The Original Selfie Company: Photo-me International

3 mins. to read
The Original Selfie Company: Photo-me International

I was looking at some photos of a long past trip. I’m in hardly any of them because I took them. Remember that? Nowadays, of course, it’s the opposite. Probably a majority of photos, certainly on social media, are of the person posting them, and more often than not, ‘selfies’. I suppose the correct word for my photos is ‘someone elsies’.

Even looking at someone’s holiday snaps is not the nightmare it once was: album after album of increasingly lobster-pigmented versions of your ‘friend’ on a holiday you politely turned down, because it would have been a nightmare, and yet still get to experience the nightmare. Nowadays you get a smartphone thrust in your hand, and left to thumb through a ‘narcissism’ of selfies (I decided that’s the collective noun), and, something we never thought to photograph on holiday except on formal night: meals. And not just one meal, but seemingly every meal consumed on the vacation. Thankfully, the subsequent vacation of the said meals is not yet de rigeur to capture in pixels, but give it time: before and after meal pics available on InYourFacebook perhaps.
And the very nature of the motivation of the personal image has changed. Private images (i.e. paintings at that time), went from being a depiction of what some member of the nobility had, saying “look at me!”, the epitome of a selfie, to advertisers using imagery to say “look at him!” in a broadly successful attempt at creating desire based on envy. Private photos have gone from recorded memories, a reminder of a probably intimate moment in time that was thought significant, to a throwaway “look at me!” moment, or even a pointless and throwaway “look at my dinner!” moment. No longer private, in fact broadcast to the world. It’s hard to imagine there isn’t a publicly available image of each and every one of us out there on the internet somewhere, whether we are conscious of it or not.

All this got me to thinking about how companies like Photo-Me International can survive when no one except my mum even has hard copies of photos any more (the art form formerly known as ‘Prints’). But survive they have. Is there really that much demand for incredibly unflattering passport photographs? Does anyone sit in a photo-me booth on an illicit date anymore and capture the moment? Surely they all have mobile phones which, along with each other, are never out of their hands long enough to operate the controls of a photo booth!

Either way, Photo-me International had some investment a year or two ago and the share price is looking healthy. Initially caught up in the Tech Boom by the looks of it, Photo-me reached an ATH in early 2000 before plummeting to obscurity. They bounced back to what is more of a de facto ATH around 145p around ’04. Floundering around for a decade, the stock is now in a congestion area, post investment, at around that 145p level for over a year now, following a strong rally from around 40p. Hard to imagine that a 2004 price-level is having any practical effect today, but the level is obviously an effective one. It remains above the cloud but there’s a tapering between the cloud and the trading range. One has to give. If the price moves up we could see a measured move here – it rallied around 90p into the congestion area so another 90p from here would be a nice little earner. 218p is an important Gann level (50% of the ATH) and using other Gann methods the area around that 217p-218p is likely to provide significant resistance. So if it breaks upwards that’s what I’d be expecting to see: a brisk move up to around 217-218p. On the other hand if it falls, that probably won’t be pretty.

Incidentally, what I like about Ichimoku clouds is that it puts paid to that rubbish about “you can’t read the right side of a chart”. Yes you can. The cloud is 26 periods into the future. Another point to note is that ShareScope (where most of my posted charts come from), Ichimoku settings default to ‘Daily’ prices with ‘Weekly’ available as a selectable option. As a result, what I’ve posted here is a monthly chart (easier to see what’s going on) with a daily Ichimoku on it – we’re looking at a daily trading scenario.

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