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will the big studio flash manufacturers survive?
  
 
RustyBug
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p.3 #1 · p.3 #1 · will the big studio flash manufacturers survive?


Lori,

Thanks for the insight into the variance at U.S. impact v.s non-U.S. impact. The stat @ what PCB is seeing in female growth is interesting as well. How do you correlate the photo/lighting industry relative to the overall U.S. economy (non-brand specific) ... i.e. stagnant, decline, rebounding, etc.?

Welcome to FM.



Oct 03, 2013 at 08:46 PM
Deezie
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p.3 #2 · p.3 #2 · will the big studio flash manufacturers survive?


Paul wasn't blunt, he was truculent. There's a difference. Things are calmer here now that he's gone, and Paul still provides a line of product that's reliable and offers more features than just about any other manufacturer at its price point. I'm glad to see Paul doing well. I will say that I'm starting to see his lights appear on commercial shoots, so kudos to Paul.

I don't see brands like Profoto, Bron, Hensel and Elinchrom going away unless their business practices are flawed. In spite of there being slightly less print work out there, commercial photographers are going to need the same tools to create the light and shadows they want on their subjects, in addition to needing more power to deal with issues of sun and large spaces.

Regardless, of the medium, I'll still be using flags, kickers, octos, strip lights, packs - and sometimes, monos - you name it. This is not something I can do with cheap lights from China. Anyone who thinks that has probably never worked in commercial advertising. Most of my shoots are at studios that offer lighting packages, or I shoot in other cities where, once again, I'll have to rent lights. No rental house is going to provide cheap lights, either now or in the future due to the daily pounding they take.

I would hope that if anything, lights become smaller, lighter and yet retain their power levels.




Oct 03, 2013 at 10:06 PM
jzucker
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p.3 #3 · p.3 #3 · will the big studio flash manufacturers survive?


I'm elated that Paul is doing well. In addition to stop action and constant color and reliability and service, paul's einstein flash units go down to extremely low power settings , allowing you to use it for fill flash outdoors at wide aperture settings, something that some of the other expensive units can't do. We use that feature quite often. We've also used it with a flo ring light as the main light and a pair of einstein lights as rim lights. I could never have done that with elinchrom as I couldn't get them below F8 at their lowest power setting and I'm typically shooting the main flo in that setup at iso 640 and F5.6. I'd be at F16-32 with the elinchrom!


Oct 03, 2013 at 10:25 PM
BrianO
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p.3 #4 · p.3 #4 · will the big studio flash manufacturers survive?


lorislucky wrote:
...The point nobody addressed here is that approximately 50% of our customers are now female.


Why would anyone have addressed that? The title of this thread is "will the big studio flash manufacturers survive?" The gender of the buyers has absolutely zero to do with that, only absolute numbers regardless of gender.

It's an interesting (to some) aside, but far from "the point."



Oct 04, 2013 at 12:48 AM
Micky Bill
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p.3 #5 · p.3 #5 · will the big studio flash manufacturers survive?


BrianO wrote:
Why would anyone have addressed that? The title of this thread is "will the big studio flash manufacturers survive?" The gender of the buyers has absolutely zero to do with that, only absolute numbers regardless of gender.

It's an interesting (to some) aside, but far from "the point."


I find it very interesting that 50% of PCB customers are female. Can the same be said for Hensel, Elinchrom, Broncolor, etc? Are female photographers an emerging market for all lighting companies in a shrinking or stagnant industry?
Go into any high end rental house or commercial studio and it is far from a 50:50 ratio, men vastly outnumber the wormen. I know a woman who started shooting 6 years ago and now bills $200k shooting babies, newborns, toddlers etc for $2-4000 a job. She's not looking to shoot ads for Delta or Doritos, shes happy with her PCBs and working with kids a few days a week.



Oct 04, 2013 at 01:49 AM
 

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Gregg Heckler
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p.3 #6 · p.3 #6 · will the big studio flash manufacturers survive?


"Are female photographers an emerging market for all lighting companies in a shrinking or stagnant industry?"

Who said the the market is shrinking? Do you have some industry insight? It may be coming a little competition saturated but I don't think it's shrinking.

Guessing market share, especially when there are so many competitors, is just that, a guess. First you have to guess at what the overall market potential is and then you have to guess at how much of it you have or think you can get. And that's if you are looking at "all" studio light sales not breaking it down to consumer, pro, rental, studio, distributor, sales, etc. Maybe if you break it down to the consumer and price sensitive she's probably right. Sure there are pros who care about price but anyone making a living at it will consider performance an longevity first an foremost, or upgrade later. And selling direct makes it even harder because you have to guess at it all on your own unless there is some industry group that does it for you. I have do doubt that Buff has a significant share of the consumer market when it comes to units sold i.e. volume, but the Lyon's share of the U.S. market, well I guess that's just a guess. I would say they probably has most of the "price" market here. But on the other hand, growing the female market is good as any new sales and growth are good. All my tell reps tell me they have all the business at our customers all the time



Oct 04, 2013 at 02:30 AM
Micky Bill
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p.3 #7 · p.3 #7 · will the big studio flash manufacturers survive?


Gregg Heckler wrote:
"Are female photographers an emerging market for all lighting companies in a shrinking or stagnant industry?"

Who said the the market is shrinking? Do you have some industry insight? It may be coming a little competition saturated but I don't think it's shrinking.



You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows...
It is shifting...i don;t know where you fit into the pecking order of photographers but I know that in many higher end genres of commercial work like product and automotive (other than rental houses, the people who buy much of the high end strobe systems) there is a lot of CGI taking the place of actual photography. Catalog studios have been closing and downsizing for years. Newspapers lay off photographers and rely on the public to fill the void.
Alot of photographers I know used to make a good living toiling away in the vast middleground of commercial photography. Not so much anymore, some are bankrupt some are frantically downsizing...the extreme high end is still there and the bottom level will always be there but a lot of the middle class (where most of us are/were) is either gone overseas, or to knuckleheads who charge $300 for a job that's worth $3500, or to RF stock, or many other economic factors.
OTOH, smaller studios or photographers are popping up and numerically will offset the "number of photographers" but a 20,000 sq ft car studio with a couple photographers a few Phase backs and 80,000 ws of strobe gear spends more money outfitting their studio than the friend of mine who shoots newborns with daylight...but they are all still counted as photographers.
FWIW ever since I started shooting in my 20s people have been saying the market is saturated...



Oct 04, 2013 at 05:31 AM
dmacmillan
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p.3 #8 · p.3 #8 · will the big studio flash manufacturers survive?


Micky Bill wrote:
I find it very interesting that 50% of PCB customers are female.

MWAC



Oct 04, 2013 at 12:45 PM
RustyBug
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p.3 #9 · p.3 #9 · will the big studio flash manufacturers survive?


Micky Bill wrote:
FWIW ever since I started shooting in my 20s people have been saying the market is saturated...


+1

Does anyone think it would really ever be "under saturated"

It is a competitive market and always has been that I know of ... with high turnover to go along with it. With a perpetual volume of "dropouts", the "oversaturation" dialogue is a bit of a more palatable way of saying, that your competition was better than you or that you weren't up to the task (talent/temperament) to compete (business/marketing/creativity/change with trends/etc.) with others.

I say this not to cast stones, but rather from looking in the mirror at various times along the way when I succumbed myself to the "oversaturation" mindset, rather than facing the reality that it was me not wanting to compete, rather than the market being over-saturated. Sure, the market waxes/wanes/shifts/changes/rises and falls ... but if you're gonna surf, you gotta learn how to read the swells and be ready to paddle fast, not just sit on your board and wait for the perfect wave to come your way before deciding to give up.

If you want to have part of the market share, you've got to get in there and either shift some customers away from somebody else, or generate a different market for yourself or command a higher dollar for the share you've got. That's kinda the way it goes with free enterprise. So, if others are shifting customers away from you ... that's market competition and they probably aren't singing the "over-saturated" song, cause they are too busy paddling. The larger market is always competing for the available customer/dollar. That's just the nature of business (i.e. the market) ... all business.




Oct 04, 2013 at 12:57 PM
Mark_L
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p.3 #10 · p.3 #10 · will the big studio flash manufacturers survive?


If phaseone can be doing ok selling medium format digital which start in the tens of thousands I think bron and profoto can survive.


Oct 04, 2013 at 04:42 PM
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