My favorite photo processor just got even better. Sit tight and let me tell you the story of myLove for myPhotopipe.com – then we’ll get to the new FolioPrints.
When family, friends or anybody asks me where they should get there photos developed, I tell them to go to myPhotopipe.com. The response I usually get is “huh”? After I explain to them that it’s a website that you can upload your digital images to – just like Kodak EasyShare Gallery – it generally clicks (no pun intended) with them.
The thing I like the most about myPhotopipe.com is when I edit an image on my iMac, I send it to myPhotopipe.com and get the same thing back in a physical print (e.g., color, exposure, contrast, etc.). I’ve tried other services – a lot of other services. In fact, a couple of years ago, I took a single image, edited it and uploaded it to maybe a dozen different services. I tried everything from the cheap processors like Kodak, Shutterfly, Snapfish and York Photo to more “pro” services like Mpix and myPhotopipe. I got all the prints back, spread them across the table and started the process of elimination to find the best of the bunch.
The winner? myPhotopipe.com – hands down.
Don’t take my word for it though – iStockphoto uses myPhotopipe exclusively for prints from its massive stock image library.
More than two years later, I’m still using myPhotopipe.com for everything from a bulk order of 4×6 snapshots to the occasional friend or family member’s wedding photos that I get suckered into taking. Mind you that I am an amateur at this photography thing. I’ve got a day job and this hobby obsession of mine will remain something I do to entertain myself for the foreseeable future. However, I will remain picky about what my prints look like. If they don’t appear just like they do on my calibrated monitor, then I’m not going to be happy. Enough about me and myPhotopipe; let’s talk about FolioPrints.
FolioPrints: Idea to Innovation
Needless to say, when CEO Doug Keeney emailed me the info on FolioPrints, I tuned in to what he had to say. In an email exchange with Mr. Keeney yesterday, I learned the genesis of FolioPrints and found myself creating and ordering my first FolioPrints a short while later.
About the time I first discovered myPhotopipe.com, they were working with Homeland Security to find a way to have a fixed logo on a photo with a dynamic text box, so the Secretary could create personalized captions. Doug tells me that this was problematic trying to make a print template box more useful than just a standard insert box. In the end, after many trials and failures, they had a solution. Once they presented the solution to Homeland Security, against 14 other companies, including HP, myPhotopipe.com won the contract, which they still have today.
The rest, as they say, is history:
From there things started to roll. Now – it seems obvious, but at first it wasn’t. We worked within the ROES platform to create a product called PRPrints, a precursor to FolioPrints. PRPrints was a Homeland Security product adapted for celebrities and professional sports franchises. It made the job of creating an 8×10 for, say, Eli Manning, much easier. Load the photo. Spell check the name. Adjust the crop. And print 2000 prints for Eli’s charity appearance. It was an immediate hit.
(Actually, Jimmy Cribbs, the great one, the great photographer with the Falcons, saw what we were doing and was our first customer. He adopted it for the Falcons. Then Jerry Pinkus of the Giants and Dwight Spradlin of the Titans and Paul Abell, now with the Braves, and the Mavericks, and the Cowboys and the Buccaneers – the list goes on and on.)
– Doug Keeney
I received some sample prints in the mail today and I honestly tell you that they look great! They’re going to save me time and effort in Photoshop. No more text boxes, border actions, enlarging canvas size and filling with black, white or whatever. In fact, I’ll print more fancy bordered prints now that I don’t even have to open Photoshop. Best of all, the 8x10s that I ordered last night were still just $1.89 each – same as the normal 8x10s. Now that you’ve heard my two cents, check out the press release below for all the details on what FolioPrints can do for you.
ATLANTA, Georgia – January 25, 2008 — myPhotopipe.com, Inc. (OTC: MPPC.PK), a web-based online provider of digital photo processing and related services, today announced the national availability of its new FolioPrintsTM photographic prints. FolioPrints are silver halide prints produced on Fuji Crystal Archive paper. They contain a digitally embedded border and a digitally activated caption box. FolioPrints may be ordered in 304 print sizes and finishes at www.myphotopipe.com.
“It’s certainly not your grandmother’s 4×6 print,” said L. Douglas Keeney, Chief Executive Officer of myPhotopipe.com, Inc. Keeney was admiring a sample of his company’s new snapshot-sized 4×6 FolioPrint, a print that contains a digitally embedded matte border and a digitally activated caption. “People can’t believe this is a 4×6 print that costs only 19 cents, but it is. All I had to do was activate the caption and the border, and they automatically became part of my print. Two clicks and it’s a work of art.”
myPhotopipe.com is one of a new breed of web-based companies brashly but successfully competing in the digital photo processing business. And they are doing it by offering more, not less.
“In the absence of value, price becomes an issue and on the snapshot level innovation has been almost zero,” noted Keeney. “So, in the big box stores it’s all about price. Not so in the high end. Serious photographers are all about quality, color management, choices, artistic options. Their cameras are loaded with imaging controls and their computers have color management tools. They’re involved in the entire process. Little wonder, then, that they want more out of their prints.”
With sales up 46% and industry revenues of $7 billion, demand for prints from digital cameras keeps online photo processors like myPhotopipe.com busy. CEO Keeney and President Pete Casabonne morphed a sleepy, high-end film processor in the metro Atlanta area into one of the hottest online digital processors in the nation. Their secret? A single-minded focus on photographic prints. “Once you have a digital image, its easy to become a put-your-photo-anywhere type of company, but we don’t think people are buying $5,000 cameras to put photos on mouse pads,” said Casabonne. “In fact, we see the opposite. Our photographers want to ‘wow’ their customers. That’s why we developed FolioPrints, which allow photographers to do more with their digital photos and generate more revenue for their studios. Best of all, they don’t need any training or any photo editing tools. It’s all in the print.”
The drug store days of roll film have been replaced by a process of selecting a digital image and dragging it into a box or a rectangle that represents a 4×6 or 8×10 print. The digital image is then sent to an online processor via readily available high-speed Internet connections. With a computer and high-speed Internet access, it is easy to see why the volume of prints ordered online is up 112% over the past year.
Which is why Keeney and Casabonne turned their attention to the print itself. “We cater to professional and serious amateur photographers. Their business is all about selling prints, and that got us to think about the print itself. Why not make the print itself more versatile?”
Thus was born FolioPrints with Embedded Digital Effects (EDE), which represent a palette of digital options buried inside the photo template. “You can activate a text box and give your print a very handsome caption,” said Casabonne, a 29-year industry veteran. “You can select a border and instantly have a matted look. Or, do nothing and you’ll have a standard edge-to-edge borderless print. It’s up to you. Just activate the effect you want, or not. The choice is yours. And you don’t need any extra tools to get it done.”
myPhotopipe.com soft-launched FolioPrints with Embedded Digital Effects just days before Christmas. Within a week, more than 20% of all orders were for the new product. “Today,” says Casabonne, “all of our prints are available in FolioPrints and they don’t cost a penny more than our borderless prints. The choice is up to the photographer, and helping the photographer do more is what we’re all about.”