Capitol Filmworks Scores Big with Digital
"It really took off when we went into ProShots. People would fly in from all over the country to come to these classes," Joan says. Son Keith teaches classes, and Phil gives courses in both Photoshop and Adobe Elements at the Image Education Center. "Since we are a digital lab, it is to our advantage that our clients, both professional and amateur, have an understanding of digital files and the best non-destructive ways to adjust them," Phil says. "Also, our regular clients know that they can call me with their Photoshop questions and I will always help them."
"We have the ability to train local photographers, and that helps our business by bringing in new business," Rene says.
PicturePackages.com is another realm Capitol Filmworks has entered. "It's a free program for professional photographers designed to make the ordering of packages from digital camera files quick, easy and inexpensive," the lab says. "All they need to have is basic computer skills and a familiarity with the Windows operating system, and the understanding of files, directories, and how to download images from their digital camera." The logo says the program was designed to be "As Easy As ABC." Again, it's another digital aspect of the lab that rakes in the profits.
Capitol Filmworks has been so successful that it recently opened a retail location. "It's also full blown digital," Rene says. "We have one-hour processing, we make proof booksIt's a fully digital retail lab with a photography studio, camera sales and accessories, and a processing plant."
So how has Capitol Filmworks been able to withstand the horror of today's economic hardships and open a new retail store? "It's me," Joan jokes. "I'm the reason." But it's part of the truth. The friendliness and openness the lab offers is testament to that fact. Not many labs can offer a smile over the phone. Capitol Filmworks' wonderful staff does that for their customers. But Joan's real answer is hard work, more hard work, and a personal relationship with their clients.
"Making it a personal touch, and making it our personal business is what has gotten us this far. It's a family-owned business, so we're already a personal place," Joan explains. "Our customers come to us because we take care of them. With us, they're not just a number, they're a name."