Following the new school year, Perkiomen Valley High School welcomes Showstopper Photography for yearbook portraits and sports shoots.
Up until last spring, the high school was under contract with Lifetouch for all school-related photography. However, input from parents and students over the years led the school administration to switch companies, and after interviewing four potential vendors, the school chose Showstopper.
“We were looking for a company who could provide a quality product for a good price, a company with a personal touch and good customer service,” Dr. Moss, lead principal of the high school, said.
Following two years behind masks, everyone’s smiles were on full display in time for this year’s picture day. The lack of masks, however, is not the only noticeable change. After years with Lifetouch, the largest school and family photography company in the country, PV entered a contract with Showstopper for the 2022-2023 school year. Unlike Lifetouch, Showstopper is local to Eastern PA. The shift from Lifetouch to Showstopper reflects a wider, growing focus on supporting local businesses over larger corporations, especially post-pandemic when personal connections have become more important than ever before.
“We build these relationships, and they like it, and we like it. And it’s just a more personal service,” Mr. Murphy, owner of Showstopper, said.
While relationships behind the scenes between administrators are vital for facilitating business, the relationships built on the day of school pictures between students and photographers are also just as important. As photographers are an extension of their business and its values, Showstopper continues to commit to their promise of personal service through their hiring process. Showstopper requires all their photographers to have worked professionally for at least two years with children and in photography. The results of this decision are seen through students’ experiences.
“It was great, [and] everyone was super nice!” said Elyse Tancini, a senior who received her portraits.
Alongside personal connections, a critical aspect of the school administration’s decision-making process was affordability. When deciding whether or not to order pictures, the price tag is often a deal-breaker for families.
“Showstopper has quality products reasonably priced. I like the fact that they are a local company,” Dr. Moss said. “Sometimes big companies can’t focus on individual accounts.”
Showstopper is able to sell more affordably-priced pictures for families because of the lack of corporate overhead that is inevitable with a larger company- yet another way Showstopper uses their smaller size and scale to the benefit of their customers.
This first year with Showstopper acts only as a trial run as a one-year contract has been entered. Assuming Showstopper is able to commit to its promise of a personal touch and maintains PV’s interest, students and families can expect Showstopper’s services in the future.