Thursday July 19, 2018

Davao group: Photo-printing industry declining

PHOTOGRAPHY laboratory business performance is dwindling following the surge of social media picture sharing and lesser people printing their pictures, Davao Photographers Association (DPA) said.

As majority of the people are into social media, DPA president lawyer Constantine Agustin said there are less people printing physical copies of their photographs since they can easily share it through their social media accounts.

“Before, there were photography labs that develop and print film negatives, and even after the (film) negative eras. But because of the advent of cellphones and social media where there is an instant sharing of the photos, they don’t need to print it anymore,” Agustin said during Kapehan Sa Dabaw at The Annex of SM City Davao on Monday, June 5.

He added that many printing laboratories closed their stores and some branches. He underscored that it is not a good opportunity to put up printing laboratories at the moment.

Agustin cited that he has a friend who used to own three branches of photography laboratories in Davao City but decided to shut down operations because of the declining sales.

He said most of the photography laboratories are just inside malls, unlike a few years ago when secondary players and secondary photography studios are still visible anywhere, having stand-alone establishments.

“What they (existing photography labs) can do is to market or lower their prices a little bit, have some gimmicks so the public would be encouraged to print their photo. As a photographer, believe that photos must be printed except that nowadays we all have cellphones. We are not able to appreciate the real objective of photography which is printing more than sharing it with social media,” he said.

As a photography enthusiast himself, Agustin said photos and the memories that come with it are meant to last that’s why they needed to be printed. He encouraged those who take their pictures to not only have them shared online but also to print them, not just to support the photography business sector, but also to retain the real tradition of photography practice.

“Sharing it on social media is good because it is instant but photos are meant to last. They are captured memories so it’s good to print it. If you want a good printing, you have to go to a good photography printing laboratory,” Agustin said.