For all the recent advancements in science and technology in the photographic and imaging fields, the general consumer is now expected to have a higher level of knowledge of photography than they were just a decade ago. While digital cameras at all price points offer greatly improved algorithms and better image quality than just a few years ago, the process of turning a captured image into a print or gift requires more knowledge and involvement on the part of the consumer than ever before. Only eight years ago, virtually all photographic images were captured on film. These could be viewed only by having a lab process and print the photos. Consumers wanting to purchase from the limited assortment of photographic gifts had only to take a print, slide or negative to a drug or camera store, fill out the envelope, give it to the clerk and pick up the item days later. Contrast that with the growing variety of photo-based products today, and the level of understanding required of the consumer to successfully manage the purchase of one or more of those products. Resolution, aspect ratio, image compression, file format, storage, and back-up are subjects that did not require consumer understanding in 2000. Today, there is a great deal of confusion and inaction on the part of the consumer, a new approach from the industry could increase sales and help get images off the hard drive. This paper is the culmination of a project by the members of the PMA SPFE Advisory Committee, and offers insights into problems encountered by website and retail photo consumers.
Jay Hitchens, "The Consumer Knowledge Gap in Digital Photography" in Proc. Int'l Symp.on Technologies for Digital Photo Fulfillment, 2009, pp 74 - 78, https://doi.org/10.2352/ISSN.2169-4672.2009.2.0.74