Prints That Win: Angels Bending Near the Earth

Idaho Falls-based photographer, Cheri Hammon, had an unusual start in photography. After abandoning a career as a hairdresser due to allergies, she happened upon a job in a local photography studio.

“They put me in sales and I was terrible,” she says, laughing. “So the photographer who owns the studio asked me if I was interested in retouching.” From that moment on, she had found her passion.

Her Sunset Print Award-winning image, “Angels Bending Near the Earth,” also had a unique inception. “Normally, I get a feeling when I start a project and it sits in my head for a while and kind of cooks,” Hammon says. “But this is the only one I’ve ever done that just hit me all of a sudden.”

Prints That Win: Urban Assault

For a professional photographer who has made a career of portraits featuring Santa Claus, the PPA Southwest District winner in the artist category, titled “Urban Assault,” was a huge departure for Chris Smith, M.Photog.

Smith captured the Sunset Print Award-winning image during a SWAT team training session in Midlothian, Texas, when he was requested to shoot the training. It turned out to be an ideal opportunity to get creative for print competition.

“Competition work is something that I do for myself because it is so detailed,” Smith says. “It is very therapeutic digging into that level of detail.”

For PPR Pix, ChromaLuxe Was the Answer for Customer Demand

When his customers started asking for ChromaLuxe metal photo panels, James Marks of PPR Pix in Atlanta, Ga., started researching how to add the colorful photo reproduction option to his operation. That also included the purchase of a new Epson SureColor F6200 dye-sublimation printer.

“We had been looking at getting into metal and there isn’t another local place in Atlanta to do metal printing,” Marks says. “Some of our customers had asked about it, and so we wanted to get our toes in there and jump.”

Scorch Fitness Focuses on Goals in a Big Way

When faced with a giant, blank wall, many business owners would simply choose a wall paper pattern, install it and call it a day. But Scorch Fitness, located in Sarasota, Fla., had a better idea: Why not create a customized wall mural to inspire their members to achieve their goals?

“The purpose of this mural was to … use it as a reminder to our members of why they’re here,” says Liz Lowe, Scorch co-owner and head coach. Paired with the break-through design of the mural, goals are printed in big, bold letters … “I want to be healthy,” “I want to sweat my butt off” are just two of the shared objectives that are reinforced every day.

“This wall behind us has totally changed the dynamic of the energy within here,” says fellow co-owner and founder, Ryan McDonald.

The team at Now That’s a Wrap printed the mural on LexJet Simple Flo Wrap Vinyl, and finished it with a UV coating for extra durability.

Watch the video above to see how it was done and how it’s impacted the Scorch Fitness team and their clients.

Prints That Win: The Next Step

When Vanessa Longuski took her Sunset Print Award-winning photo, “The Next Step,” she was in the middle of a wedding photo shoot in Lansing, Mich., on the steps of the Michigan State Capitol building.

To get the dramatic shot, she simply got lucky during a time crunch on the couple’s wedding day. The videographer was filming the bride and groom, and the image was one of only two photos without him in it.

Longuski began her photography career as an unofficial yearbook photographer at Bad Axe High School in Michigan. She went on to study arts photography at Central Michigan University, but she knew she wouldn’t be able to make a living with tradition darkroom experience, so she switched to digital. She started her own business two months before graduation and bought a studio less than a year later.

Since opening the studio in 2008, she has photographed 300 weddings and is currently working toward her PPA master’s degree. Longuski offers portrait and commercial work in addition to wedding photography, and says her passion for her work is fueled by making “people happy by doing something for them … it’s what I love to do every day.” Capturing natural poses and facial expressions is the key to helping her subjects feel and look at ease.

She’s inspired by her customers because “I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for them, I love working with them,” she says.

Print competitions, like the Sunset Print Award in the PPA North East District, keeps the learning process alive for her. “Winning is a great feeling … to know I accomplished something,” she says.

Adding School Spirit to Gym Mats with HEYtex Vinyl

In the world of wide-format printing, there’s almost no limit to what can be printed, wrapped, mounted … you name it. So, when a high school superintendent approached Logan Merz of Merz Ink in Auburn, NE, to reupholster the padded mats that line the gymnasium wall, Merz turned to LexJet for a solution.

Merz decided on HEYtex 15 oz TopazDS as the ideal scrim banner to not only produce great images of the school’s Eagles mascot, but it could also stand up to the wear-and-tear the mats would endure during basketball games.