PRINT. PRESERVE. PROTECT

So what is Pixel Preservation International and who is this guy, Joe LaBarca?

Image

I retired from Kodak in January of 2011 after 34.5 years in R&D, commercialization, technical and management roles.  I spent my entire career in various aspects of hard copy output technologies, with the first two-thirds of the career working on professional color photographic paper.  I managed the Kodak Professional Imaging Systems lab and oversaw the systems and integration development of KODAK PROFESSIONAL Endura papers and display materials (look for “ENDURA” on the back next time you purchase prints).  A majority of my career found me involved in work on image permanence testing, reporting, and communications, both internally with Kodak and externally with the ISO international committee developing image permanence and physical durability standards. Within these roles I became expert in the permanence of not only traditional silver halide color photographic paper, but also the newer “digital technologies” – thermal dye transfer (think instant prints from retail kiosks), inkjet (think prints at home from your inkjet printer), and electrophotographic (think photo books from retail and online locations).

So why tell you about this? Here’s today’s reality. People – your customers – have millions, if not billions, of pictures stored on mobile devices, computers, external drives and clouds.  When those technologies become obsolete, how will they access those memories, those moments, those stories? There is only one proven technology that we know consumers can use to view their images today, tomorrow and 100 years from now. And that is the print. Your job: help your customers free those images from their devices to create lasting, viewable photographs.

In the coming weeks, I’ll guest blog here on Wednesday Works on the topic of long term preservation of images through printing. Last week, Ed Monahan wrote about how soft-copy offerings can drive more hard-copy output. This need for hard copy and preservation are the reasons I founded Pixel Preservation International in 2011. Hard copy is the only format that is totally independent of any current or future digital technologies. Think about that – the only format.

This reality drives Pixel Preservation International and similarly, much of the R&D at Kodak. In essence, only technology independent preservation of digital files through printing can help ensure that as technology advances, your images and your customers’ images are “future proof.” This means making prints, including professional prints on silver halide paper, complementary professional products using electrophotographic media, and instant printing at places like Kodak Kiosks. Kodak has created a framework through which it offers commercial labs, professional labs, wholesale labs, retailers and by association, consumers, multiple proven methods to print, preserve and protect their valuable images. This will help ensure that decades into the future, these moments, these memories, these stories, will be accessible for generations to come.

Socializing Professional Content in the Social World

Immediacy. When we think about ways in which we can help our professional labs and photographer clients drive business in this ever increasingly connected world, we keep coming back to this word. Today’s consumer wants to instantly showcase images, share them with family and friends, and gain immediate reach across their connected world. They still desire “output,” but with the proliferation of smart phones, tablets and social networks, as an industry, we need to broaden our definition of output, starting with soft-copy.

Did anyone cry “heresy?” Giving consumers soft-copy? How will that help drive hard-copy and premium professional output? Simple.  As an industry, we need to meet today’s consumers on their terms. Once we capture the consumers’ interest, we then show them just how much more they can do with the professional content.

It all begins with Socialize – where pro photographers help consumers to satisfy their most basic craving.  Pro photographers can deliver images through Facebook and Twitter, place them into video presentations, or make them accessible on web sites via QR codes. Consumers can then text, email and share via their phone/tablet screen, with family and friends, and push pro content into their connected world.

Having met the need for immediacy and connection with Socialization, we now help the consumers tell their Stories.  Professional photographers excel at helping consumers bring their images to life in something physical and tactile, in the form of high-quality albums, photo books, calendars, cards.  We then follow to complement those story-telling vehicles with high quality heirloom portraits and unique, creative canvas wraps and wall art to the preserve the Memories. Creating a storyline is a much better way for consumers to experience and share their memories.  If a picture is worth a thousand words, what is a high quality portrait album or storybook worth?

Driven by the realization that consumers want to use professional images just as they do their consumer images to enjoy immediate/infinite reach and anytime/anywhere access, we continue to work on our Digital Print Production Software (DP2), to enable professional photographers and labs to meet the consumer where the consumer wants to be met! In version 15, we introduced QR codes and Animoto Slideshow videos – which lets professional labs create visually exciting soft-copy offerings, starting the “Socialization,” component of a complete offering that’s complemented by individual prints and high-quality premium output.

Scan to view a video slideshow demonstration Scan to view a video slideshow demonstration.

Play example videos:

Wedding slideshow ›

Baby slideshow ›

So, from Socialize to Stories to Memories, we can create a logical flow from immediacy to more effective storytelling to the opportunity for display and the security of longevity.  The photographer serves to originate the image, consult and sell across the memory lineup, and champion this message.

Meet consumers where they want to be met.  Lead with the need for immediacy and connection, fast following into the desire for storytelling, and completing the offer with quality portraits that preserve the memory forever.

Introducing Wednesday Works – Laura Quatela

QuatelaHeadshot

Welcome to Kodak’s Personalized Imaging “Wednesday Works” Blog!  Every Wednesday, we’ll feature business topics relevant to our customers in the retail, wholesale, and professional photography markets.

Here is an introduction by Laura Quatela….

I have the privilege of managing Personalized Imaging, which is comprised of our Film Capture, Paper & Output Systems, Retail Systems Solutions, and Event Imaging Solutions businesses (together, “PI”).  As many of you know, in August 2012 Kodak announced that it was initiating a sale process for these businesses.  We are moving full-steam through this process, and are confident that PI will be under new ownership by the middle of this year.

In 2012, Personalized Imaging sustained a consistent record of profitability.  We introduced market-leading products and services, entered new partnerships across multiple regions, and renewed agreements with some of the world’s largest retailers and professional labs.  Of course we continue to engage with talented and inspiring professional photographers around the globe, who use Kodak Professional films to create thought-provoking, visually stunning bodies of work.  All of these interactions reflect an ongoing commitment to PI by our customers, suppliers, and partners.

On a personal note, I want to underscore my pride in the ongoing efforts of our PI teams around the world to maintain the high standard of service that is essential to our customers and yours.  We have hundreds of staff members in development, manufacturing, sales, marketing, customer service, technical support, and other core functions.  These experienced, talented, and committed employees are passionate about meeting your needs, and driving a bright future for PI.

We look forward to engaging with you every Wednesday about the issues that impact you and your businesses.  Thanks for reading!

NOTE: This post was up previously but due to problems to the old blog platform we have had to repost it this week.