Digitally Transforming
School Photography With Vancols

School photos have been a fixture of British society for generations, with the
earliest examples seen during the Victorian era when photography was still in
its infancy. Until relatively recently, children and their families took part in a very
familiar process, with image packs or image proofs sent home in school bags
and the final photo choices paid for in cash, often on a sale or return basis.

Delivering a digital-first solution

For the last seven years, IJYI's David Brunning, Head of Technology, has worked closely with the Vancols leadership team to guide the business through the entire technology design and development process.

Implemented as a long-term plan, the importance of delivering a digital-first solution for schools and parents alike became much more urgent, however, as a result of COVID-19 and the need to protect school staff, children and photography professionals.

"As early adopters of technology in the school photography industry, we've always had a close eye on innovation in a relatively staid market. When the
pandemic took hold, our objective was to find an effective way of maintaining our services to schools and families, this meant making the process as safe and simple as possible," explained Janus van Helfteren, Managing Director of Vancols.

"Our focus on technology innovation has always been important, but never more so than in the past 18 months. It's very rare that you find a technology partner who really understands your needs and is willing to go beyond the core technical priorities to really focus on your business." 

- Vancols

Today, the Vancols school photography service is a digitally enhanced experience that begins with organising each photo shoot. Schools operate an efficient process where each student is assigned a unique barcode that links them to their images from start to finish.

As each student arrives to have their photos taken, they present their barcode for scanning by the photographer, who is positioned behind a perspex screen throughout the shoot. The whole process is designed to maintain social distancing and ensure schools can continue the photography tradition with complete confidence – measures which will remain in place until official COVID guidance allows them to be relaxed.

Ready to start delivering something amazing?

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