How a Digital-First Approach at 1st Photo is Winning Customers’ Hearts and Increasing Revenue

1st Photo has been working with CaptureLife for just 6 months and has already turned digital into a major selling point with sporting leagues, schools and consumers alike.

Volume photographers are a rare breed. They are motivated, energetic and enthusiastic teams of people working together to achieve complete success in customer service, quality, and just as importantly, financial reward. 1st Photo of Austin, Texas embodies all these qualities, and is using CaptureLife to both delight their customers and grow their business.

Recognizing the Power of Digital Delivery
Jeffrey Bishop, General Manager of 1st Photo, recognized the power and implications of smartphones early on, and he had visions of delivering that same fast, friendly and easy transaction to his consumers. With CaptureLife, he realized his goal of a friction-free experience and instantaneous delivery of images.

Learn more about Jeffrey's journey in this short video...

First CaptureLife Use – an Outstanding Success!
In their very first CaptureLife project, Jeffrey and his team successfully produced a profit on a high school prom shoot. By using a digital-first method, Jeffrey was able to charge an appropriate fee that gave their consumers exactly what they wanted – a sharable image delivered directly and immediately to their mobile phones. Everyone from students to school administration loved the idea and loved the end result. Prom photos were ready on the spot – they didn't require any time to process to a lab, to be printed, or to be shipped back to the photo office or the students. Fast, easy and exactly what their customers wanted, making this prom even more meaningful and memorable!

After 1st Photo's prom success, Jeffrey and his team wanted to take that same great consumer experience and a digital-first approach to other areas of their business. A natural would be sports, since 1st Photo has the contract to shoot the action and team shots for all of Texas' State High School sporting tournaments through an organization known as UIL. Previously they had used an online gallery site to sell their tournament images. This was a lucrative route that slowly trickled high value orders into their account, but it sacrificed additional profits due to the inconvenience for the consumer. They understood that this method required the consumer to come to the photo site, rather than efficiently delivering the photos directly to their smartphone.

CaptureLife changed all that, and since they had seen its game-changing power they wanted to identify the best way to bring the digital-first method to high volume action photography.

A New Model for Sports Action Photography
1st Photo's goal is to have photos taken during all tournament games and put in front of the customer within hours of the actual shoot. Time isn't something easy to come by during shoots like these. Some photographers print out all images the night after a game takes place and hope to sell as many prints as possible the next day during the tournament. Others invest in expensive trailers with computer screens and printers inside to create an all-around full-service experience. Both of these could be considered avenues to sell prints, but 1st Photo wanted something newer, better and more technologically advanced.

The game plan delivers the benefits of immediacy, mobile capability as well as the opportunity to make more profit without high overhead expense. Using QR code information, parents will be able to access a team's tournament photos from the CaptureLife app while sitting and watching their players' games. More importantly, they will be able to order prints and other products while sitting in that very seat. Jeffrey said, "A mom, sitting at a red light in her BMW, can order all the pictures she wants before the light changes, right on her phone." (Jeffrey's quote dramatizes the ease and convenience of CaptureLife. Neither 1st Photo or CaptureLife encourage texting or ordering while driving.)

Experience has shown that when photos are delivered directly to a customer's smart phone, they are willing to spend money because of the convenience factor – especially when a 20% off coupon is issued for immediate purchases. All of these factors combine to create a perfect delivery, marketing and sales platform that bring greater success to the volume action photography space.

Growing Profits While Giving the Consumer What They Want
1st Photo initially purchased $900 worth of CaptureLife digital delivery credits, anticipating this would get them through the first round of UIL tournaments as well as any orders placed during their other school and sport shoots. To their surprise, it wasn't enough. Within 2 weeks they already knew they would need to purchase more. CaptureLife's pricing model and the way 1st Photo sells digital makes it easy for them to make $5-9 more profit per order over how they sold photos previously. They've already profited thousands of dollars in their first month.

This is a success story that can be replicated anywhere! Our world is demanding a new way to order and deliver almost every product imaginable, so why not join 1st Photo and give your customers exactly what they want, where they want it? It's the perfect time to take your photography mobile!

About the Author

Zach Hahnen
Zach Hahnen is a digital-first photographer and co-owner of All Pro Photo, Inc. sports photography, and Customer Success Manager at CaptureLife.