Prints That Win: The Beauty of Innocence

For photographic craftsman Kimberly Smith of Muskogee, Okla., a hobby that started as a way to document the growth of her family through scrapbooking turned into a full-blown career. “I really was looking for a better camera to take better pictures of my kids. It turns out, not only did I find a better camera, I also found my passion,” she says.

Once Smith decided to pursue photography, she began looking for classes or other educational opportunities. A friend of hers suggested she reach out to Shannon Ledford of Broken Arrow, so that’s just what she did. “When I showed her my work, she said she could tell that I had a good eye,” Smith says. “She was so encouraging to me and my craft.” The two women bonded over photography and became fast friends, with Ledford inviting her to conventions, to her studio and into the lab for experience and training.

Latex-printable Fabric to the Rescue as Fundraiser Photo Backdrop

Every year, hundreds of guests attend one of the largest and most glamorous events in Sarasota, Fla., the Wine, Women & Shoes luncheon and fashion show. Earlier this year, organizers reached out to us for assistance with its photography area backdrop.

They needed a lightweight fabric that could hang elegantly without wrinkles or creases across a 19-foot area. Another challenge: It needed to be printed with deep black inks that really offset three logos at the top.

A Brave New World for SunTrust Park

When the Atlanta Braves moved into their new home, SunTrust Park, this April, they had a lot of blank walls to fill in offices and throughout the stadium. They turned to the corporate design experts at A-R-T & Associates in Atlanta to produce a one-of-a-kind series of canvas prints.

The artwork, supplied from the Braves’ archives, included a variety of baseball and ball-field imagery, both current and historical, with everything from wide-lens captures of an entire crowd to extreme close-ups of equipment, like mitts and grass.

“Some of my favorite pieces were old tickets, when tickets were cool and interesting little works of art,” says Rachael Zaudke Wilkins, who runs the print operation at A-R-T. “We enlarged some of them to 24-by-72-inch prints.”

Prints That Win: Prepare There’s Trouble

Award-winning master photographer Terry Blain was not always telling her story from behind the camera. She spent the past two decades traveling all over the country looking for interesting people to capture; however, in her early days as a model, she was the one who was captured on film. One day, after a particularly uninspired photo shoot, she realized that she would have set up the shots differently, had she been the one taking the pictures.

Utilizing her experiences on both sides of the camera, she has a self-awareness that helps her envision the best way to optimize the lighting, the setting and the model to strike the right tone and properly tell her story. “Putting the models at ease and making them comfortable is the best way for me to get the most flattering shot,” Blain says. “Often, I want to accentuate and flatter the highlights of the scene while downplaying the low-lights. I’m lucky enough to have experiences on both sides of the lens to help me clearly communicate this to my clients.”

Prints That Win: Ambers Anticipation

During her junior year in high school, Abbie Thomas fell in love with life behind the lens while taking a photography class. She always knew photography was in her blood – thanks to her grandfather – but once she started getting hands-on experience in class, she knew this was her calling. At age 17, a friend asked if she would photograph her wedding. Without any experience, and only a high school’s class worth of training, she borrowed her grandfather’s camera, loaded it up with black and white film, and shot her first wedding.

“It was the first time I’d been able to capture a wedding from beginning to end,” Thomas says. “Sitting down with [the bride and groom] after everything was over was amazing, to see the joy on the bride’s face … I just knew this is what I wanted to do.”

Years later, her wedding portraiture work has evolved into award-winning art. For the Sunset Print Awards, Thomas submitted her PPA Northeast winning photo “Ambers Anticipation.” Thomas was inspired by the amber waves of grain when entering the portrait into competition. This wedding shoot was especially personal to Thomas: She used to babysit the bride, Claire, when she was just a girl, and she captured Claire’s youthful exuberance in her senior portrait.

When Claire got engaged, the family knew that no other photographer would illustrate the day the way Thomas could. She was given free rein by the bride to do what she does best: witness the wedding day from beginning to end. To have played an integral part in so many highlights of Claire’s life, Thomas wanted to ensure that everything was perfect at the wedding.

Give Custom Walls Personality with the Right Wallcovering Product

Gone are the days of choosing from a few wallpaper options that may ­– or may not – match your style and personality. Creating custom artwork for your home or office is one of the new trends for wall décor. From kids’ rooms to board rooms, we’ve rounded up a variety of solutions that are tailor-made for you.

Check out some of the ways our customers added personality and life to their wall mural projects:

Wall Murals That Go with the Flo: If you are doing a project that will be displayed for a few months or several years, LexJet Simple Flo Wrap Vinyl, with its air-egress liner and repositionable adhesive, makes installation a breeze. When John Toth from Triad Creative Group was tasked with bringing the past to the present, he opted for Simple Flo – laminated with LexJet Simple Flo Wrap Gloss UV Laminate (2.4 Mil). For this project, some of the murals were displayed on different substrates, including primed MDF and Sintra, while others were applied directly to the display walls. Toth knew that the applications would be bubble-free due to the air-egress liner and that the repositionable adhesive would allow him to fix any misaligned panels during installation. The wide color gamut of the Simple Flo contributed to the authenticity of the project by bringing out subtle nuances in the historical images.