Focus on Lastolite By Manfrotto: An Interview with Chris CarrEditor - 12th August 2016
Having learned of movements at the top of manufacturer and distributor, Manfrotto UK, we caught up with Chris Carr to find out more about their brand, Lastolite By Manfrotto, his role and what’s coming next
Pixel: Can you explain a little about your position with the Lastolite brand, Chris, as we understand that it’s expanded beyond the Manfrotto stable?
Chris Carr: Whilst I still remain the Country Manager of Manfrotto U.K and Scandinavia, I have also become the General Manager of Manfrotto Lighting, which oversees the Lastolite By Manfrotto and Colorama brands globally.
Pixel: Can you give us an overview of general developments and product range development since Manfrotto acquired the Lastolite brand back in 2011?
CC: One core development I am very proud of is bringing some of the previously outsourced production back to the UK. This is being achieved through advancements in process and lean production that Ken Brown, Manfrotto Lighting Operations Manager and the team have implemented.
“One core development I am very proud of is bringing some of the previously outsourced production back to the UK”
Pixel: How has the Lastolite business been performing since the co-branded products started to hit the market?
CC: It is very early to say, as the products have not long been out there, however the market has responded well to the quality guarantee that Manfrotto brings to the innovative Lastolite brand.
Pixel: We were lucky enough to take a tour of the factory last year and we were extremely impressed to see a fully functioning, skilled workforce operating in the UK, producing hand-made equipment for the photo market. Is this unique in the brand’s sector?
CC: In lighting, yes. You would be amazed at the difference that quality production and materials make to photography. Simple diffusers for example, all look similar, but a white diffuser made with the wrong material turns the light source blue. This is terrible for colour casts because it is made out of a product that is not technically white and, therefore, has a drastic effect on final work. The quality of work completed on Lastolite products by our team is second to none. From the steel used to the style of stitching, the team have developed over the years. The finished products are fantastic, and you can really see the difference in quality.
“The quality of work completed on Lastolite products by our team is second to none”
Pixel: We have some Lastolite backdrops on test in our studio currently and they’re great. Do you find a good amount of brand loyalty from your customer base?
CC: Absolutely, especially from the professionals. Our brand ambassadors are testament to this and have been working with us for a long time. In some cases; take Joe McNally for example, they have even helped us with product development.
Pixel: What plans lie ahead with regards to products and distribution; are you looking to expand the ranges/colours/pop ups etc?
CC: Lastolite By Manfrotto offers a broad range of innovative and portable lighting solutions. Over 40% of our current product range is unique or patented and we are working hard with our partners to hold up these patents. In addition, we have a healthy product roadmap at the moment, which is focussing on making great products fast and portable, which will start with our Ezyboxes launched in September.
Pixel: Thanks Chris and good luck with your extended role in the future. You can expect feedback on the backdrops very soon!