It's no secret. Every parent has a high-powered camera in hand or in a nearby pocket. You'd be hard-pressed to find a youth sports or school photographer who hasn't considered how camera technology and accessibility has affected their business and our industry. But, this week, at Sync Sports 2019, NO ONE is talking about this. It's old news. The conversations on the tradeshow floor and in the classrooms are forward-looking, centered on innovation and collaboration. The energy is super positive and proactive. Here are our just a few of our top takeaways...
Sync Sports 2019 kicked off with show organizer Darty Hines challenging us to look at ways to be uniquely better. With this one simple phrase, he set the tone for the entire conference. I should be clear - he wasn't talking about one-upping your competitor. He was encouraging everyone to consider the possibilities of doing things differently, in a way that will wow and delight customers. Just awesome!
Our industry depends on studios, labs, and technology all working together to deliver an amazing experience for customers. This isn't a zero-sum game - every piece has to work in harmony for all of us to win. When we share ideas, from our unique perspectives, we come up with lasting solutions, not quick hits. Nothing beats bringing people together face-to-face in a setting that encourages learning and conversation. One thing that stands out about our industry is this sense of cooperation that exists, even between competitors. This is certainly on display at Sync Sports - and it's alive and well every day in our Facebook Users Group.
As Tim MacDonald of Image Art Studio pointed out in his session, "today's parents don't want to buy the idea of a photo, they want to buy the photo itself." Consumers are accustomed to having ALL the information before they make a purchase of any product. They read reviews, watch videos, look at pictures from a dozen different angles. No one wants to buy the idea of anything when they don't have to. Tim was careful to weigh the pros and cons of moving from a prepay model to an online proof model. Like anything, it's important to have a strategy to test the waters and see what works with an eye on giving customers what they want - which is great-looking photos and a convenient shopping experience. Certainly, in an online proof model, the quality of the photo matters more than ever, which brings me to the next point...
Jay Boatwright of SMAX Photography has set the gold standard for image quality. In his session today, he took his audience outside to demonstrate how he gets the pose, the expression, the lighting, and the background just right so that he can capture his signature artistic style photos with speed and agility. Making time to hone your skills and improve your craft has always been important in our industry - but now it's essential.
That's just some of the highlights! We'd love to hear your impressions too - join the conversation on Facebook.