The Ship’s Photographer

The Ship’s Photographer commissions six SureLab photo printers

The Ship’s Photographer

When you take a cruise the chances are that you will buy a photograph taken on board as a memento of the trip. If you take a cruise on Britannia, P&O Cruises latest ship, the company that will be shooting and printing the beautiful photos on an Epson SureLab DL-3000SR printer in super quick time is ‘The Ship’s Photographer’ (TSP).

Epson on-board

Based in Southampton, UK, TSP is headed up by General Manager Andrew Burt who coordinates a team of 69 photographers and on board photo lab managers operating across a fleet of eight ships. The team are kept busy taking photographs of the many events held day and night on board, running studios for more formal portraits, and photographing the 300+ weddings that take place every year.

The newest – and largest – ship to join the P&O Cruises fleet is Britannia. Launched in March 2015 it carries over 3,600 guests and is the first P&O Cruises ship to be equipped exclusively with Epson SureLab digital dry lab printers. Tetenal, the UK's leading photographic print hardware distributor, supplied the printers not only for Britannia, but also one each for Aurora, Azura and Oceana with more planned in the future across the rest of the P&O Cruises fleet.

“We evaluated several dry lab and dye sub photo printers before choosing the two Epson SureLabs for Britannia,” says Andrew. “Print quality and maximum reliability are the two most important criteria and the SureLab delivered on both. Since they have been installed on the Britannia they have been in constant use around the clock - one printer alone has produced an average of just over 8,000 8x10-inch prints every month.”

Guests can browse and select photographs by event, time and location from digital displays, these are then automatically sent to the SureLabs for printing and ready for collection within hours.

It's all in the detail

A six-colour digital printer, the easy-to-use and set up Epson SureLab is specifically designed for high-volume, high-quality photo production applications. It features Epson's Micro Piezo printheads and UltraChrome D6 6-colour photo ink-set to produce beautiful wide-gamut prints. Its compact footprint makes it ideal for use on cruise ships where space can be limited. While the SureLab can print on a variety of media up to 12-inches wide, TSP standardises on 8x10 glossy prints to streamline production and meet its tight turnaround deadlines.

Part of the service

Ship’s photography is a speculative and very competitive business and TSP is very good at it. “We rely on the latest technology and innovations to remain successful and engaging,” explains Andrew “Essentially competition comes from guests who are taking photographs with their own cameras and smart phones and our aim is to create a photography experience which is part of their holiday. So we have to take the very best shots, display them digitally very quickly so that guests can browse, select, print and receive photos within 30 minutes. We deliver a very slick operation under pressure and the technology we use has to perform to the highest standard. Our success rate is very high in this industry, with 1 in 4 photographs sold as a print.”

TSP relies on the good relationship it has with Tetenal, not only to supply the printers and consumables it needs to keep operating around the clock 24/7, but also for installation, training and support. “P&O Cruises ships are only in port for a limited number of hours before they depart on the next cruise so Tetenal have a very small window if they need to check anything but they are always happy to work to our tight schedules,” says Andrew.