Sell beauty – ProDPI Bamboo Mount Review
November 1, 2010
We all work hard to sell the beauty in our photography and in our clients, but how about in our products. I’m a big believer that our product mix is what sets us apart from the crowd. And these days, the crowd is getting larger and larger. Costco is selling photo books and fine art canvases. Photographers are springing up on every street corner. The great thing is that all the stores, online retailers and new photographers are selling the same things, inexpensive press printed books and the cheapest sample canvases and prints they can find.
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Don’t mis-read me. There is nothing wrong with shooting part-time or starting a new business. That’s how I started and that’s how pretty much everyone I know got started. No one just woke up one day, opened an expensive studio and just succeeded. For every successful photographer you see out there, there are years of hard work and toil. But, for every successful photographer out there, you can easily see their unique product mix.
When looking for products to add to a business, I ask myself a few questions. First of all, is it unique? Is it something that most people won’t offer because it might be too expensive, it might be off the grid a bit, or any other number of reasons. Secondly, can I sell that? Can I price it at a profitable price-point and will it sell. And finally, do I like it? I see all of these frilly frames and cute kid stuff and I know it can sell and I know that it’s unique, but it’s not me. I don’t like it. And if I don’t like something, I can’t sell it. And that’s fine. There are millions of people out there, they don’t all need to be my customer.
ProDPI’s Bamboo Mount
I was speaking with Caitlin Lazlo at ProDPI a couple of weeks ago and she mentioned that they were coming out with bamboo mounts. They were going to be launching them soon (they are out now and available). Basically, I begged for one immediately. I had a gut feeling that this was a product I was going to like. I’m sure I annoyed the heck out of here and she sent me one just to shut me up :)
Well it didn’t shut me up, but it sure did take my breath away. The bamboo mounts are a simple concept. You have a beautiful bamboo wood block with a photo mounted right on top of it. For my sample I chose to have ProDPI mount their über-nice Fuji Deep Matte prints onto it.
When picking up the bamboo mount the first thing you notice is that it is heavy. Unlike some other mounting with foam-core at the center, this is a solid piece of bamboo. It is made from a sustainable source. That is the great thing about bamboo. It grows so fast, that it is basically impossible to over-forest. So, not only is it beautiful, you aren’t destroying any old hard-wood forests.
The finish is extremely smooth with a lot of grain showing and also a wonderful repeating pattern down the sides. The construction is amazingly solid. One of my friends said you can just turn it over and use it for a chopping block! Not recommended, of course. ProDPI’s deep matte printing is really something just short of amazing. I really love it. While the paper is different, it has the same look as Epson’s Ultra Smooth Fine Art inkjet paper, which is my favorite paper on the entire planet.
They come with a built in groove in the back for hanging. When you hand one to your client, they are going to instantly forget how much they cost. It turns your art into a work of art. Highly recommended.
The bamboo mounts are not cheap. They run a bit more than canvases at the smaller sizes and quite a bit more than canvases at the larger sizes. Many photographers look at this as a downside. For me it is an upside. Since they are more expensive, this means two things to me. First, hardly anyone in my market is going to carry them, because photographers are all looking to save money. What they don’t realize is that cheaper products mean lower price points and LESS profit. The second thing, is that it is a premium product. I can UPSELL from a canvas to a bamboo mount. More expensive products mean higher prices and MORE profits.
If you would like to save 10% on a ProDPI bamboo mount, just use the code: BambooFundy (which is my new martial arts name).