Introducing our U.K. Partner: System Insight

Since day one of our ownership of DARKROOM, it has been our mission to improve and instill a top-notch support system for the software. We believe we have succeeded by offering a support hotline and a beefed-up support staff and system — to many accolades. To continue these strides, we are pleased to introduce you to Stuart Morley, president of System Insight, DARKROOM’s new support and supplying partner based in the United Kingdom.

According to their press release announcing the partnership, they are just as excited as we are:

With a solid product like DARKROOM, System Insight are able to provide our customers with not only a first class product but with the usual high levels of service that our customers are used to. SI recognizes that DARKROOM is the professional’s choice for a comprehensive one stop solution which suits a wide range of photographers in today’s market and allows them to maximize profits by streamlining their workflow.

With so much excitement, we decided to ask them a couple of questions about what DARKROOM means ‘across the pond’.

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DARKROOM: We understand there is some enthusiasm for better support and sales of DARKROOM in the United Kingdom and Europe. Can you tell us if there is any particular reason you’ve found?

STUART: Good products need good support. With every product you need to know how to get the best out of it and DARKROOM is no exception. With the correct support and training, users can ensure that DARKROOM solves the majority of their problems quickly and easily. What we’ve seen in the UK is that there is a huge familiarity with DARKROOM and an understanding that the software will solve most, if not all workflow problems, but, just like what Apple is doing here, even the most intuitive products need good support. I don’t know if that is unique to Europe or software, but it’s the truth.

DARKROOM: As we all know, there are a million ways one can use DARKROOM. Do you think European photographers are using DARKROOM software differently than North American photographers? Is the idea of ‘workflow’ different between the continents?

STUART: I don’t imagine that we use DARKROOM any differently in the UK than it is used the USA. I would imagine that soft copy [digital files] is becoming more important and Version 9.1, of course, addresses this need.

DARKROOM: What is your/your customers’ favorite feature(s) in DARKROOM? Any favorite feature of Version 9.1?

STUART: It’s early for favorite features of 9.1, but I would imagine the soft copy [instant digital file features] will be. Also, I know the instant print feature will be incredibly important for many photographers. Oh, and of course, the latest drivers are on the top of my list.

The engineers at DARKROOM have done well with Version 9.1. Don’t let anyone tell you that it does not immediately address A LOT of the wants and needs of today’s photographer. It is pretty clear as of late that DARKROOM is listening to clients. I feel the new owners have taken on a much more interactive relationship with their customers. This may be my most favorite feature of all — If that counts.

DARKROOM: In the U.S. professional photographers have had to take a good look at their prices in order to compete with amateurs (with “prosumer” cameras) and the challenges of the current economy. What can you say about how the industry has changed for you over the past couple of years due to the same factors?

STUART: As with all businesses, our industry has to evolve. What comes to mind is while greenscreen has been available in DARKROOM for some time, know it’s something that most people find difficult if they are not using DARKROOM. Where I am going with this is… all of us are adapting and taking advantage of any tool in our arsenal. Somebody with DARKROOM last year not using greenscreen will be offering it this year to stay ahead of the competition or to at least announce a new service. That transition is very easy because they already own DARKROOM. The same goes for creating templates or printing on-site. There are so many features that a professional business owner will be considering their options. It’s all about staying on top of “your” game.

In my opinion, amateurs will think about the issue in a way that it’s about the latest cameras and how easy it is to “point and shoot” these days. For professionals, it’s not about the latest camera but the best workflow and offering your customer that little bit more.

DARKROOM: Anything else you want to mention? A photography tip for our audience?

STUART: I have a business tip and a photography tip. The business tip: Listen to the customer. We were all given two ears and one mouth and we need to use them in that ratio when dealing with our clients. If we give the customer what they want they will come back. Our industry is no different than any other in this way.

My photography tip: Use your manual zoom! What do I mean? Use your legs and move closer to the client when doing a head and shoulders shot. It’s about building a relationship with your client and interaction is key. I see many photographers just standing still and not interacting with their clients. Make it fun and entertaining and if you are using green screen or overlays give them something special.

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