I am now in the third month of my own Continuous Professional Development Mentoring Programme and I am learning as much as my charges, particularly as I’m forced to focus on what makes a viable photographic business. My feelings that Photographers are just another kind of retailer are well know and further, that if they have the ability to divorce their ego’s from their imaging that ultimately they will sell more and become successful rather than being a ‘struggling artist’.
The key to this is to learn to shoot to sell and not for self. This demands a discipline and efficient uncommon in the photographic industry. In essence you’ll make more money marketing your business and shooting sessions rather than spending endless hours in front of a computer editing vast numbers of images for customers who are more than happy to banish 95% of what you shoot to the virtual dustbin.
As an example I am going to chat about Albums. Those collections of images that are kept as treasured heirlooms by families as they grow and move from generation to generation. In essence a visible recorded history in images that recall moments in time never t be recreated but preserved forever.
Recently, I was invited to visit Album Epoca in Riccione, close to Bologna in Italy. These wonderful people have been friends, colleagues and indeed, suppliers to myself and some of my esteemed worldwide colleagues. From the outset I was deeply impressed at the scale of the operation being Italy’s number one supplier that has been built upon a reputation of feeling a passion for the industry, the importance of ‘team & commitment’. Indeed they are so much more than an Album company.
Led by Andrea Mainetti their stylish and visionary CEO, ably assisted by sales supremo Federico Casini, one cannot be less than impressed by the way they have steered this company to the forefront on home soil. In recent years they have been developing an enviable reputation in many countries including the USA and the United Kingdom.
Their focus is on handmade products with strict quality control. Indeed every process is carefully monitored and Epoca’s team of dedicated craftsmen and women take their jobs extremely seriously. To see such quality control procedures in action was amazing. Check, double check, triple check at each and every stage! The Album Design division feels like you are walking into a science laboratory with white coat clad technicians and creative designers working tirelessly to interpret photographers selection of images and produce story telling albums. The colour management process is continually monitored to ensure consistency, indeed no stone is left unturned in the pursuit of excellence in manufacture and customer service.
Why would any busy photographer spend countless hours at a computer designing their albums when Epoca provide that service totally free of charge? It makes no sense to me at all. The time spent on that laborious task could be better utilised in acquiring more business and generating greater profits. To me, doing to all yourself is a false economy. Help is only a phone call away with English speaking staff ready to answer your questions.
They have an impressive roll of worldwide clients who are ‘household names’ in the photographic industry.
In the coming months I will be taking a long hard look at the products and processes offered by Italy’s number one choice of Album manufacturers – Album Epoca. Please go take a look simply by clicking www.albumepoca.com/martin