The Evolution of Photography: From Film to Digital Mastery
These days everyone is a photographer.
Older folks hark back to an age when taking snaps meant purchasing a film, carefully taking a strictly limited number of shots and then returning the film to the pharmacist (after first taking great pains to scroll the film to its end to avoid exposure to the light and consequent ruination), then waiting for a week or two for their set of pictures – along with a hefty bill.
Not any more, the smartphone makes the instant pic a formality, with storage space galore and every opportunity to take more pictures should the first attempt be in any way unsatisfactory.
With a simple touch of the screen we can switch from photographing what’s in front of us to taking a “selfie”. We can record a video too.
The Art and Science of Modern Photography: Beyond the Smartphone
And yet there are photographers and there are photographers. At the sharp end it is still an art, and whilst we’ve dispensed with the film and embraced digital technology expensive camera equipment is still a thing.
Of course it’s not only a high-quality camera which sets the professional apart from the throng. Those whose hobby (or livelihood) it is use a range of attachments and props to take photography onto an even higher level.
And this is where PolarPro comes in. An innovative selection of gadgets and filters ensures the very best experience for photographers on all levels.
A former crab salesman is the perhaps unlikely brains behind the PolarPro product, having followed his passion into business.
Using a polarized film over his GoPro lens whilst enjoying a skiing holiday led to the formation of a supported, successful business. He took his various gadgets onto the set at Shark Tank, and has never looked back.
Shark Tank Success: How PolarPro Captivated the Sharks
Entrepreneur Jeff Overall appeared on Shark Tank some while after first launching his business whilst at the University of California.
He had begun by producing a small polarizer filter to reduce glare and increase contrast. Having expanded his product range by increments, he now wanted investment of $500,000 in exchange for 10% equity in his company.
With this money in hand he could potentially grow his operation and produce a whole lot more gadgets with which to improve the photographer’s experience.
In the end he received two offers of this amount – from Mark Cuban and Robert Herjavec – and he accepted them both! With the extra money he’s been able to diversify his operation somewhat, now also producing tripods, selfie sticks and some of the best in lenses and accessories to maximize user experience.
From a Startup to a $20 Million Venture: PolarPro’s Growth Post-Shark Tank
Over time the company grew massively, eventually providing lenses and camera accessories to customers the world over.
Today it is said to be worth something upwards of $20 million.
Meet Jeff Overall: The Visionary Behind PolarPro
Jeff Overall is the founder and CEO of PolarPro. A former student at UC Santa Barbara where he attended a Technology Management Program, he took an unorthodox route into the world of photography via selling crabs on the Internet.
But photography was always his passion, and while on a skiing holiday he became concerned about the video quality of his GoPro lens.
He found that through the simple expedient of attaching a polarized film to his lens he was able to much improve the look of his pictures.
This led him to pursue a business idea embracing a whole range of filters and gadgets to help photographers everywhere to get the best out of their work.
Shark Tank Success: How PolarPro Captivated the Sharks
Jeff went onto the show seeking an investment of $500,000 in his company, in which he offered a 10% stake in return. Incredibly, he came away with a million dollars.
Focusing on his drone and his GoPro filter sets, he explained the concept and impressed the Sharks with his innovation and technical know-how. He also revealed himself to be a shrewd businessman, pointing to an increase in sales from $8,000 to $2.8 million.
Responding to a question from Lori Greiner, he explained that all his profits were reinvested into his business, including research and development.
Kevin O’Leary backed out, arguing that the field was too competitive. But Mark Cuban was keen, and offered the requested $500,000 in exchange for 10% equity.
Robert Herjavec persuaded Jeff that he could use more investment, and made an identical offer.
Rejecting a counter offer of $1 million for 17.5% equity from Daymond John, Jeff accepted the combined Cuban-Herjavec deal.
What Happened to the Entrepreneur After the Show?
As is the case with so many entrepreneurs, interest in Jeff Overall and his business went through the roof following his appearance on Shark Tank. Visits to his website alone increased from as few as six to many thousands at any one given time.
Retailers Target and Best Buy, as well as many others, signed deals with Jeff following his inspired presentation, which combined content and detail with entertainment value.
Jeff still directs a good proportion of his capital back into the company, researching and developing new lines of equipment. His products are now available in over 1,200 locations all around the world.
The Future of Photography Accessories: PolarPro’s Expanding Product Line
Demand for professional quality drone accessories and camera filters doesn’t look like slowing down any time soon. In such an environment, the challenge for a successful entrepreneur like Jeff Overall is to maintain his share of a growing market and to be ready to adapt to new technological developments.
The essence of PolarPro is that its products maximize the quality of photographic images taken under sometimes difficult conditions, such as aerial and mountain shots.
To this end they serve to enhance, rather than to replace, existing photographic equipment. As well as being available from a large and growing number of fixed retail outlets, the company’s website lists and describes all the products that are available.
Hundreds of mostly positive reviews bear testimony to their quality, and to their popularity amongst users.
As well as camera equipment, PolarPro even offers a line in associated items such as shoulder rigs, apparel, backpacks and memory card holders.
Part of the key to Polar Pro’s success is the fact that each item is made with care and precision, not mass-produced on some machine-driven assembly line.
The company cares about its reputation, which is why it is particular about quality, whether in product or in presentation.
All aspects of the process are taken care of with due attention, from production right down to the delivery of the finished item.
Whether it be a camera filter or a simple carrying case or piece of clothing, the same approach is taken towards achieving customer satisfaction.
Some Interesting Facts
Following his appearance on Shark Tank, Jeff Overall has turned much of his focus towards the smartphone industry.
He teamed up with a company called Otterbox and together they came up with a line of snap-on accessories which included a card reader, speakers, a battery and a fish-eye lens which attaches to the phone.
This is just another example of how PolarPro has managed to read the direction of the market and to position itself accordingly.
At the same time he remains dedicated to improving user experience in the world of professional photography. For experts and amateurs alike, his add-ods have proved invaluable.
Also worthy of mention is the unique selfie stick which PolarPro manufactures, which can also be used for charging batteries.
Such is the interactivity of this enterprising company’s products that they compliment each other in their efforts to completely transform the working experience of the professional photographer.