At the start of the 2022-2023 school year, Perkiomen Valley High School welcomed Showstopper Photography for yearbook portraits and sports photoshoots.
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, Showstopper was chosen.
“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,” said Dr. Moss, the lead principal of the high school.
As opposed to Lifetouch with studios throughout the United States and Canada, Showstopper is local to eastern PA with its headquarters in Pottstown, PA. The shift from Lifetouch to Showstopper reflects a wider, growing focus on supporting local businesses over large 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,” said Mr. Murphy, the owner of Showstopper Photography.
While relationships behind the scenes between administrators are vital for facilitating business, the relationships built between students and photographers are just as important. Photographers are an extension of their business and its values, and Showstopper continues to commit to its promise of personal service through its hiring process. Showstopper requires all of its photographers to have worked professionally with children for at least 2 years. The results of this decision are reflected in students’ positive experiences.
“It was great [and] everyone was super nice,” said Elyse Tancini, a senior who received her portraits from Showstopper.
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 affordably-priced pictures for families because of the lack of corporate overhead that is inevitable with a larger company; this is another way Showstopper uses its smaller size and scale to the benefit of its customers.
This first year with Showstopper acts as a trial run as only a one-year contract was entered. Assuming Showstopper is able to commit to its promise of a personal touch, students and families can expect Showstopper’s services in the future.