Remember when a photograph was something that you held in your hand, looked at in an album, admired in a frame? Kodak does and wants to remind us all how it feels.
Kodak Eastman introduced the world to the concept of simple, straightforward photography in 1888 with the Brownie camera and the slogan "you press the button, we do the rest." Generations of us grew taking photos with a Kodak camera on Kodak film, then sitting down with friends and family and looking at them together.
However the world of consumer imaging has evolved and Kodak has paid a heavy price for not evolving with it. In the digital age it's estimated that 83% of photographs are never printed and Kodak is not alone in struggling to find a new niche in this changing market.
The vast majority of photos are shared via social media, mainly because it's quick and easy to do so, and to share with lots of people simultaneously. Many of us, though, lament the passing of the photograph and miss holding one in our hands or leafing through an album. It's this innate need to hold something physical and the power of social media that Kodak is hoping to capitalise on with its Picture Kiosks.
In 2011 the Kodak Picture Kiosks were updated, making it easy for customers to access and print their photos from social media sites like Facebook. The Picture Kiosks are located in retail sites around the world (find your nearest one here) and allow you to upload, edit and print photos from a CD, memory card or flash drive. The enhancements mean that it is possible to access your Facebook photos directly and even allows you to view and print your friends' photos if they share photos with you. In just a few minutes, you can access, edit, re-touch and personalize your pictures the print them out or have them made into gifts such as greeting cards or calendars.
The Picture Kiosks alone aren't going to save Kodak but the tie-in with Facebook does suggest that it's looking for new ways to connect to its customer base. However, in an age where everything is shared digitally and for free, is there any mileage in encouraging people to pay for printing their pictures? Do you miss being able hold your photos or do you prefer to share them digitally? Consumer imaging is ever-changing so what does the future hold and what can the likes of Kodak do to keep us interested? Tell us what you think.
by Anthony Morgan