A whole new world: European Photographers in Trieste

When I was about 8 years old, I read the book ‘The Witches’ by Roald Dahl, a truly terrifying but magical story about an annual convention of witches from all over. Not that I expected photographers to be similar to potential dangerous creatures, but the comparison sprung into my mind when I was travelling to Trieste last Friday for the Photography Masters Conference of the Federation of European Photographers. I was on my way to attend my first FEP event.

Featured image

I must admit that it wasn’t an entirely black hole to jump into. As ChromaLuxe has been partner of the Belgian National association for Professional Photographers who are a very active and interactive group of photographers, for a few years now, meeting up with the European Federation didn’t seem a very big leap. Being a partner of the Belgian association had taught us a lot about the profession of the photographer, how they think, what they need and how many differences there can be between all those who call themselves photographers. We’ve introduced ChromaLuxe over the last few years to the Belgian members and were able to convince them of the quality of our product. The positive feedback of our fellow countrymen made us decide to become a partner of the Federation of European Photographers: one step beyond!

This was what happened before. Now, in Trieste, I was entering a whole new world and I had one official objective and one personal. The official one: networking. The FEP represents 17 European countries; in some of them we’re very active already with ChromaLuxe Labs. The others were the subject of objective n°1. I’ve met people from Georgia, Russia, Slovakia, Ireland, Denmark, Portugal… Different backgrounds, but all great, interesting people.

My second objective was personal: suck in as much information as possible. In between the networking opportunities during breaks and dinners, there was an actual event going on: speakers from the photographic world followed one another talking about lighting, portraits, photo manipulation and photo combination. I’ve learned by listening, by talking to photographers and by being honest: I don’t have a background in photography, but I want to build a sound understanding. It was amazing how far you get by doing these three things. If you want to sell a product to someone, first get to know them. Then become a partner, and prove to them that you don’t just want to sell.

A thought on networking:

The key is: take your time. Don’t throw your cards around; never give one when people simply aren’t interested: better wait for the next occasion. It’s like dating, really, if you’re too keen you’ll end up alone because they will simply run away from you. When you enter a room, don’t jump the first person you see, go and take an interesting position, by the bar for instance: a place where people will end up anyway and mostly are open for an introduction. Don’t work your way around the room, don’t let yourself get caught as business card sponger. Take your time: never move too fast from one to another. Treat your potential business partners as friends, don’t interrupt them when they are talking to someone else, don’t give them the impression you want to make the deal tonight but get to know them. Take. Your. Time.

One free extra tip: Use your LinkedIn! What I do when returning from an event like this is connect to my ‘new friends’ on LinkedIn. This is when they become business relationships.

I went home on Monday with new friends, their business cards, the promise to be in touch to talk about ChromaLuxe but above all a mind filled with new insights in photography. Thank you members of FEP for the warm welcome, for the interesting weekend but mainly for the acquired knowledge: it will surely help us become even better partners.

Featured image


Featured image Carolyn Krekels is jr Marketing Manager at Universal Woods EMEA, in Schelle, Belgium. She has been taking care of the EMEA marketing for the Universal Woods products for 9 years so far, first working for the EMEA distribution partner of Universal Woods. In 2012 she joined the Universal Woods EMEA team. In Carolyn’s posts, she will give you insight in the marketing actions organised by Universal Woods EMEA and can give you useful hands-on tips on how to bring your product to the market. Contact her via carolynk@chromaluxe.com


Photography in a challenging economy: Photolab, Athens, Greece

It is well known that the recent developments for the Greek economy have been very frustrating. Since 2008 Greek enterprises have been facing thousands of problems, some of them have withstood when others have not. Many address these problems with passivity while others with activation. Photolab chose extroversion, the bFeatured imageelief in staff capabilities as well as the equipment, and of course the 35 years of experience in the domain.

The last five years, there have been endless hours of meetings with my partners so as to trace a new road, a strategy that will meet the economy’s current conditions. There have been plenty of ideas. Price reduction, new highly commercial products, operating cost reduction, etc. All of these proposals did not satisfy me. The faith in our potentials did not allow me to drift in that kind of logic.

During 2008 we reached our first decisions. Purchase of a new private building, investment in a brand new UV machine and simultaneously complete renovation of our head office. The following years the same logic prevailed. Photolab’s accession into the E.U. program of subsidies for business and capital investments of approximately 250.000€ in new equipment. New digital cutter, new printers, certification as an official ChromaLuxe lab and much more.Featured image

In 2014, we arranged our first participation as ChromaLuxe’s guest exhibitors in the world’s biggest photo exhibition show in Cologne of Germany, known as Photokina. Photolab achieved the greatest compliments from visitors for our whole presence. Our certification as one of the 14 Official ChromaLuxe Labs in the world, made it worth our while.

ChromaLuxe’s products have helped Photolab achieve its goals to enter the European market and simultaneously increase sales into the Greek market. More particularly, since February 2013 Metal Prints have grown ten times, proving that we work intently in that direction.

The market has embraced Metal Print, despite the fact that it is a premium and expensive materiaFeatured imagel as far as Greek facts is concerned. Metal Print is an extremely unique material, requires top quality equipment plus very high and demanding level knowledge of color management. It is not a product that everyone can deal with. That fact actually can be proved from the small number of Official ChromaLuxe Labs around the world.

Photolab provides what is best in order to satisfy Greek as well as European customers. We set up all the production line according to ChromaLuxe instructions, Zund’s digital cutter so as to support custom dimensions without compromising on quality, as well as shipping services for Metal Prints in every European country through our collaboration with TNT delivery.

As an epilogue, let’s believe in Greece, lets be inspired by a wonderful country with beautiful people. Greek businesses can be on the top and Photolab will always be in the front row!!!


Being a meFeatured imagember of the team since 1998, Stratos Actidis is leading Photolab for the last 4 years. He has studied Photography in the Leica Academy of Athens from 1998 up to 2000. He has been highly trained in colour management and as an operator of various systems like Durst Lambda 130, Fujifilm Frontier 355, Zund G3 250M digital cutter, Konica digital offset printer, Roland and Epson ink jet printers and much more. Furthermore he is a Photoshop expert and he has personally designed Photolab’s awarded web site: www.photolab.gr.