Beijing – The social-media-influencer marketplace in China has brought on a series of satellite cottage industries around it. In the country’s capital, for example, the digital-mouthpiece game has revived the maligned portrait studio. With the competition becoming adept at selfie-and-filter logistiscs, many up-and-coming names have figured out that the only way to stand out from the pack is with higher-end studio photography.
Take, for example, one of the largest in Beijing: Elefoto Space. The company made its name by providing above-average ID photos for resumés in traditional small studios. Now, due to the increased photographic feed required by voracious social media consumers, they’ve opened a 250-sq-m space packed with two studios, makeup stations, Photoshop desks, changing stations and lounging spaces for entourages. To do so, they brought on board Daylab Studio — they of Heyshop and Bar JI fame.
The main customer is the web influencer of the consumption-upgrade era
But Elefoto also wanted to stand out from its own pack. ‘These studios have become quite a big business,’ offered Daylab’s Yongpeng Liu. ‘Currently, there are three chain stores that run their business quite well in large Chinese cities — Elefoto is one of the top three.’ To them, that meant no gimmicky props, no emoji aesthetic — the idea they wanted to convey was one of reliable technical high-quality, which could lead to repeat visits. ‘Yes, the main customer is the web influencer of the consumption-upgrade era,’ explained Liu. ‘But Elefoto, the client, wanted to deliver a message about their professionalism and taste, rather than piling up dazzling popular elements to cater to female consumers — the main customers here are women aged 20 to 30. That’s why we went for what we call introverted taste.’