Business Ideas

Business Opportunities in Digital Photography

Business Opportunities in Digital Photography

When digital photography was first introduced into the Nigerian market a few years ago, it was seen as a thing of class as the price of printing photographs digitally was higher relative to the more popular mode. But those in the business say it is one of the most lucrative businesses today, as it has become the rave of the moment and relatively easy to start. In the view of those who are currently deploying the digital technology in photography, many people are now embracing it.

There are reports that producers of photography films abroad are currently reducing their production capacities due to the drop in demand for such films for photography purposes.

Digital photography is a technology in photography that uses computers and other technology accessories to produce more quality pictures.

Experts say it does not need the use of negative films or dark rooms, as would the analogue system. They say the only dark room is ones laptop where he could edit photographs.

One amazing phenomenon about the applications of digital pictures, according to experts in the business is the quality and durability of the pictures. They say a hard copy of a digital picture is a product of a process called thermal dye sublimation and this makes the pictures coated, thus, making them water-proof.

The normal colour laboratories from where pictures are usually printed have also been observed to be gradually replacing their equipment with digital tools to enable them deliver digital photographs. And this, photographers say, is an indication that the demand for analogue pictures is on the decline.

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According to them, digital pictures have been proved to have a life span of over fifty-two years without alterations on the surface, whereas, analogue pictures are usually affected by water and heat. They say photography could be taken to a new level by the digital technology as a person’s creativity is enhanced by the application on offer

Experts say many people are increasingly embracing digital photography now because it is quick, a feature they say, gives it an edge over the conservative analogue photography.

Niyi Ibrahim, a Civil Engineering graduate from the Ladoke Akintola University, Ogbomosho in Oyo State, is a photographer and the Technical Director, Water Page Nigeria Limited, in Lagos. He says the opportunity for making handsome income from digital photography still lies untapped.

He says, There are lots of open doors to be self-reliant in digital photography. The market is not saturated yet. I wanted to work in a big multinational corporations like every Nigerian graduate naturally would, but I looked inwards, took out time to learn the technology, and I have no regrets today. In fact, when I started, I was gate-crashing for almost one year, in other words, I would attend events in places as far as Abuja uninvited.

Niyi now runs a training center in digital photography and he says it takes only a few days to learn the trade. He says with about N12, 000, a fresher would be adequately equipped with the necessary skills to begin the business.

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The training session runs for only two weeks after which people usually get the full content of the package necessary for them to start on their own. Practical classes run for a week and the remaining week is set out for theoretical works. Editing software are also given out to graduates of the school on the completion of their training, says Niyi.

Niyi, a recipient of several awards for quality in digital pictures, says he ventured into digital photography in 2003 at a time when the concept of digital pictures was almost non-existent in the country.

He was the team leader of the crew that introduced mobile digital photography into the Nigerian market, and for him, the business of photography is an opportunity to live out his passion.

He says with just N50, 000, a fresher could start out in the business.

According to him, all that is needed to start are a digital camera, which cost N25, 000, and a printer, which he says is about N25, 000 also. He says the cost of other accessories like the background curtains and a few other things are minimal. The income, according to those who are in the business, grows with the deployment of more sophisticated equipment. But they say this comes with time.

Basically, the equipment needed for the business include, a digital photo printer, professional digital camera, studio backdrops, memory cards and lenses, power generator and a computer system.

Users of the new technology say the business could become more capital-intensive in the long run when one wants to become professional.

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Experts in the business have identified the major challenges in the business to include cost of equipment, availability of consumables (such as papers, ribbons and chemicals), and the challenge of unstable power supply.

They say that although the equipment were initially available only outside the country, they could be sourced locally now due to the increasing awareness.

They say anyone intending to venture into the business must be educated and computer literate. Ones creative aptitude is also a force that attracts customers to the business.

For Mr. Ekwo Abraham of Digital Cam, Abuja, customers’ enlightenment about the digital experience is also a major challenge. He adds by saying that the possible invasion of quacks into the business may not be completely overruled as it is with every other business all over the world.

Ekwo, who has been in the business of photography for well over ten years say he started out as a freelance photographer using the analogue system. According to Ekwo, Digital photography will soon completely take over the market.

Experts have also agreed that the economic condition of most Nigerians has not been very favourable to the business. They say most people like quality pictures but would rather settle for the analogue that usually cost them less.

There are however, observations from experts in the business that it would soon take over the entire market.

By Daniel Ochefu

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