In the heart of a coastal town, Surf City, North Carolina, where golden sands meet the endless sea, there’s a story unfolding – a tale of reinvention, determination, and creative passion. Meet Amy Shores, a dedicated teacher of several decades who decided to make a bold career change in the world of photography and printing, and how she’s turned her dream into a thriving business, Seaside Topsail Photography.
Amy’s story begins with a simple click of her camera, capturing the essence of beach landscapes and the warmth of family bonds in her portraits. She dabbled in weddings and came to the realization that she loved it! It was during these moments behind the lens that she realized her true calling lay in photography.
A Leap of Faith
During a busy and profitable summer, Amy’s sunrise and sunset photographs captured viewers’ hearts, leading to client requests for bridal portraits and other prints. Amidst this newfound success, she recognized the need to cut down on printing expenses and decided to bring the process in-house. With the encouragement of her fiancé, Jeff, and son, Tyler, she decided to invest in a Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-6100 printer, a tool that would become her partner in this new venture, and she grew her business from her garage.
Amy embarked on a journey of self-education, determined to master the art of graphic design and printing. Yet, there was a hurdle — she knew nothing about graphic design or printing. But instead of letting fear hold her back, she embraced the challenge with open arms. Hours turned into days as she scoured online resources and tutorials and sought guidance from her LexJet sales rep, Joe Francies. When she met Joe, she said, “I feel like I hit the lottery . . . he has answered so many questions for me. Sometimes, I call him when I’m having a bad week just to talk to him, and we talk things out. He had become more than a representative to me; he has become a friend.” With Joe’s invaluable help, Amy was committed to conquering every challenge that came her way.
Armed with a vision and determination, Amy envisioned her beachscapes adorning the walls of homes and galleries. However, the winter season brought challenges and doubts, making Amy question her career choices and contemplate if leaving her teaching job was a mistake. Financial concerns added to her worries. However, spring brought a glimmer of hope. Joe introduced her to an affordable solution, LexJet’s Elements Maldives Recycled Semi-Gloss Canvas, made 100% from recycled water bottles. As a resident of a beach town, this medium aligned perfectly with her art and her commitment to ocean conservation. She tried it and loved the beautiful sheen – she was in love! Hours were spent learning the nuances, understanding the art of color profiling, and mastering the techniques. Amy recalls, “I had a whole pile of “oops” canvas, at least a roll” as she learned her craft. Soon, her nervousness turned into expertise, as she began to produce captivating canvases that spoke volumes and increased her profits.
Success on Display
Amy’s artwork didn’t go unnoticed for long. She started displaying her canvases in local galleries, where her unique perspective on beach landscapes and nature found an eager audience. One of the advantages she has over other selling artists is her ability to print on demand. When a canvas is sold, she can easily print another one the same day, ensuring her customers are never left empty-handed. Owning a Canon printer and having the right canvas didn’t just mean convenience; it meant having the power to replicate her art instantly, something that would take weeks for other artists to achieve with outside labs.
Her newfound skills fueled her artistic endeavors and opened doors for her within the community. Amy started offering printing services to locals, creating a network of creativity and collaboration. Her canvases found their way into beach homes, not just as exhibits but as symbols of her unwavering spirit and determination.
Amy envisions significant growth for her studio. She has incorporated framing as a service, handled by her fiancé, and intends to establish a storefront with an expanded online presence. This platform will allow her to showcase supplementary products to cater to local residents, tourists, and individuals beyond her immediate area.
A Journey Worth Taking
Amy’s transition from teaching to photography and printing was indeed a leap of faith, but it’s a journey she wouldn’t change for the world. From novice to expert, from nervousness to confidence, Amy’s story is a testament to the power of determination, self-education, and the pursuit of one’s dreams — plus not being afraid to ask for help. She shows us that when you’re willing to embrace the unknown and work tirelessly toward your goals, success is not just achievable; it’s inevitable.
To learn more about Seaside Topsail Photography’s favorite LexJet products, contact a LexJet Customer Specialist at 800-453-9538 or visit lexjet.com.