Modernizing the Hidden World of Ecommerce Imaging — with James Ingram of Splashlight

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James Ingram is not in the restaurant business.

But as the CEO of Splashlight, an innovative photography and video provider, Ingram talked about the importance of “setting the table” on 34th episode of the Loose Threads Podcast.

“When you think of what a creative really has to go through, the less they have to focus on all the logistics or basically setting the table…you allow the creative to relax and to focus,” Ingram said. “It’s an obscure thought to be a hospitality-driven business but it’s served us well.”

When Ingram joined Splashlight in 2005, he said the company’s vision of how to treat a client was already in place, but the company has since expanded its role within the creative process. From simply offering clients the space and amenities for photography or video shoots, Splashlight now provides a holistic toolkit for companies to scale their imaging needs.

According to Ingram, a big step in that process has been embracing ecommerce.

“It’s given us a big advantage to understand that process and infuse technology [and] hospitality,” he said.

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Splashlight entered the space when online marketplaces were still in their infancy. Ingram said that the continued development of ecommerce has required better and faster tools.

“The volume of merchandise that’s being photographed, the amount of editing that has to happen, the toolkits just weren’t there that allowed this to happen with very little friction,” he said. “If you want to create content at scale, it’s a full-blown category.”

With brands and companies producing more content than ever, Ingram said that Splashlight has started using analytics to understand consumer behavior. One insight he discovered was a change in how photography is utilized within the ecommerce space.

Ingram noted that most products are marketed to consumers using a single photo, typically featuring a generic background designed for broad appeal.  

“That’s where there is an incredible opportunity and it’s technology that we have,” he said. “It’s a Looklet technology. We’re excited about this because we think it creates an opportunity to have another choice of reaching a consumer.”

Looklet is a licensed technology, exclusive to Splashlight, which allows companies to create personalized marketing layouts for different types of consumers. Eliminating the need for physical merchandise storage or fashion reshoots, Looklet is just the latest example of Splashlight’s foray into the creative process.

With content being created at increasingly dramatic speed, Ingram said Splashlight is also well equipped for the pace of social media marketing,

“Social media content historically [has] a very casual work flow to create it,” he said. “We’re already seeing the pace at which they’re using those channels to sell. They’re going to run into the same complexities. It’s really ecommerce.”

The ecommerce landscape may be one of innovation and changing standards, but Ingram said his company is ready to help their customers adapt.

“We’re ready to help move those business to compete in a landscape with the WalMarts and the Amazons,” he said. “They’re creating a lot of pressure. And we see it as an opportunity.”