WONDER Photo Shop in Ennis has reinforced its position as a market leader in the photo industry having invested heavily in its printing technology.
Locally owned by Niall Considine, the Fujifilm lab on High Street will celebrate 15 years in business this October and is among Fujifilm’s most progressive outlets. The popular store became one of Fujifilm’s premium brand Wonder Photo stores in 2019, one of only four shops in Ireland to do so alongside its sister store in Galway City. This included an impressive refit which brings the experience of printing your photographs to the next level.
Some eight million prints later – which have captured moments and memories for the people of Clare – Wonder Photo Shop has upgraded its technologies to ensure that millions more memories will be captured and printed at the Ennis premises.
Niall explains that many photo print businesses have been forced to close due to costs associated with advancement in technologies and thanks to this investment, Wonder Photo Shop is future-proofed for the coming decade.
“It’s a full revamp of the printing side and all the PCs and all the technology which should future-proof us for the next 10 years,” explains Niall. “The new machine prints crystal archive photo paper, which will last 40-50 years, it’s what the professional photographer is printing on. It takes a little bit longer to produce a print than an instant printer would but we’re talking 10 times as long lasting and colour reproduction.”
Customers could traditionally print from a postcard size up to A4, however the more powerful technology allows prints of up to 12×16 “and we can turn those out a lot faster and the quality is as good as it’s always been”. Niall notes that there has been an increase in demand for family photos since the pandemic due to people sitting at home “realising they don’t have photos on their walls”. “The larger A3 size would be popular for nice landscape shots to be framed and put on the wall or you would see a lot of group shots from a family occasion, a wedding or a christening.”
He also stresses that each print is treated in-store by hand to ensure colour, lighting and crop checks before a batch is green-lit for printing, with prints ready in as little as 10 minutes.
Wonder Photo Shop has also upgraded its canvas printing operation with a 44-inch wide machine with large-scale capacity, along with an additional printer for customized greeting cards, thank you cards and wedding invitations. “People can come into me, pick the style of the card they want, put their photo on, put their message on and they’re paying the same amount of money [as for a traditional card]. Some customers won’t get their cards anywhere else now.”