Radio Interview Transcripts

360 Spin Photography From Snap 36


ANNOUNCER:  Welcome to the More Photos’ Radio Photography Spotlight brought to you by helping professional photographers with all their internet needs. Also brought to you by Finally, an e-commerce solution for professional photo labs that makes sense. Now here is your host, Damien Allen.  DAMIEN: Good morning and welcome to More Photos Radio. My name is Damien Allen, and joining me today on the telephone is Michael Dreas of SNAP 36.  Good morning and welcome to the program, Michael.
MICHAEL: Good morning. Thanks for having me.
DAMIEN: It’s a pleasure to have you with us today, sir. Now SNAP 36 is a very unique company. Could you tell us what do you do that is so different from other photography studios, Michael?
MICHAEL: We specialize in 360 and 3D spin photography. You’re starting to see online where you can click and drag an image and see it from all different angles. What’s unique is we use a set of robots to get this process going, because any photographer can shoot the stuff, it’s the time allotted to shoot multiple photos at all these different angles. So with our system it can be done very quickly and efficiently.
DAMIEN: What is the history and background of SNAP 36, Michael?
MICHAEL: The owner of the company, Christine, her husband works in the rich media business and so they were kicking around an idea to start a new company, and he happened to be at a tradeshow in Europe and ran across a booth of Photo Robots. It’s a company out of the Czech Republic that makes the system that we use. So they decided to fill a niche market in the U.S., because they saw this spin photography was going to become more popular in the coming years and this was about 2 years ago that they had the idea. So we met the owners of the Photo Robot, and we are the exclusive North American distributors for the robots, and then we use those for our studio.
DAMIEN: How was this technology developed?
MICHAEL: Photo Robot is a division of a large, I think, a tool company. A joke it’s like the granger of Eastern Europe and the owner wanted to spin his tools and his products, because spinning was becoming more prevalent over there and there wasn’t a real good way to do it.  So he is kind of an industrious guy, and he got his engineers on it, and they through a few generations came up with the system we use today.
DAMIEN: Now why use SNAP 36?  What is the benefit provided to clients by using SNAP 36?
MICHAEL: Well the robot system is really the base of it, because like I said, any photographer, I’ve been a photographer for 15 years now, and I can shoot a full three dimensional spin of a product, but it would take me all day to do one product. Where with our robots, it’s very repeatable. So we have a table that measures 3’ x 6’ with about a 3’ flush mounted lazy susan in the middle of it, and then we have a robotic arm that moves from like a straight on shot at zero degrees over the top pointing straight down to 90 degrees and with the movement of those two things, you can get just about any angle you want. You can program it. It will run from there and it’s very repeatable and very fast. So because of that, we are able to keep the costs lower and thus let a retailer with thousands of products have spin on their site where a couple of years ago that was impossible just because of the time and the cost involved in the photography.
DAMIEN: Michael, what is the SNAP 36 solutions and how does it work with my existing workflow?
MICHAEL: Well the nice thing about it is that you’ve got these robot pieces, and we’ve got that table, and you’ve got the moving arm. We’ve got a smaller robot called the Cube that hangs off the table or if you need a larger rig for some reason and so that’s good for hanging odd shaped products like maybe a wrench or something. You can hang it with fishing line, and then we have a larger platform that is 6’ in diameter that holds 1,000 lbs, and they are all controlled by the same little piece of software, but way it fits with the workflow is nice in that the arm has a standard tripod head on it so you can put pretty much any camera system on it. I will tell you that our system integrates better with Canons because the developer of the software for the system has a Canon control built into it, but through the use of some cables we can use any camera. So it fits into workflow with any camera, any lighting, because it’s not specific to any lighting like some other similar products using florescent tubes or something that are built into the design. This lets the photographer use his existing lighting and then on the back end on the production part of it all our software does is control the robots and trip the camera and the case of the Canons it will import the images into a folder. So at that point, you could use Lightroom, Capture 1, Aperture, you know, whatever piece of software you’re already using to manage your workflow. It just kind of fits right in there. So it’s just another tool.
DAMIEN: Do you do specialized installation and training with the robotic equipment?
MICHAEL: Yes. Once it’s up and running it is a great system, but obviously the initial set-up can get a little complicated. There are lasers involved, like the table itself has a couple of line lasers that give you a nice cross hair in the middle so you know where to put the product and it kind of speed that goes along with the efficiency and that helps line up the arm as well. So the initial training we usually recommend if someone were going to get the table top set-up which would be the arm, the table, and the Cube that attaches to the top of the table. We usually say 3 days of set-up and training is pretty adequate, because I’ll come down, help a person unpack it, get it set-up, make sure all the networking and computer stuff is good, and then we’ll get it set up and then spend a couple of days just shooting different products so they can see how to tackle some different situations.
DAMIEN: What is the range of service does that SNAP 36 provides?
MICHAEL: We’re a photo studio as well as a robot sales, so we want to try to get the photo business or photo services from your mid to small size companies, send us products, we’ll spin them. We can either do 360 spins which is just a flat rotating spin, or 3 dimensional spins to pretty much any spec or angle a customer can request and then those things need to be outlined or retouched to a certain point. We can take care of that too. We try to avoid that as much as possible, because when you get into retouching and outlying say 72 images on a nice spin, the cost is going to go up. So we try to shoot everything right the first time and minimize a lot of the post production. Traditional photo studio, but specifically 3D and 360 and then we also for larger companies whom they have already investment in house photographers and photo equipment and that type of thing, it doesn’t make sense for them to send products to use, we’ll go ahead then and either sell or lease or do a subscription plan of our robots which we’ll then help install and train so they can get spin up on their site.
DAMIEN: Very nice. Could you kindly share your website and contact information with the listening audience, Michael?
MICHAEL: Yeah. Our website is and you can contact us at or (630) 920-1070.
DAMIEN: Thank you very much for joining us today and discussing SNAP36 with us.
MICHAEL: Great I appreciate the call.
DAMIEN: You have been listening to More Photos Radio. We’ve been speaking to Michael Dreas of SNAP36
three dimensional and 360 photography.  My name is Damien Allen. Everyone have a great afternoon.
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