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Print your event photography pictures now or loose them.

Father of the Internet and Google vice president Dr Vince Cerf has urged people to have prints made of their photographs or loose  them forever. This is of particular importance to the event photography industry. As operating systems and software become more sophisticated images stored using older technology will become increasingly inaccessible.

He warned that dependence on technology could lead to a digital desert and a new dark age in history with any evidence of our culture lost in an on-line black hole.

How many of us can remember going through old photographs of our childhood and school days even if they were kept in old shoe boxes? Will we be looking for a long lost or broken IPhone  or computer drive? Or, more likely, will be trying to remember the username and password of some new cloud storage service that may be out of service in a few years time?

Think I’m wrong ? Pop into your nearest PC World store and look for the shelf with blank CD’s or DVD’s. Remember just a couple of years ago there used to be a whole aisle now you are lucky if you can find more than a couple of products.

There were 800 billion pictures taken last year, and no I don’t know how anybody came up with that figure, but I do know that most of them were taken on a Smartphone or point and shoot digital camera.

The photographs that Smartpicsuk® event photographers print at corporate or fundraising events are produced on high end dye sublimation printers as found in High Street photo outlets and are guaranteed to last 50 years.

DNP on site photo printing as used by Smartpicsuk® event photographers
DNP on site printers as used by Smartpicsuk® event photographers

At the time of printing the photograph is overlaid with a protective layer that is both fingerprint and waterproof. They are also red wine proof which is an advantage at some of the social events we have covered!

The recent advances in onsite photo printing within the UK event photography business was brought home to me on a recent visit to Laos in SE Asia where I witnessed “old fashioned” and dated technology combined with the sheer hard working entrepreneurial work ethic found in this part of the world.

At the national monument in the capital city Vientiane, I came across a group of about 20 gentlemen and a couple of ladies with entry level digital cameras waiting in a pack for the next tourist coach of Korean or Chinese visitors.

Event photography as practiced by Event photographers in Laos
Event photography as practiced by event photographers in Laos

When the unsuspecting subjects alight they are literally cajoled by the waiting photographers to form up in a group like the team shots after a Wembley cup final. Instead of using Wi-Fi or wired tethering as UK event photographers would use to instantly send the pictures to an editing station, they sprint to a nearby line of cars and people carriers.

These vehicles have Epsom inkjet printers of unknown vintage in the boot or across the back seats. The whole exercise becomes a competition to get the first print in front of the potential clients with the clients racing across the dusty car park holding the still sticky and not quite dry prints above their heads.

On site photo printing as practiced by event photographers in Laos
on site photo printing as practiced by event photographers in Laos

The prints are pushed in front of the clients’ faces with no choice of which picture they would like and no colour balancing or quality control of any kind. A lot of the customers had dubious magenta and red skin tones that had nothing to do with the tropical heat.

The cost of these prints were something under £2 for a 12x 8 inch print which was hard to work out with an exchange rate of 30 000 to one. I salute these ladies and gentlemen for the sheer hard work they put in to overcome the limited resources they have.

Smartpicsuk® will never be able to match these prices. We like to think we are not too expensive, but we will never be “cheap” especially for once in a lifetime sentimental photographs that will be treasured in the future.

On site photo printing will remain an option for all our event photography commissions in the foreseeable future.

Greek Olympic fancy dress & games at the Regimental Summer Ball

Now the Olympic Games are over and London get’s back to normal we can reflect on an exhausting and busy couple of weeks. Apart from numerous editorial commissions we have covered a number of events with an Olympic theme.

Greek Olympic Fancy Dress
Greek Olympic Fancy Dress

These include an ancient Greek Olympic fancy dress and games at the regimental summer ball in the NCO’s mess at Pirbright. As well as socialising the guests engaged in their own version of the games with challenges requiring strength, stamina and skill which would have tested even the elite athletes in the Olympic stadium in Stratford! Work hard and play hard; it was great to see the British Army letting their hair down in a rare break from their duties.

We were also invited to cover the opening of the corporate HQ for the Uniserve Group on the opening night of the Games. As the largest privately owned international freight and logistics company in the UK they certainly knew how to organize a large party with no detail overlooked or left to chance. Large screens were placed around the grounds of historic Upminster Court so guests could watch the Games opening ceremony whilst enjoying a lavish sit-down four course dinner with silver service and live entertainment until the early hours whilst our team mingled with the guests to record the nights’ activities for all to remember.

Smartpicsuk.com has recently been investing in new equipment to improve our onsite printing capabilities and we have upgraded to the latest Apple computers and DNP dye sub printers. Using the latest professional software we can offer enhanced photo editing and in some cases retouching of images; just as you would expect from a top studio or production house on location at your event.

We have a number of high profile events booked in the near future both corporate and private; if you would like to be added to our diary or just make a general inquiry as to what we can offer you please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Official opening of a certain stadium with Lord Seb Coe

We recently undertook a commission for one of my editorial clients to cover the official opening of a brand new sports stadium just across the river from our Greenwich base

Unfortunately we can’t mention the event because we are not official partners or sponsors. However we can tell you that the events will be watched by a worldwide audience of billions of TV viewers for a couple of weeks this summer.

A lucky local schoolgirl was chosen at random to officially open the stadium at one of the preparation events to prepare our capital city. It was a fantastic experience to stand in the center of the stadium as the lucky schoolgirl posed with Lord Seb Coe and TV presenters to perform the honours. I even got to stand on the finish line where the men’s 100m final will be the most watched sporting event ever. I don’t think I can say any more without infringing the stringent laws and regulations of the event but wish Team GB every success and a large haul of medals.

Olympic stadium test event
Olympic stadium test event

It’s just as well we stick to the laws and regulations of the land as our next event was at the Warren in Hayes which just happens to be the Metropolitan Police Social club in South London.

The evening was a fundraiser for Multiple Sclerosis and thanks to the management and staff at The Warren a very successful and fun evening was had by all. We even had the honour of having our auction donation of a private family photo shoot raise the highest bid of the evening. Is good photography worth more than a case of fine champagne? We like to think so: after all the pictures will be treasured long after the champagne has gone.

The coming week finds us making final preparations for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Thames River Pageant when we are on one of the official flotilla of boats. As well as photographing the lucky guests we will be printing glossy photographs on board as we sail down the Thames.

Wishing a fantastic Jubilee holiday to all our clients, friends and colleagues.