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Park Photography

Park World speaks to a panel of six suppliers about the state of in-park image capture in 2015. There’s mixed views about the profitability of print Vs digital, but most seem to

agree that digital imagery – including video – has

potential beyond the park itself, and for that reason it would be unwise for any

attraction operator to offer their guests printed products only

Green screen experiences such as this offered by Picsolve at the London Eye, provide unique images that customers can’t capture on their own camera/phone

Image Concious Park photos and videos – digital or die?

Sheep thrills

Families visiting the new Shaun the Sheep Experience at Land’s End in Cornwall, England, can have their photo taken alongside the popular animated character thanks to a green screen experience from Socrates Digital. The image, with Shaun superimposed on top and an English countryside backdrop, can be personalised via a touchscreen terminal in which visitors can enter personal details such as their name or hometown. These details are then embedded onto the “Lamb’s End” (geddit?) signpost in the final picture.

Is there still a market for in-park photography (other than rides or other difficult to capture moments) in the age of the camera phone? Jan Bijl (JB), Image+ (Netherlands) – Absolutely, we have several photo operations at the gate and roving which harvest enough worthwhile turnover. The photo should have additional extras, like an overlay and park logo. Also key chains and photo albums should be offered. Laura Maroldi (LM), Fotosmile (Italy) – Our experience teaches us that roving photography works when there is emotion, when there is the opportunity to give a testimony of an experience, as for example, to have the photo with the character or mascot of the park. Nowadays in-park photos (other than on-ride) are not among the expectations of the guests.

Pim Sonépouse (PS), Socrates Digital Video (Netherlands) – It’s becoming more and more difficult, but roving photography with a park character when it is prohibited to take photos yourself still works. Peter Hygate (PH), DEI (Dubai) – Technology is presenting ever more dynamic and interesting ways for guests to interact with IPs, green screens and augmented reality setups and create captures that go beyond the capabilities of a regular smartphone or camera. Moreover, it’s empowering for a guest to relax and let a professional take a photo of their whole family or their entire group instead of having to be the one behind the camera. Steve Lee (SL), Themeshots Leisure (UK/USA) – The camera phone has made it difficult for park photography. Guests have phones constantly in their hands and take

MAY 2015

pictures all the time. On the other hand, there are new opportunities, for example we have created a new app called Picento, which enables all our customers to see their images direct on their smartphone straight after they have been taken. We continually invent new ideas; utilising green screen, creative angles and quality images with good branded templates to give our customers something they cant get on their phones. Baz Slatter (BS), Picsolve (UK/USA) – Actually, the market for in-park photography thrives on the ubiquity of the camera phone and current guest demand for social sharing. The key to ensuring in-park photography stays relevant to these trends is the seamless integration of in-park photography with dedicated smartphone apps for guests to download digital images, ready for instant sharing.

Print or digital – which sells better? SL – Digital images are the future of park photography, although at the moment the majority of customers are still technophobes and can’t grasp what to do with a digital image. However, people are slowly getting more used to digital and eventually it will take over from print. PH – It’s important not to forget the value of tangibility. Guests still relish leaving a park with a real souvenir in their hands and branded, bordered photos in folders remain very high on this wish list. The value essence of the products we sell is in capturing the emotion of a moment not just a picture. BS – There is still a demand for printed park photos from attractions, but a much higher proportion of visitors would


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