Keeping control – Starvision Photography’s experience with GotPhoto
Starvision Photography started using GotPhoto two years ago and have grown rapidly since then. We caught up with photographer and co-director Alec Malbon to see how GotPhoto fits into the Nottinghamshire-based business.
Alec Malbon has been working in school photography for 12 years, and his production-based background means he lends a smart business eye to his company. Together with co-director Andrew Robinson, Starvision Photography are keen on keeping control of their workflow and being sure they can deliver the best quality possible to their clients. After being recommended to try GotPhoto by two other colleagues in the industry, Alec decided to try our system for himself.
Alec doesn’t mince words about why he works in school photography: “It’s easy money. I don’t mean that lightly. It’s not easy in terms of winning the work and in terms of turning it around and producing it. It’s easy in terms of, it’s formulaic and if you know anything about production, then you can make it work and you can make money.”
When he heard about GotPhoto, Alec didn’t waste time in taking a look at whether it could benefit Starvision.
“Initially, I was very wowed when I first saw the system.” Alec said. Upon further use, he found even more positives than he first expected.
“The analytics are very good, the statistical side of stuff. Also, the fact that everything is backed up once it’s put onto your system is a bit of an unexpected bonus. Once I’ve got something on your system and it’s selling, even when it’s archived or I put it back to selling, if there are any issues, it’s all backed up.”
Reaping the Rewards
Since using GotPhoto, Starvision has been able to grow and upscale due to the increased turnover that came with using the system.
“The company’s grown, we’ve been able to invest in more equipment, and we’re able to forecast more growth,” Alec explains.
Alec also benefited from the automated data evaluations and rundowns on online sales that he received after every job. This is something provided to all photographers using the system.
According to Alec: “When it comes to the individual season, the system is fantastic from the point of being able to generate the school import data that the schools all require, to the point of the parents’ sale and the ease of the online sales, to then also the fiscal feedback. The feedback on your analytics is very useful.”
Keeping It In the Family
As a part of this growth, Starvision Photography fulfills their orders fully in-house. They take in orders and manually put together folders for the various different sizes. Not only does this save them money, but also gives Alec a crucial element that he values highly: control.
“If we’re working with a lab, that means you’ve got to send everything away, you’ve got to wait for it to come back,” Alex explains. “If there’s one issue with one photo, like one photo missing or arriving damaged, you can put delivering the whole job back by a week by the time you’ve done reordering. Also, when you want to see what an image looks like off the printers as the final product, it helps with quality control.
Starvision were able to take control of their own production thanks to help from Tetenal who helped them find the correct printer to suit their business’s needs. If you have ever thought about switching to printing in-house and taking full control of your own production, the team at Tetenal would be very happy to hear from you.
In opening up this ability for in-house production, Alec can now have the control that he wants over his own products, without needing to rely on outside help to supply his clients with top-quality photos. Additionally, Alec values being able to run his business in this way while still using GotPhoto for maximum impact.
When looking at GotPhoto within the whole realm of the school photography industry, Alec still thinks using the online platform is the smartest choice out there. He also ranks this higher than compared to moving his online sales in-house.
“For what we’re getting and what is comparable on the market and also after looking at building our own in-house system,” Alec said, “there’s nothing out there that’s better value that would give us a better service.”