Every year, the world's largest photography industry awards, celebrating technological, design, and ergonomic advancements are voted on by the Technical Image Press Association (TIPA), which consists of 26 international editors of renowned professional photo magazines. The WhiteWall Photo Lab received a TIPA prize for the fourth time. WhiteWall took home the award for "Best Photo Lab," in 2013, 2017, and 2020. This year WhiteWall has been awarded the prestigious Award once more for its latest innovation, "WhiteWall RoomView," a new tool allowing us to see any photo in a space virtually including our own living space.
WhiteWall RoomView allows photographers, gallery owners and interior designers a whole new way to view photographs in a given space. The photo to be printed is uploaded to the WhiteWall configurator and can be viewed in 3D on the support. Just upload a photo of an interior, a wall, or use the default interior. Only the dimensions of the wall or those of an already exposed painting should be entered as a reference. Some elements can be hidden and a white point can be set to inform the appropriate lighting conditions. The preview of the painting in an interior is thus almost real and the painting can be individually configured.
IRK Magazine caught up with the founder and innovator behind WhiteWall Alexander Nieswandt. As a photographer himself he has strived to offer the greatest service, quality and innovation in the industry making WhiteWall the recognized leading photo lab in the world.
IRK: What distinguishes Whitewall from other photo labs?
Alexander: We distinguish ourselves by the fact that, while we retain the element of classical photo exposure on photo paper, we also offer all of the new technologies. We offer our customers an exceptional online shop and at the same time professional advice in our international stores and shop-in-shops at Lumas and Leica. The breadth and quality of our products stand out; our standards are very high in both directions. One unique feature, for example, is that our customers can order the size of their wall art to the millimeter – with or without a frame – that makes no difference to us.
IRK: WhiteWall won 4 TIPA Awards (Technical Image Press Association). In 2020 you won the coveted Best Laboratory Award and this year you won an award for your innovative "WhiteWall RoomView". Can you tell us how RoomView is revolutionary?
Alexander: We are the first in the photo industry to have developed and offer such an ingenious tool in-house. I've had the idea in my head for quite a while now. The WhiteWall RoomView has not yet exhausted all its possibilities, we will continue developing it further. What is revolutionary about WhiteWall RoomView is that for the first time, we are offering our customers the possibility to visualize the images in their very own room. We offer customers planning security that has never existed before. What you see is what you get!
IRK: We are very impressed by WhiteWall's high-end prints. What products are you most proud of at WhiteWall.
Alexander: WhiteWall offers a wide range of products for different target groups. But what unites all our customers is our enthusiasm for photography. What excites me the most as a photographer myself is the WhiteWall Masterprint. For the very first time, it is possible to seamlessly print and laminate Fine Art Prints under gallery acrylic glass in the maximum size of 500 x 240 cm. The WhiteWall Masterprint is Fine Art perfection for great masterpieces.
IRK: Can you tell us about the technicians and artisans who make WhiteWall's amazing prints and frames?
Alexander: We believe that artistic photography deserves only the best. For this reason, we combine traditional development methods with the latest technology and craftsmanship. Our team consists of 180 passionate professionals who love photography and who deliver premium quality to our clients every day.
IRK: As the founder of WhiteWall can you tell me why you created WhiteWall and how you grew into the leading photo laboratory?
Alexander: Even as a schoolchild, the passion for photography had already taken a hold of me. I was already the one behind the camera for the school newspaper. The photo lab is like the common thread throughout my professional career. However, one meaningful milestone was digitalization within the industry in the late 80s/early 90s. This was very intriguing for me personally and paved the way for my path forward. Offering laboratory products online in a digital format was still absolutely visionary in 2006, but I believed in it and WhiteWall was born. We were the first movers in the industry.
IRK: You support a lot of artists with your ambassador program and other artists too. Is it important to you and WhiteWall to contribute to the arts and artists?
Alexander: We are very proud of our Ambassador Program and also of the good relationships we have with professional photographers across the world. For us, this contact as well as the feedback are both very important. Our mutual exchanges show us again and again where the needs of our customers lie and what areas we can possibly adapt. Many photographers have been with us for a long time and some of them have become true friends.
IRK: Where is WhiteWall available and will you be expanding?
Alexander: We offer our service and products in our webshop. Currently, we have launched a configurator on our website that offers a number of features such as visualization of your own wall art in your very own room – the WhiteWall RoomView. For this tool we were awarded the TIPA World Award for Best Photo Lab in May. Our clients can also sign up for individual online consultation appointments with our experts through our website. Otherwise, we also have four WhiteWall stores in Germany and shop-in-shops worldwide. In addition to online advice, customers can also obtain personal advice in those locations.
We are currently planning to further expand the shop-in-shops with Leica, in a total of six Leica Stores worldwide, including Munich, Paris, Hong Kong. We are already active in Rome, Beijing and LA. Further locations are being planned.
IRK: WhiteWall has a great website that is very intuitive but can we see WhiteWall products in any real locations?
Alexander: Because of our cooperation with selected photographers, our products can be seen in many exhibitions. The artists rely on our quality and individuality of the products – we are the absolute partner of choice for many exhibitions and galleries. Currently we have produced the exhibition "Family Affairs" at the House of Photography of the Deichtorhallen Hamburg. We produced this group exhibition as a partner of the Deichtorhallen art center together with the curator Ingo Taubhorn. That was an incredible task, and the exhibition can be seen in Hamburg until July.
IRK: One of the things that has stood out the most to us at IRK is your large range of innovative products from prints on wood, extra extra large photos, pop frames, and more. And this year's TIPA award is another innovation. Can we expect this trend to continue?
Alexander: Innovation drives us. We always want to improve, and we are always looking ahead. Standing still is not my thing!
Want More: https://www.whitewall.com/