Professional Plotter Technologies: How did you get into photography? Wedding photography?
Ian Borgerhoff: I’ve been taking pictures for over 33 years. As a 15 year old I worked the summer of 1982 mowing lawns to buy a Nikon F3HP. Then, in 2004 a couple of my friends asked if I could photograph their weddings. Considering I had taken a career path in corporate America over photography I decided that my hobby and obsession may need a bit of fine tuning. I went to a few wedding workshops and apprenticed for a full year before taking images at their weddings. I was hooked. The next year I booked 28 weddings, then 35, and have been photographing 45 plus weddings every year since.
PPT: What sets your images apart from other artist’s/ photographer’s?
IB: Everyone is great in their own right. Passion and the need to always learn new things and try techniques outside the box help refine my skills. Coming from the corporate world I was able to read the moods of my clients. This has translated well in the high paces and sometimes stressful life of a wedding photographer and their clients. Keeping a bride comfortable and minimizing their stress insures beautiful images. I also embrace the pro level cameras and lenses. Most of my competitors are moving to the lighter and smaller mirrorless systems. I still love shooting with the pro level Nikon D5’s and a 200mm F2 vrII lens or another heavy prime glass. Optics and rugged equipment are key when shooting at a high energy level over 15 hours. Though I am exhausted at the end of the day it’s always worthwhile knowing I was able to create beautiful images for my bride.
PPT: What is your best memory from a photoshoot?
IB: I had a combined four shoots in eight days. A 500 guest wedding in Chicago, an Italian Wedding on Lake Como in Milan, a rehearsal dinner back in Indianapolis at the world famous St. Elmo’s Steakhouse, and a 450 guest wedding the next Saturday. Sprinkle in driving home after the first wedding to see my newborn daughter for but 3 hours and each event being 15 hours a piece and full of life (never once feeling tired, mind you), the calm after the storm showed that I was no longer in my 20’s and that Sunday morning jet-lag and fatigue proved they had won.
PPT: How are you taking your concept into creation (from a shot list into physical copies)?
IB: I try and create 10 unique shots in each wedding. Everyone can take a picture of a shoe, flowers, rings, and a dress. I am always thinking what picture will the bride and groom want on their mantle to show off to their friends. So creating art shots in a wedding day is always my priority. Though a nice pair of Italian heels are always beautiful in an album I’ve never seen a picture of one hanging over a brides fireplace. I’ve also been suggesting to brides to not put glass in front of their prints. Fine art should be viewed with nothing obstructing print.
PPT: When did you start printing? Why did you start printing? What did you see as the benefits?
IB: My previous career, before going full time wedding photography, was a Xerox Sales Executive who sold high end color and printing systems. So the love of beautiful color print is definitely something I have been around since the 90’s. Those digital press systems are in the half million dollar range. If a client wanted prints I would outsource the job to a pro printing houses. I understood that I would be paying their overhead cost, The biggest problem was uplifting the additional cost to my clients after paying the higher cost of the pro houses. This definitely hindered additional post weeding print sale.
PPT: What made you take the leap into wide format?
IB: Having the expertise in printing helped me make that transition to bringing print in house versus outsourcing it. I could control quality, provide superior media, manage cost, and offer benchmark output at a greatly reduced price to my clients while still making a great profit. Besides the initial cost of the device the cost of the print is about ten cents on the dollar. So a product that cost me $75 to produce would have to be sold for $100 to make a profit of $25. By bringing it in-house I can produce that for about $7 sell 2x to 4x more for the selling price of $60. The profit is larger and the volume is higher. I was also able to beat out a few of my competitors by offering additional prints in my package. My cost was minimal but the added value to the client guaranteed me the business. This has already happened three times since I purchased the PRO4000 a month ago. It’s paid for itself five times over already based on the revenue generated from those three booked weddings.
PPT: How do you like your PRO 4000 MFR?
IB: So far it’s excellent! I’m excited to order rolls from Professional Plotter Technologies. You all have been so helpful in setup and support. The sky is the limit in creating big and bold images and providing affordable images to my clients while still being able to create a positive additional source of income for my studio.
To learn more about our great offers and the printer Ian Borgerhoff uses, contact us today.