The secret to in-park photo profitability? Deliver prints that guests can’t get anywhere else
by Cliff Reeves, DNP
ABOVE: Search for iconic or fun backdrops when situating photo personnel to capture groups having fun. Photo courtesy DNP.
The attractions industry, with theme and amusement parks, waterparks, zoos, aquariums, and so much more, is based on delivering an amazing guest experience. Families and groups turn to parks as a way to have shared experiences and create memories that they can build upon and cherish for a lifetime.
Park operators face an array of challenges to ensure continued profitability. Offering park-wide photography services that include printed images has proven to be both effective and very popular with customers.
Technologies such as green screens and augmented reality provide a tangible product that can’t be produced on a smartphone or standard point-and-shoot camera. These photos are vastly superior to the quality of a smartphone image – and guests are willing to pay more for high-quality printed photos.
In order to assure in-park photography profitability, parks need to capture photos that are hard or impossible for people to take on their own, and then provide a level of print speed, quality, sizes, and finishes that cannot be duplicated by an at-home inkjet printer.
Capture the Experience
Photos capture the emotion of the moment, and park photo souvenirs serve as a reminder of the positive experiences and feelings. Within parks, it’s critical to have areas pre-scouted and designated to help park visitors get great shots – whether in front of a popular ride or landmark or a uniquely staged photo opportunity. Then, photographers with professional equipment can be stationed in these areas to help guests step out from behind their own devices and all get into the picture.
Areas where guests can stand in front of iconic backgrounds or interact with props or mascots are excellent on-spec photo opportunities. From entry-gate photos to on-ride action shots to green screens, the key is to take the shot that guests simply cannot capture on their own.
The stand-alone professional photo and the complete souvenir package reinforces the kind of emotional bond that can lead to repeat visits and prints with a park logo or custom borders are among the most popular items sold at attractions around the world.
Deliver the Experience
The technology behind producing on-the-spot photo prints is just as important as the capture device in protecting the quality, guest satisfaction, and profit margins. The two most widely used photo printing methods available are inkjet and dye-sublimation. Inkjet printers spray droplets of ink onto specially coated papers. Dye-sub printers use a dry technique that diffuses dye onto paper. Dye-sublimation printing offers several advantages, including higher profit margins, lower maintenance, and very fast printing speed – in addition to producing amazing-looking, durable photo prints.
High-quality dye-sublimation systems can turn out prints in a wide range of sizes, and compact enough to readily fit photo booths and concessions. Operators need to be able to produce prints quickly while the guests’ interest level is high. Dye-sublimation printers can print full-bleed customized images in a matter of seconds.
And unlike ink technologies, there is no smudging, running, or blotching because prints are dry and ready to touch as soon as they leave the printer. Dye-sublimation prints are resistant to fingerprints, dust, and fading, and typically are available in glossy, matte, fine matte, and luster finishes. Implementing a high-quality dye-sublimation solution also minimizes downtime, ensuring photo operations are running and producing prints without delay.
Enhance the Experience
Perfect for creating spectacular action and fine-art-type prints, the availability of new specialty dye-sublimation media delivers amazing photo print output quality that will please customers and keep them coming back. Luxury dye-sublimation paper media enables photographers to greatly enhance customer print options – and deliver unique, high-quality prints that customers won’t find anywhere else.
Specific products like DNP’s Metallic and Silver Pearl media provide the most vibrant and unique dye-sublimation prints the industry has ever seen, allowing park professionals to set their images apart with quality and creativity.
Metallic media accentuates eye-popping color for vibrant images – bringing out the bright energy, color, and detail of photos, a perfect media for exciting, high-color action photos. Silver Pearl media provides incredibly natural-looking skin tones while softening edges to deliver a fine-art look and is ideal for exclusive in-park portraits including birthday, graduation, seasonal, or wedding and engagement photos.
Park-goers routinely make – and indeed want to make – spontaneous, unplanned purchases in theme and amusement parks. Dye-sublimation printers with specialty media can print high-quality, full-bleed, eye-popping, customized images in a matter of seconds, ensuring every print is ready and available for purchase – even before the experience is over. And guests will need to re-visit your park again to recreate and build upon the experience because they can’t get it anywhere else. • • •
Cliff Reeves is US and International Sales Manager, DNP Imagingcomm America Corporation. Visit dnpphoto.com.