and keeping employees when there are many incentives for workers to stay home, either to take care of their families or to take advantage of government subsidies.

“We see staffing as the biggest current challenge for our industry. The inability to hire sufficient help is limiting production capabilities as well as the time needed to focus on growth,” commented Brenda DiVincenzo.

We also realized the value of those employees who showed up for work every day, with the same resilience and optimism they’ve always had. Our employees in many ways became our valuable partners in this Covid war. We should all be grateful for their dedication to keeping the doors open.

Looking toward Recovery

I believe that as this next wave of Covid subsides, and more people are vaccinated, a hunger for consumers to once again return to their old buying habits will grow. Experts predict that the economy will continue to recover as more people return to work; however, retail business models may have changed forever.

Noted Don Franz, many photo retailers “recognized opportunities to rejuvenate their businesses. Websites were rebuilt to enable simplified online ordering; BOPIS (Buy Online Pickup in Store – or curbside) along with ship-to-home emerged as the new business model.”

In addition, the new products kept on coming. “As an industry, we can continue to thrive if we remain focused on innovation,” offered Sony’s Yang Cheng.

New products will continue to be the lifeblood of our industry; and if we’ve proven anything during the past 18 months, it’s that we are resilient in the face of adversity.

I thank those who contributed to our 2021 State of the Industry issue. You’ll find the words on the following pages both thoughtful and inspiring. Our team at Digital Imaging Reporter wish you all a very safe, successful and profitable holiday season. —Jerry Grossman

                          2021 State of the Industry

Joe Dumic, President, B&C Camera

Reinvention and Adaption Spurs Optimism

joe-dumic-Lifetime opportunity
Joe Dumic

In the past year and a half, we’ve evolved with changes in the industry to make our products and services more accessible. We expanded our online presence with a completely renovated website. As a result, it is now easier for customers to see our inventory, make a purchase and choose between having their items shipped or held for in-store (or curbside) pickup.

As far as challenges go, we’ve seen the struggle for manufacturers to keep up with our demand for inventory. Each manufacturer has made impressive strides in transitioning to a mirrorless world; but perhaps they weren’t prepared for customers to meet them so eagerly at the starting line. In welcoming the tide of new mirrorless products, we also face the challenge of trying to gradually phase out DSLR lenses, while keeping what customers want on hand.

I’m optimistic about the rest of this year and on into 2022. The industry has proven it can reinvent itself in response to trends in technology and culture. Each product that is announced makes photography and videography more fun as well as accessible for newcomers. In addition, it also gives the pros something to get excited about. As long as the industry looks forward with the same enthusiasm and adaptability, we should continue to thrive. I’m proud to be a part of this industry along with the manufacturers, vendors and retailers who stepped up to face tougher times and came through it ready for whatever comes next.

Tatsuro “Tony” Kano, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Imaging Technologies & Communications Group, Canon USA

Looking Ahead to the Future of Connection

Tatsuro-Tony-Kano 2021 State of the Industry
Tatsuro “Tony” Kano

Throughout the pandemic, Canon USA focused on our priorities, our values, the basics: what matters most to us all. Last year, more than ever, showed us the importance of making connections; and at Canon we were inspired by the things that matter.

Kyosei. Harmony. Community. Well-being.

Facilitating connections through innovative solutions has been the focus of what we do every day; Canon has been working on creating solutions for hybrid environments to suit the needs of dynamic employees across the globe. As workspaces adapt, we must look forward, ever improving the core products that we all need to live, work and share moments with the ones we love.

Our EOS Webcam Utility software and select PowerShot and EOS cameras work together to bring high-quality experiences, whether for a family reunion or team conference. We have also focused more on at-home printer solutions to provide our customers with products that are aptly suited to meet their evolving needs.

Moreover, we must continue to look ahead with a focus on solutions geared toward the future of work. I am excited about our Activate My Line of Sight (AMLOS) solution in development that Canon is designing to support hybrid offices by understanding how we engage from afar.

Looking back on all that has happened since the start of the pandemic, I think of and appreciate the tremendous efforts of our essential workers who kept our businesses up and running when it was needed by so many. I am filled with a deep sense of gratitude and admiration for all they have done; and I am also humbled by the tremendous progress that we have seen in 2021. Canon continues to be right on the cutting edge, and the future is bright.

Gary Pageau, Editor, The Dead Pixels Society 

Lessons Learned from a Global Pandemic

2021 State of the Industry Gary_Pageau-square_big
Gary Pageau

As the second year of the global Covid-19 pandemic continues, the photo-imaging industry continues to adapt. The power of pictures has never been more important; consumers around the world are relying on their photos to connect with far-off family and friends. In a strange way, the separation strengthened the bonds between some families and communities. Family photos are a vital component to developing those bonds.

Over the past few months, a few industry events were held after an absence. The one common denominator from the meetings we have attended is a sense of optimism. The global pandemic has, for the most part, subsided into a manageable healthcare problem. As businesses have learned to manage the challenge, executives are coming out of the pandemic with leaner, more focused operations.

One of the big trends we are observing is a renewed interest in the outsourcing of personalized photo products. Wholesale labs are back, baby! Retailers and labs are still facing labor shortages, combined with a greater demand for new and interesting photo products. Personalized photo masks and graduation yard signs, for example, are going to be popular again; however, few have the capabilities to make these in-house. The great variety of product choices are an opportunity to create new partnerships and alliances.

Remember, photography plays a vital role in preserving family lives, moments and history. It’s up to us all to work together.

Jenn Sherry, Delkin Consumer Retail Sales & Marketing Manager, Delkin Devices

State of the Industry during a Pandemic

Jenn-Sherry-SoI 2019 State of the Industry
Jenn Sherry

Just like the world, the photo market continues to be transitional. The longer-term effects of the pandemic shutdowns are creeping into our customers’ pockets. Used gear is hot. Web sales are hot. The challenge remains on how to capture add-on sales via the web or curbside pickups. For us, it is how to sell more of our Delkin memory cards with new (or used) cameras. From a manufacturing point of view, there is not enough flash, CPUs and raw materials to fill orders; and there is no sign of it easing.

Prospects for Remainder of 2021: Delkin’s long-term commitments from raw material suppliers are late and, at times, not delivered. However, we have “punched above our weight” and mostly keep our customers supplied. The photo market will continue to struggle in those areas of supply and shipments. Closures are a real possibility and will affect events. The key for Q4 is stock. Stock is king. Plan ahead, more than you ever have, as supply is limited and shipments are not guaranteed (just look at the ports).

Outlook for 2022: While many companies focus on cheaper, lower-quality products, there will be a shift back to longer-lasting choices. Disposable will no longer be key. Customers will start demanding more. Delkin will continue to focus on high-quality products at reasonable prices.

Delkin celebrates our 35th anniversary this year, 1986–2021. We are proud of that. We have retained our strength through some of the most challenging of days. Our president and our employees are the heart of that, both flexible and committed to what may come.

Cliff Reeves, Director of Sales, DNP Imagingcomm America Corporation

Lessons Learned from the Covid Pandemic

2021 state of industry Cliff-Reeves DNP IAM
Cliff Reeves

The last 12 months have proven to be difficult for the photo industry. With in-person events canceled for much of the year; a very limited capacity for family and friends to gather; and many of our memories being made within our homes, there weren’t many opportunities for photographers.

Like many companies, our biggest challenges in 2021 have been with supply chain and labor. The impact of the pandemic has affected businesses in ways we never could have predicted at the beginning of 2020. Throughout the last year and a half, we have endeavored to become more flexible with our business. We try to find creative solutions to support our customers—from large distributors to small photo booth companies—to help ensure the success of the photo industry. DNP is blessed with many customers, most of them small businesses. We will continue to do our best to stay flexible as well as help all of them survive and thrive.

Moreover, while it has been difficult, we are going into the next year with optimism and a lot of confidence in the photo industry. At DNP, we have seen an almost instantaneous turnaround in business and morale, as business activity started to return to normal. People want to travel, connect with friends and family, as well as enjoy the photos of those activities for years to come. We believe the photo industry will return better than ever. We will be here to help it along.

Brenda DiVincenzo, Vice President, Member Success, IPI – Member Network

Out of Extreme Circumstances Comes Extreme Success

2021 State of the Industry Brenda-DiVincenzo-2020
Brenda DiVincenzo

In July, IPI members and vendors gathered in-person for the first time in 28 months at our International Print + Imaging Conference (IPIC). While in-person attendance was down slightly, overall attendance (including virtual attendees) was up 21% from our typical annual event. What couldn’t be measured (and definitely not tamed!) was the incredible energy that reverberated throughout the conference center.

At every online gathering we’ve had since, IPIC attendees cannot stop remarking at how the best part was just getting together in person. Moreover, hearing each other’s successes motivated everyone to keep the momentum going, with a renewed passion from networking with their peers.

Over the past two years, our members demonstrated creativity; they innovated ways of doing business, capitalizing upon the resurgence in film photography, photo printing and archiving, as well as the emphasis on shopping local. And they thrived. Every day we speak with members who are proclaiming, “highest sales ever,” and, “busier than Christmas!”

Local businesses continue to need updated printed materials; this is extremely lucrative for our members. In addition, many corporations are embarking upon large archiving and décor projects that have provided members with unprecedented sales figures.

IPI is launching six new locations of The Print Refinery® in 2021; we’re doubling our locations in our mission to assist members with store design, project implementation and team development.

However, we see staffing as the biggest current challenge for our industry. The inability to hire sufficient help is limiting production capabilities as well as the time needed to focus on growth. The implementation of new revenue streams and attendance at industry events will flourish once small business owners can properly staff their locations, increasing sales volume and profits.

Jay Vannatter, Executive Vice President, Nikon Inc.

Succeeding Despite Today’s Realities

20201State of the Industry Jay-Vannatter-SoI-2020
Jay Vannatter

Challenging has been the new normal since the beginning of Covid; the imaging industry is no exception. 2020 was all about what we could do to adapt to a dynamic environment and remain flexible in uncharted waters; we remain thankful for the support of our partners and employees. The focus of 2021 as well as the future is putting structures in place to succeed with the realities we all face today. We have adapted to both the challenges and the opportunities.

When people were at home, they had time to pursue and discover passions, such as photography and content creation. These are the same customers who want high-quality photo and video, and they are gravitating to the benefits of full-frame and mirrorless cameras. This is also a customer who is hungry for education and won’t hesitate to spend thousands of dollars on lenses and the newest equipment.

We are optimistic about the future, yet challenges remain. The supply chain for many industries was disrupted, making it difficult to get products into the hands of consumers who want them. While it’s a situation likely to improve, patience and strategic planning are needed. Recovery is on the horizon and consumer demand has also returned. In the first quarter, Nikon’s imaging segment posted significant gains; we reported a revenue increase near 100% and approximately $159MM in profit. This was propelled by exceptional sales of digital cameras, with revenues doubling for mirrorless Z models.

It’s what’s coming next that has us most excited. The Nikon Z 9 is planned to arrive later this year. It will bring significant technology and performance that will reinforce our century-long commitment to innovation and to imaging professionals. Together with a rapidly expanding mirrorless lens system, we have confidence for sustainable growth in the coming year and beyond.

Anthony Hanna, Senior Product Manager, Digital Imaging, Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company

Challenge, Change and Create

Anthony-Hanna DIR 2021 State of the Industry
Anthony Hanna

At Panasonic Lumix we are continually inspired by people’s stories. In addition, we follow Panasonic’s Seven Principles, which include our “untiring effort for improvement,” yielding “Technology that moves people.”

The Past 2020

The imaging industry persevered through an incredibly difficult business environment throughout fiscal 2020 following the global pandemic. Travel, weddings, special events and most group gatherings were highly restricted or forbidden; this crushed the lifeline to the picture-taking business. The film industry was put on pause; retail stores closed, and most industry-related events were canceled. Despite these extreme business conditions, our team adapted to the new environment and thrived; we found new ways of efficiency that changed how we conduct our business for the better.

The Present 2021

As we transitioned into fiscal 2021, market demand improved exponentially versus 2020 and surpassed 2019. However, we now face different challenges tied to a global supply chain crisis that is impacting almost all industries in our economy. Semiconductors used in the manufacturing of most electronics are facing severe shortages globally. As a result, there are new challenges to keep stock in storefronts. Undeterred by these supply chain challenges, Lumix never stopped innovating. We innovated on how we interact with consumers and, of course, through new product introductions. Moreover, we are excited about what we have in store for our loyal customers this year in our legacy GH product line as well as S series full-frame lens development.

The Future 2022+

Experiences in the last year demonstrated the resilience of the Panasonic Lumix Imaging team and we are optimistic of our journey ahead. The desire for consumers to create content is strengthening as the demand to absorb content continues to grow. Lumix is committed to continue leading the technology evolution in the industry and bringing product that the content creator can appreciate. Our desire to innovate comes from the consumer’s desire to create. We look to continue to develop these tools to support their creative impulses.

To improve our commitment to the customer, we have adopted the philosophy of Challenge, Change and Create.

Challenge the ways we conduct our operations; never accept the “norm” as the best way to service our customers.

Change the ways we conduct operations; do not fear change but embrace opportunities to improve how we service our customers.

Create new ways to improve operations as well as openly present new ideas, no matter how out of the box the idea may be.

Don Franz, publisher, Photo Imaging News

Continued Uncertainty Awaits the Photo Output Industry

Don Franz

When lockdowns were first imposed around the world, photo output was not classified as “essential.” Whereas many photo retailers were unable to sustain their business model without in-store customer traffic, others recognized opportunities to rejuvenate their businesses. Websites were rebuilt to enable simplified online ordering; BOPIS (Buy Online Pickup in Store – or curbside) along with ship-to-home emerged as the new business model.

What’s more, consumer surveys indicate that more than three-quarters of respondents who take photos have taken the BOPIS approach to buy during the pandemic. Furthermore, three-quarters of those consumers who began using BOPIS during Covid plan to continue using this channel. Yet a majority of them like to see their products and will also shop in-store.

For Swiss journalist Denise Joder’s recent article, “Photo Books – From Top to Flop within Months,” she spoke with three prominent Swiss photo book suppliers. They acknowledged that their photo book businesses skyrocketed (doubled for two of them) during the months following lockdown as consumers sought to reconnect with happier times. Although sales fell back to “normal” levels during the first half of 2021, these three companies expect them to grow again as travel restrictions are lifted and consumers buy upscale layflat books.

In addition, UK-based market research firm Futuresource tracks photo book sales in the six largest West European countries. Their study during the first half of 2021 also shows a big increase in sales during 2020 and continuing growth in 2021.

Looking ahead to the second half of 2021, travel has rebounded with tourists again taking photos. However, the arrival of the more contagious Delta virus variant has countries beginning to reimpose lockdowns. So, the outlook for the future remains uncertain.

Mark Leonard, COO, Photographic Research Organization

Being Nimble and Effective Creates Success

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Mark Leonard

The Photographic Research Organization (PRO) is a 63-year-old cooperative buying group of independently owned camera stores. Moreover, it is the most direct connection available to this critical segment of the industry. The twice-per-year in-person trade shows; weekly e-newsletters; and a 24/7 video-training program for retail salespeople are the primary ways community is created and manufacturers derive world-class efficiency servicing the needs of photo retailers in the USA.

In 2020, the PRO board of directors determined we should create a new division that can distribute select products and brands into targeted vertical markets. In January 2021, PRO Distributors was created. Subsequently, it distributes Olympus, Small Rig and Vitec Imaging Division products to hundreds of businesses as well as the core group of camera stores. Orders are shipped daily from our distribution center near Philadelphia. What’s more, PRO Distributors was an immediate success with sales exceeding supplier forecasts. We anticipate adding new brands soon as all manufacturers seek to find ways to reduce their own distribution and sales support costs.

PRO is also nimble and effective. In 2020, we could not conduct in-person trade shows and so evolved to a virtual model. By keeping the concept simple (15-minute Zoom meetings scheduled over a four-day period), suppliers scheduled 1,650 meetings. As a result, they were able to maintain a personal relationship with their customers; the result was robust sales!

However, we are excited to return to an in-person format from September 11–14 as we conduct the 62nd Annual PRO Convention in Denver, Colorado. It will include tours of a Mike’s Camera store, educational sessions and, of course, the all-important trade show.

Kaz Eguchi, President, Ricoh Imaging Americas

Diversification Is the Key to Growth

Kaz-Eguchi 2020 State of the Industry
Kaz Eguchi

Like all camera companies, Ricoh’s business was impacted at the beginning of the pandemic; much of the world was in lockdown and there was considerable uncertainty about the future. During that time, “nonessential” product categories didn’t see much growth. Thankfully, we did see demand bounce back as cities, states and countries began reopening in the second half of 2020 and into 2021.

Ricoh offers a diverse range of imaging products. They include the 360º Theta line to the GR series of street-shooting cameras and sports optics, as well as waterproof action cameras and DSLRs with rugged bodies and features optimized for outdoor shooting. This diversification served us well as people started spending more time outdoors and with their families over the past year. Many had more time to explore hobbies such as shooting photos and videos; they even tried new VR technologies. And then, as friends and extended families got vaccinated, they wanted a record of their reunions. Consequently, camera sales started to climb again, increasing across our entire industry by some 20%.

Ricoh also saw more B2B use of products such as the Theta line, rugged cameras and sports optics. These have all been in demand for various commercial applications due to the pandemic.

While Ricoh was moving toward this kind of diversification for years, the pandemic reinforced the benefits of offering such a wide range of different types of imaging products. In addition, moving forward, I believe that this diversification will continue to serve us well. I am quite optimistic about the year ahead.

Ed Lee, Director and Founder, Rise Above Research

Staying Connected

ed-lee-2010-soi915 2021 state of the industry
Ed Lee

There is no getting around it, 2020 was a rough year for the photography industry. The outbreak of the Covid virus disrupted global economies and the lives of almost every consumer. Travel restrictions, stay-at-home orders and event cancelations drastically reduced photo capture opportunities.

Rise Above Research has kept a close eye on how this has affected the photo industry. As we expected, sales of digital cameras as well as photo prints and products took a significant hit last year. In the U.S., digital camera sales were down 34%; photo print volume was down 22%; and photo product revenue was down 9%.

However, even in difficult times there were pockets of good news for the photo output business. In recent consumer surveys, we found that 19% of consumers printed more photos during Covid. Moreover, 54% expected this change to be long-term. In addition, about 19% of consumers bought more photo products last year to preserve memories as well as stay connected with friends and family. One lesson learned from the pandemic is that staying connected with friends and family by sharing photos and photo products is even more important to more people than before.

The U.S. economy is getting stronger. The percentage of vaccinated people is growing, and leisure travel is on the rise. This adds up to more disposable income as well as more photo-taking opportunities. Barring any shutdowns because of the Covid Delta variant, we expect to see improvements in the photo industry this year.

Furthermore, we are forecasting digital interchangeable-lens camera sales to grow by 11%, fueled by the introduction of new mirrorless cameras. Photo prints volume is expected to grow by 5% and photo product revenue by 3%. Additionally, 2022 will be a stronger year, as we adapt to the new norm.

Burke Seim, Owner, Service Photo

The Keys: Stock a Wide Product Assortment, Build Consumer Trust

Burke-Seim Pandemic Ponderings
Burke Seim

The last 18 months has taught every owner countless lessons as well as realities about their businesses, staff, vendors and customers. Some good and some not so good. However, the overwhelming lesson that I have learned from our current marketplace—where demand is high and product availability is low—is that each camera business must maintain a significant level of relevant inventory to survive.

Whether we want to or not, we cannot expect our vendors to have all products readily available to ship—now or in the future. We must know our businesses as well as customers well enough to keep an inventory to not only satisfy demand but to surpass current demand. Keeping a wide and deep assortment of products may mean something a little different for each photo specialty dealer. However, it is absolutely necessary to succeed. Otherwise, the mass marketers will win the game.

We must also learn how to compete against a competitor that gained prominence and market share during the pandemic: our very own partners/vendors. Direct-to-consumer selling may never go away. So, quit your complaining and devise a plan to compete with a higher level of instruction, customer service and guidance to your customer base.

Specialty dealers offer something that no mass seller or vendor can match: an in-person 1-on-1 relationship opportunity with all types of photographers. What’s more, as we put the challenges of 2020/2021 into our rearview mirrors, we know that building trust with our customers will pay dividends for many years to come.

Mark Amir-Hamzeh, President, Sigma Corporation of America

Relationships Matter

Mark Amir-Hamzeh

The single universal takeaway at every level of this industry is that relationships matter.

Our CEO, Kazuto Yamaki, recently shared this sentiment with our worldwide team: “Our business is based on relationships. We are not a business that treats a very large number of consumers as a general public. We are a business that is based on relationships with specific customers and fans, with our suppliers, with our customers and with the local community. As a business of this kind, we have to take care of our fans who support us; and we have to do our job to the highest level every day so as not to betray their trust. We will continue to work hard and grow every day, one by one.”

Over the past 18 months in the U.S. market, we have strived to emphasize the importance of sincere relationships in every area of our business. This relates to our entire dealer network—from the major online retailers with hundreds of employees to the neighborhood shop with a handful of staff—as well as direct interactions with consumers through customer service interactions, technical support channels and in-store events; our media relations with editorial partners; and online fans who are passionate about their craft.

We are still in the midst of a worldwide crisis; that is not likely to wane in the coming months. Disruptions, delays and unexpected circumstances are an unavoidable part of the modern landscape and will remain so for the foreseeable future. Striving to be honest and forthright at all times at all levels of engagement proves the character of the company.

Yang Cheng, Vice President, Imaging Product and Solutions Americas, Sony Electronics

With Visual Content Demands High, Focus on Innovation

Yang-Cheng DIR 2021 State of the Industry
Yang Cheng

Despite many external challenges, the imaging industry continues to show strong resilience in 2021. We must continue to be flexible and adapt quickly to the changing environment to maintain this trend.

There is certainly no shortage of opportunity; today’s creators are pushing harder than ever to capture, create and share new content with the world. At Sony, our focus has never shifted from innovation. We aim to meet and exceed the demands of all types of customers in today’s imaging industry—from professional and enthusiast to amateur.

On the product side, this relentless dedication to innovation has brought us the flagship Alpha 1 full-frame camera. It is an all-around workhorse with 30-fps still shooting; 8K video recording; and so many more impressive capabilities. It has also delivered the new ZV-E10 interchangeable-lens vlog camera. This product is built specifically to offer vloggers as well as video creators the flexibility of our E-mount system. Moreover, that lineup now features a total of 64 lenses, including six models that were introduced this year.

We continue to drive marketing innovation as well, with a strong focus on community building and brand engagement. Online events like our Be Alpha Live series continue to bring thousands of creators together from across the world. In addition, programs like Create Action and Alpha Female demonstrate Sony’s commitment to remain true to our brand values.

As an industry, we can continue to thrive if we remain focused on innovation. Demand for visual content has never been higher; more photos and videos are now being shared than ever. What’s more, livestreaming will only grow more popular in our ever-shifting landscape. If we can adapt quickly and remain nimble enough to meet our customers’ needs, there are many successes to be enjoyed.

Rick Voight, CEO, Vivid-Pix

“The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same”

Rick Voight

That quote from Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr is particularly relevant in today’s environment. Notably, 2020 was an interesting year, to say the least; 2021 has continued the trend. What continues to stay the same is the importance of family, friends and faith.

The photo industry has understood this importance since the beginning of photography—by simply looking at the photos that people take. Now don’t get me wrong, I love taking landscape pictures. And who can go to the hardware store without a picture of what needs fixing?

However, what are the types of photos I’ve printed most in my life? They are pictures of people (and pets, of course). This is why Vivid-Pix continues to focus on family history. We strive to help people remember the past and share today with future generations. Just think about it. Why do we take pictures anyway? It is to capture a snapshot of life, so that we can relive a moment tomorrow—and to share those moments with others.

The photo industry continues to evolve. However, as my dad used to tell me, “The good book of business hasn’t changed in two thousand years.” Focus on meeting market needs and wants, contain costs and always treat others as you wish to be treated.