It had been 7 years since Eric Wordal of Masterpiece Portraits in Helena, Montana attempted to print his own photographic output himself on a 13-inch desktop model. He had lost faith in inkjet technology that was available at that time due to the issues he had with the printer.
“There were color issues, banding issues, and profile issues,” says Wordal. “It was very frustrating, partly because I was trying to figure the printer out by myself.”
Because he was unable to produce an acceptable, sellable print without throwing away materials, he turned his back on inkjet technology. After several years of outsourcing his work to labs, he finally turned to LexJet to research what his savings would be if he decided to give inkjet another try. Eric found that he would be able to save 70% on his canvas prints that he had been outsourcing to a lab by bringing everything in house.
“Since I bought my new Canon 8100 from LexJet in February 2010, I was able to pay for it entirely with my first two canvas customers as well as with the rebate I have received from Canon,” says Wordal. “And working with Michael Clementi at LexJet has been a pleasure. He has helped me every step of the way from teaching me how to utilize LexJet’s plug in profiles to sending me articles on how to stretch and coat canvas. If I need extra equipment such as spray guns, cutters or stretcher bars he has pointed me to the products that work the best for my needs.”
With regard to the issues he had experienced with his older model desktop, Eric reports that the wide-format Canon iPF8100 has exceeded his expectations: “In the 3 months I’ve owned it, issues with clogging nozzles and banding have been nonexistent. And the customer support from LexJet is amazing! With Michael’s help my prints match exactly what is displayed on my monitor.”
Learning how to print with the new machine did not take much time at all. And once Eric became comfortable with printing, the wheels began to turn on how he could use the machine to better his brand awareness to attract new business. He recently began to approach local businesses that have heavy foot traffic to see if there was any opportunity to show his new printing skills off in a big way.
“I recently printed a 13-foot gallery wrap onto LexJet’s Instant Dry Satin Canvas and coated it with their new Sunset Satin Coating for a display at Starbucks,” says Wordal. “It is so big and beautiful that it stops people in their tracks. I do these displays to keep my name and work out there in the public eye.”
His printer has also opened up new doorways to other products he can use to cut down on his advertising expenses.
“I am planning to use my printer for banners, updating my billboards located outside of my building and possibly even wrapping my vehicles with my images,” says Wordal. “I can save myself at least $600 on the billboards and update the graphics anytime I want at a giant fraction of the cost.”
As for the future of his company he believes the sky is the limit.
“The technology available today has given me the confidence to print my images on my own,” says Wordal. “Not only has the workflow become much simpler since I first tried inkjet printing, but I also get great print quality with print speeds and costs that enable me to make more money on each print I sell.”
He believes that “Printing has given my company the means to grow in every dimension” and says that he is finding new ways to sell prints every day. For example: “I’m a strong believer that if we have larger prints on display, our clients are more apt to buy them. Having my own printer also enables me to provide clients with ‘spec prints’ so they can see firsthand just how great a big canvas print might look in the space they have in mind.”
If you would like to learn more about how recent advances in inkjet-printing can help your photography business, call a LexJet account specialist at 800-453-9538.
To see some of Eric Wordal’s Masterpiece Portraits, visit www.ericwordalphoto.com or contact him directly at 406-431-3742.