Palo Alto, Calif. - Despite the abundance of consumer-oriented photo editing software on the market, digital camera owners are still loathe to use it because of a lack of understanding or free time, says Ron Gentile, co-founder and chief product and technology officer of Bellamax.
This leaves an untapped market for Bellamax, a digital retouching company founded by ex-Adobe executives and formally announced at the PMA show in February 2002. The company has just inked a deal with the online print provider BigNose.com to offer its digital image file retouching services to BigNose customers.
Bellamax gives consumers a chance to have a digital image professionally retouched and sent back to them (as a file) for approximately $2.99 per image.
According to Gentile, the company is focused on three areas of consumer outreach: direct to consumer through the Bellamax Web-site; partnerships with online photofinishers (like its deal with BigNose) and to retail outlets that offer digital print fulfillment.
To the later, all a retailer would need is an Internet connection. The files can be sent from the in-store location and turned around in an hour, or less, if need be Gentile said. Bellamax would structure pricing based on order volume, with a suggested $2.99 to be added to the customer's price.
'This is a perfect up-sell opportunity for retailers,' said Gentile.
At a time when many in the photo industry are concerned about the lack of digital camera printing, Gentile is confident that customers will pay extra for retouching.
'What we've found is that while people are making fewer prints of their digital images, they are making 8 x 10s of special ones, spending far more money on a single image than ever before. Wouldn't they want to spend an additional three dollars to have the photo professionally retouched?'
Most retailers have neither the time nor the ability to professionally retouch a digital image, said Gentile. 'The process we bring to bear is proprietary and goes well beyond what even professional labs can do. We'll integrate with a lab or retailer's workflow seamlessly.'
Gentile expects that Bellamax will announce more partnerships soon as a value-added provider to several major businesses.