“We Have the Tools, We Have the Talent…”

Winston Zeddmore, Ghostbusters

So… How can we help you? Let us show you our wide range of services. Enter, the Rack Cards..

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But first, the back story that explains why diversity of services is so important to us and for you:

All our business life, well-meaning people who know very little about our market or capabilities have said, “what you really need to do is…” and advised us to specialize, usually in the one particular thing they wanted. Being a local “mom and pop shop” based in Northeast Florida, the challenge with specialization in photo processing is that there isn’t a large enough or dense enough population base to support a single-dimension shop. If we were national in scope, maybe. Specialty labs have to make huge annual investments in equipment and software, and they also pump loads of money into maintaining a sales force.

Years ago, Saundra and I realized that bigger is not necessarily better. For one thing, a variety of services allows for one revenue-producing department to bolster the others when its “season” is “off.” Besides, we discovered that our joy comes from the creative side of the business, and that our personalities are best suited for working with a small group of very talented artisans, who have become our extended family after decades of working together.

When I worked for Allied Printing in the 1980s, it was one of the largest print shops in Jacksonville. I started as an estimator and eventually moved into sales. Back then – and even more so today – the main competition between print shops was to see who could low-ball the big color printing jobs. But Allied’s owner didn’t want to play that game. Instead, Allied was a true one-stop shop with the most up-to-date typesetting equipment available, presses for all occasions and a bindery that was only rivaled by the trade shops. When I was in sales, I could go into almost any customer’s office confident that we could satisfy the most diverse printing needs.

When we opened FotoTechnika full-time in 1987, we adopted the do-everything philosophy I learned at Allied. We offered film processing, small color and black and white prints produced on small minilabs, custom color and black and white enlargements from negatives, Cibachrome prints from slides and transparencies, matting and framing, copy work, slide duping, and even limited graphic art services (typesetting and layout and design). Back in those days, we catered mainly to professional photographers who were commercial, advertising and architectural shooters.

For years, FotoTechnika’s Five Points location presented no real problem for the pros. Sure, several wanted us on the Southside where their studios were located, but our quality and service made it worth trekking across the river. After 2000, however, digital photography started making real inroads into the analog processes, especially film processing and custom printing. Before long, the pros were shooting more and more digitally. To expand our market, we started offering fine art reproduction, but that wasn’t quite enough. We needed to take on more consumer business. We constantly looked for ideas to overcome the lack of visibility and the inconvenience of our location, so in 2005 Saundra, Brian, and I sat down with friends from a local advertising and design firm. One really good suggestion that never quite got off the ground was to create rack cards to explain each of our services.

At the time, the only way we could produce rack cards ourselves was photographically on our minilab. Back then our copier couldn’t handle card stock or digital files, but it was important to us to have the rack cards be actual samples of work we could produce in house. Until recently, the idea had long vanished from my consciousness until I came upon notes from that 2005 meeting buried in a file cabinet I was cleaning out for our big move across the river. With our digital press, printing rack cards is no problem at all. Let me tell you, I did some serious V8 head-slapping that day for not remembering the rack card idea a lot sooner. This really is a project whose time has come.

Take a look at the following cards, and you will discover everything you ever wanted (or maybe didn’t want) to know about FotoTechnika. This particular post will be “Rack Card Central” for the foreseeable future. We will add more cards to this post as we create them, so refer back frequently. Eventually, most of them will be on our website in PDF form. And look forward to future posts that explain particular services from the cards in detail and how those services will help you preserve your photographic memories.

John (with serious editing by Sarah and Saundra)

01 Visit List Rack cards02 About Us Rack Card03 Ask Us Rack Card04 Film Sign Up Rack Cards05 Online & Photo Gifts Cards06 Small AgX Photos Rack Card07 Large Inkjet Photos Rack Card08 Fuji Pearl Photos Rack Card09 Locket Memorial Rack Cards10 Print Rest Rack Card11 Historic Prints Rack Card12 Canvas Prints Rack Card13 Photo Giclee Rack Card14 Fine Art Giclee Rack Card15 Film Scan Rack Card16 Print Scans Rack Card17 Art Scans Rack Card18 Large Quantity Scans Rack Card19 Think Inside the Box Rack Card20 Creative & Writing Rack Cards21 Comp Card Rack Card22 Flat & Folded Cards Rack Card23 Custom Graphic Printing Rack Card24 Menu & Rack Rack Cards25 Poster Rack Card26 Display Media Rack Card27 Video Transfer Rack Card

P.S. Please contact us if you would like a printed version of one (or more) of our rack cards. We would be glad to supply you with cards appropriate to your business that you can share with your customers. And for goodness’ sake, if you would like to start your own line of rack cards, please contact us – we’ve gotten pretty experienced at making them.

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Think Inside the Box

"Think Inside the Box" Deals

“Think Inside the Box” Deals

Over the next several months, Sarah and I (and maybe Saundra) will write several blogs devoted to services and products we offer that will appeal to those of you who may think that we cater exclusively to professional photographers, artists, and business customers. The truth is we have never turned away consumer business; in fact, we enjoy serving individuals who just want excellent pictures printed by someone whose next task isn’t restocking diapers on Aisle 4.

Our former Five Points lab was a destination location, a bit off the beaten path, and our zoning with the city didn’t allow for retail operations. With our move to 3119 Beach Boulevard last year, that all changed. With Curry Thomas Hardware right across the parking lot and the Mudville Grille just down the sidewalk, everyday folks walk past our windows all the time, and guess what? Unlike Lomax Street, most probably don’t have a problem finding a parking place.

Saundra and I are baby-boomers, and as such we have lived in both the analog and digital world. My mom, who’s 84, never really made the digital transition (except for recording soap operas on her DVR). She’s our only surviving parent, and after several recent extended stays in hospitals and rehab facilities, we have made a conscious effort to spend time with her and try to put our family history in order. Some of you have similar issues, and sadly, some of your parents may have already passed, leaving you with the task of sorting out the family images by yourself. Most of us have relatives who can help with genealogy, but it isn’t practical to send them boxes and boxes of photos… but what if those images were in a digital format?

Since we own a lab, we jumped on the scanning bandwagon, but it wasn’t until we started scanning images for the Jacksonville Historical Society that we developed a passion for preserving history. We started scanning and archiving our important family images years ago, but many of you don’t have that resource. Aha, maybe he’s finally getting to the point.

At FotoTechnika, we have quite an array of scanning devices. We don’t only do the high-resolution scans for those great big art prints and photos; we also have scanners that specialize in handling volumes of prints, slides and film. We know that quite a few of you have rather large family collections. Some may be in excellent condition, but I’m sure anyone as old or older than me has some photos or film that are changing color. It’s time to scan those images before they fade more, but it has always been so darn expensive. Well, we want to help you by offering several deals that can save you money and at the same time let you do a little of the organizing that so often falls to us. We’re thinking outside the box encouraging you to THINK INSIDE THE BOX.

We are offering two deals for scanning volumes of prints and slides:

Deal 1 – Print Scans

Shoebox Kit

Shoebox Kit

We will sell you a Shoebox Kit for $200. You fill the box with up to 1000 prints, from wallets to 8x10s. We will scan those prints and create 300-dpi jpeg files capable of producing prints the same size as the original photographs. We can save the images to a CD or to your USB thumb drive or external drive, and we will create an 8.5×11 booklet with thumbnails of the images. All you do is put the photos in the box.

The prints do need to be flexible enough to bend easily, and if you want them in a certain order you need to stack them accordingly. PLEASE, no badly torn photos or ones that have sticky stuff on them, unless you want us to scan those separately for an additional charge.

Deal 2 – Slide Scans

Slide Box Kit

Slide Box Kit

For $50, we will sell you a box that can hold up to 200 35mm slides. We will scan the slides at a resolution sufficient to make proof-size prints, and we will save jpegs to a CD or to your USB thumb drive and provide 5×5 index prints. (NOTE: This offer is only for 35mm slides. The square Instamatic and small 110 slides must be done on another device that is not designed for volume scanning.)

In both cases, you help us by sorting your images into the boxes we provide. Sure, we can scan from your scrapbooks or pull slides out of carousels, but then we are doing a lot of the sorting. When you put the slides or prints in boxes, you are rewarded with volume pricing. It works out to be $0.25 per slide and $0.20 per print – all scanned with the TLC FotoTechnika is famous for.

(If you have negative film, I’m sure we can work out some volume pricing, too, but finding the right box is harder than you might think.)

AND… for those of you who have already gone totally digital, we have made a box for you, too, just so you won’t feel left out. If you haven’t already figured it out, hard drives and smart phones crash – shoeboxes don’t! So you need to think about printing your more important files.

Bonus Deal – Digital Prints

Everything Goes Box

Everything Goes Box

For $75, we will sell you our “Everything Goes” box. Select your favorite images from your various CDs, DVDs, USB drives, camera cards and computer hard drive, save them on digital media, and bring it to us in the box. Make sure the media only contain files you want printed. We will fill the box with up to 300 proof-size prints on Fuji Crystal Archive photo paper. (NOTE: The quality of the image is dependent on the quality and resolution of the digital files you provide.)

These boxes make perfect Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and graduation gifts, so get them now, and let us help you preserve those family treasures.

Until next blog,

John

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