Pro photographers everywhere are searching for a cost-effective print presentation solution with a perceived value that is high. And in Hull-based paper and photo album specialist GFSmith they may just have found it.
Originally set up as a paper company a century ago and continuing in that vein today with current customers Gucci, Burberry and Stella McCartney, in 1985 GFSmith established its Print Presentation division. Via this arm of the business it deals directly with pro portrait and social photographers, though it also has a network of dealers.
"A big selling point for us is that we are also a UK based manufacturer," adds Sales and Marketing Manager Gail Mellors. "Everything is made here in Hull. People love that fact and like to support a UK company."
Another point of difference is that GFSmith still has sales representatives on the road. Its five-strong team cover the whole of England and Ireland, and will, on request, visit photographers' studios or homes to discuss paper samples and individual requirements.
"No other album manufacturer in this country offers that," notes Gail with pride. "We can take products along for photographers to browse at their leisure. It's a very personal touch. The reps have got an extensive sales kit, so we can cover whatever the photographer wants to see."
A handy alternative to schlepping along to a trade show to see products first hand, appointments with sales reps can be made simply by calling them direct, with contact details for your local region provided on the website (www.gfsmithphotomount.co.uk/contact.htm).
Another advantage of GFSmith having sales representatives out and about talking to photographers is that your wants and requests are more likely to be fed back into product development.
A custom service that puts the customer first
The advent of digital photography and digital print fulfilment has obviously changed the photo album industry greatly. Back in 1985, when GFSmith set up its Print Presentation division, the traditional loose-leaf album was still in vogue. Then, a pro photographer might order 15-20 albums at a time, to cover all the weddings they had coming up. Now, thanks to the lower costs of digital printing, photographers can have bespoke individual albums made up by GFSmith.
"With a digital album everything is artwork based," notes Gail. "A photographer can design a sample album and then solicit real orders from clients based on it. Digital printing has changed everything and also the industry now is led more by fashion and the media than it was. Brides don't want a traditional wedding album with a horseshoe on the front like their mother had; that has long gone."
The Societies of Photographers Convention and Trade Show at The Novotel London West, Hammersmith ...
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