How will your customers share their photographic memories from this year’s summer vacation? Will they order a photo calendar, collage poster or photo book of their favorite activities? Perhaps they’ll create a trendy wall display of their best snapshots clipped on a clothesline. All of these are fun, creative ideas to create cool photo displays.
However, if you want to generate renewed excitement about preserving summer memories, it’s important to offer new photo products, mixed with a little inspiration, to promote the products you already sell. We talked to three companies that offer
Melissa Hernandez, head of sales and marketing for FinerWorks photo lab in San Antonio, Texas, focuses on interactive sharing. “Back in the ‘that’s so ’80s/’90s days,’ you would rifle through albums at your relatives’ houses and get an engaging conversation going,” says Hernandez. “Today, displaying those summer photos on social media means they receive a quick thumbs up from family and friends who then move on.
“I think a fun, amazing way to revisit those photos after a trip or event is to order a puzzle of some of your best memories,” she continues. “I recently took my daughter to Japan. I’ll be ordering a few images as puzzles to sit on our bookshelves for fun.”
Photo puzzles are just one of the popular photo gifts sold on the FinerWorks website and through its printing and fulfillment customers. Coffee mugs, mouse pads, keepsake boxes and pillows are all big sellers during the summer holidays as well as the graduation/wedding season.
In addition, tabletop displays, like FinerWork’s photo art panels and slates, are perfect for sharing a single summer memory at the office or with godparents and grandparents. The art panels range in size from 5×7 to 10×10 inches, with a photo sublimated to the surface of a Masonite panel. Each print has its own easel or kickstand backing.
In addition, the lab’s rustic-looking slates are ideal for beach scenes and other natural settings. Each slate is crafted from natural sedimentary stone with unique, chiseled edges. They’re available in various shapes and sizes, including ovals, rectangles, contours and tablets; they also come in sizes from 5.7×5.7 to 11.7×11.7 inches. Each slate comes with a set of tabletop stands for display.
Focusing on Pro Solutions
Established in 1999, FinerWorks is heavily invested in fine art reproduction and professional photo printing services. Its customers are artists, photographers, independent interior designers and firms, framers, as well as fine art galleries. Moreover, it is the exclusive printer and order fulfillment provider for EZCanvas.com and GeoGalleries.com. It also has a special printing arrangement with Shutterstock stock photo agency.
The combination of fine art printing, small business fulfillment and online consumer sales works well for the San Antonio lab. “Our marketing is more of a business-to-business approach to entrepreneurs such as artists, photographers, galleries and online ‘print your memories’ service companies,” says Hernandez. “To reach these individuals, we rely heavily on the recommendations and testimonials of customers. We take the old school word of mouth approach to marketing, which to this day is still the best advertising.”
Today’s technology makes the word of mouth approach even more effective, according to Hernandez. “It allows organic social media to shout from the screens of the digital devices. It’s a balance of traditional sales and a new delivery medium that lets us extend a handshake across the globe.”
Furthermore, as the social media manager for FinerWorks’ accounts, she takes a personal approach. “Come holidays and special occasions, I buy from our customers on their sites. My social media approach is to post about their work because their success benefits us, too.”
A photo gift supplier in Delray Beach, Florida, MyPhoto.com advertises itself as a “photo memory company” that provides the “easiest and fastest way possible to get photos off of your phone and into your home.”
Founded by Warren Struhl, MyPhoto.com specializes in chic tabletop photo displays and wall décor. They include photos encased in clear acrylic blocks and printed canvas scrolls.
The company’s most popular products are acrylic MiniBlox and atrium acrylic blocks—1-inch-thick clear acrylic boxes ranging in size from 2×2 to 8×10 inches. High-definition images are printed on the back. All are self-standing and made from museum-quality clear acrylic.
Starting at $12 each for the 2×2 MiniBlox, MyPhoto customers are encouraged to buy multiple units for stacking in attractive arrangements and for displaying on one of the company’s handcrafted black or walnut wood InstaLedges. An InstaLedge holds six MiniBloxs and can be displayed on a desk or shelf as well as mounted on the wall.
MyPhoto also offers images printed on diamond glass—a sheet of clear glass described as “luxurious, ultra-thick, with an opulent look.”
In addition, it has 4×4-inch glass coasters, round glass paperweights and 5×7-inch bamboo acrylic keepsake boxes with clear acrylic lids. Diamond glass prints range in size from 5×7 to 11×14 inches and come with an acrylic stand for tabletop display.
Moreover, the company’s 16×20-inch deluxe canvas photo scroll is another unique wall photo display. It is printed horizontally or vertically on textured, heavyweight canvas.
Hanging rails are made from light-colored wood and come attached to the scroll; so it’s ready to hang anywhere in at home or office.
Headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Parabo Press describes itself as a different kind of print service—here to “fill your space with joy” by providing personal, design-forward home décor, photo books, calendars, prints and cards.
Parabo offers several unique, oversized printing options for customers to exhibit their favorite summer images.
Moreover, they can choose from fine art prints on pure white, extra-thick (308 gsm) fine art matte paper, ranging in size from 8×10 to 20×24 inches; 3×4-foot engineer prints on extra light 20-pound architectural paper; or 17×22-inch newsprint sheets.
Newsprint images have a slightly grainy appearance and are printed on extra light ivory newsprint, folded into four quarters.
The company also sells several mounting products to make the print displays simple and organic.
Products include small and large skeleton clips to attach to the top or corners of the prints for hanging; 12-, 16- and 20-inch wood rails for the tops as well as bottoms of the prints; and GoodHangups’ reusable Magnastickers, to give the display a nondestructive thumbtack look.
Cool Photo Displays: A Mix of Options
Notably, all three companies offer a host of printing substrates—from paper and wood, to glass, acrylic, metal, frameless standout panels and framed prints. Hernandez, who worked in the framing industry before joining FinerWorks, encourages her customers to use professional framing to preserve their very best prints.
“The best memories that are hung on walls will be the best displayed,” she says. “Prior to working at FinerWorks, I worked in an Austin gallery that offered custom framing. Now ready-made frames will never work for me. I’m in love with frames that have UV protection and also a matting on my photos and art prints. It’s all about preservation and presentation. I can frame my images in the same moulding and matte to accomplish a uniform look, and it makes my images into one big art wall.”
Whether your customers choose conventional, professionally framed prints or one of the many trendy new printing and display options, the important thing is to get those images off the phone, out of the camera and onto a medium that will preserve the memories for years to come.