My studio specializes in high-volume Memory Mate and action sports photography, undergrad, and preschool photography. When we decided to start a digital lab for our sports programs, we needed printers that could output a fast, high-quality print, with a low cost per unit. The printers also needed to have a low cost of ownership. The Shinko S1245 and S2145 won, hands down.
One of the best features of the S1245, an 8-inch printer, is borderless printing. During the holiday season, we printed 4x8 greeting cards on 8x12-inch paper. The printer cuts the photos to 4x8s, saving us the time of having to trim them by hand. The S1245 prints borderless 8x10s and even does multicuts on two 5x7s. It also has a large print capacity—280 8x10s—before requiring reloading. It also offers paper size options that can be changed in the middle of a roll, with very little waste.
We were one of the first studios to receive the Shinko S2145 when it first came out. In addition to using it for onsite events, we started using it to print proofs from our senior sessions. Cost and turnaround time have allowed us to photograph more seniors and meet their yearbook deadlines. During the senior season, we create a four-image composite and place it into a metal frame to sell on speculation. This one project added more than $4,500 in sales.
By using the Shinko printers, our turnaround time has been cut from 12 to 15 days down to five days or less. Our leagues all love the quick turnaround. Late orders or mistakes on orders are no longer a hassle. We complete them the same day.
The fast turnaround has helped us acquire more contracts in all areas of our volume business. When we photograph sporting events and print onsite, the printers have no problem keeping up with the orders. Actually, more often that not they have to wait for us to give them more orders.
The printers paid for themselves in one sports season and have met all of our needs. Step-by-step instructions make loading the software very easy. Loading the ribbon and the paper is easy, as well. The learning curve on these printers is maybe 30 minutes. My production manager, Melissa, loves these printers because they operate with little or no maintenance. She has run hundreds of rolls of paper without a problem, not even a paper jam or a ribbon break. Every member of my staff can use and change the ribbon and paper.
The S1245 and the S2145 also both start outputting on the paper where the last job was cut, with no waste. And both feature a custom color profile, which helps us achieve the best color possible.
Only things on my wish list for future Shinko printers are a bit quieter model and a better catch tray for finished prints on the S2145 printer.
I recommend the printers for event photographers, sport team and action photographers, any professional photography studio. Once you add a Shinko printer to your studio, you will find you're using it for more projects and wondering how you ever got along without it. They have changed our business workflow, and made us more creative and more profitable.
For more information, visit www.kgdigital.com.
Bruce Haskell of Bruce Haskell Photography (www.brucehaskellphotography.com), in Saco, Maine, has been in business for 19 years. After a photography career in the United States Navy, he opened his studio in 1988, growing it to one of the largest-volume photography studios in Maine. A member of the Professional Photographers of Maine, and a past board member of PPA, Senior Photographers International, and Society of Sports & Event Photographers, Haskell will present seminars on printing elementary and preschool images inhouse in the fall.