Capturing and Printing Wildlife for Charity

Limited edition coffee table book
This photo, featured in Brian Hampton's book, Captured I: Africa, was the 2008 Grand Prize winner of the annual Nature's Best Photography Windland Smith Rice International Award. Book photo by Nels Akerlund Photography.

Brian Hampton’s coffee table books are much more than just coffee table books; they’re works of art that benefit four worthy charities: the Rochester, Minn. chapter of the Ronald McDonald House; Carpenter’s Place in Rockford, Ill.; the Salvation Army; and Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary in the Everglades.

The books – Captured I: Africa and Captured II: Everglades – are the culmination of Hampton’s global wildlife photography, meticulously captured, printed on LexJet Sunset Photo eSatin Paper, bound and packaged.

Both are available in 12″ x 12″ and 18″ x 18″ sizes, which retail for $1,895 and $2,500 respectively. There are only 15 copies of the 18″ x 18″ version available.

Printing a coffee table book
Brian Hampton prints the coffee table book's pages three-up on LexJet Sunset Photo eSatin Paper.

“I don’t make a profit on the books, nor do I want to: 40 percent goes to the causes and the rest goes toward helping me recover my costs on the project. I want to raise as much money as I can for those organizations,” explains Hampton. “The books are printed using the highest quality printers, either a Canon iPF8300 or an Epson 9900 through ImagePrint RIP software, on Sunset Photo eSatin Paper. I like detail. For that reason a glossy paper would be my favorite for detail, but it falls short because it’s generally too touchy; it can show a dimple or wrinkle so you have to be very careful handling it. Sunset Photo eSatin shows very good detail, and it’s a friendlier to handle.”

Everglades coffee table bookHampton prints the pages and sends them to Mel Englander, Englander Studios in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to be bound and packaged. The books come in a velvet case inside a black box, to which Hampton applies the book cover image, printed on Photo Tex from LexJet.

A successful entrepreneur and corporate turn-around artist who has been CEO of five companies over the past 40 years, his success in business allowed him to pursue two of his favorite pastimes – photography and philanthropy – and then blend both with the creation of his wildlife photography books.

“When I first started shooting I began with an area in the Everglades where we have a home. I bought a digital camera and started taking pictures of wildlife, mostly birds at first. Six years later I had a little over 20,000 images, and in between that time my wife and I took several trips to Africa. I got more involved in wildlife photography and my wife got into HD video production,” explains Hampton. “I produced the Africa book first and then began working on the Everglades book. At the same time I began thinking about ways to raise money for non-profit organizations.”

Africa coffee table bookOne of Hampton’s shots from Africa, which captures a lioness charging through the water on its way to a kill, was the 2008 Grand Prize winner of the annual Nature’s Best Photography Windland Smith Rice International Awards, for which it was featured in a special exhibition at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. that same year.

Hampton is working on a third book based on his travels to Alaska. Hampton says he has 50-60 images that are “book-worthy,” and he would like to take a photography trip in the winter to capture the unique snow-covered beauty of Alaska and its wildlife that time of year.

Alaska coffee table book
Brian Hampton is working on a third book documenting his trips to Alaska.

Hampton adds that perhaps the most difficult aspect of producing the books was choosing from the literally tens of thousands of images he’s captured over the years. When Hampton is out in the field, he shoots with a Canon 1-series professional camera with “L” glass. As he puts it: “I only shoot with the best possible equipment from the best possible locations. The nature of photography, especially wildlife photography, is that you have very little time to capture the perfect moment so you had better be prepared.”

For more information about the limited-edition, custom books and the charities they support, go to

The iPadarod: The Race to Pay for a Large Format Printer

Reproducing fine art on canvas with an inkjet printerThe iPadders have been coming out of the woodwork since LexJet ran its various iPad promotions, the last one of which was this past March. Those who took advantage of the deal not only got the latest state-of-the-art large format printer for a very reasonable price to begin with, but an iPad to boot.

Beth Bennett didn’t even know about the free iPad when she ordered a Canon iPF8300 44-inch printer from LexJet this past March. Though she was going to order one regardless, her LexJet customer representative let her know it was part of the deal and Bennett got a nice bonus.

Six days after ordering it, the printer arrived on her doorstep. The next day it was up and running. By the end of that day it had already paid for itself. “The benefits of the printer were quite obvious right away,” she says. “The quality of the printing is perfect; it’s beautiful, very vibrant and colorful. There have been no glitches whatsoever. And the Sunset Select Matte Canvas we’ve been getting from LexJet is sharp, clean and crisp.”

Printing canvas for fine art reproductions
Ravenink, Anchorage, Alaska, reproduces the fine art of Jon Van Zyle, official artist of the Iditarod, on Sunset Select Matte Canvas with its new Canon iPF8300 printer from LexJet. Ravenink uses a high gloss coating with a brush on the stretched canvas for the final touch.

The printer was purchased primarily for Bennett’s new fine art printing company, Ravenink, to reproduce the work of local legendary artist and official artist of the Iditarod, Jon Van Zyle. It has since taken off without any advertising or marketing behind it. Bennett, however, sees unlimited growth potential, particularly given Ravenink’s initial success.

“We weren’t expecting to be so busy so quickly. In Anchorage, the number one thing we’ve noticed is that if an artist wants anything produced it’s very expensive. We wanted to offer small, custom orders, instead of making them order 500 of a print to get a price break,” explains Bennett. “If clients want to come in and fiddle with the colors, it doesn’t have to be an uptight environment… Just sit down with us, have a cup of coffee and play with the printer. Once we decide exactly what we want to do and which direction we’ll go with it, I think it will really take off.”

She adds that the entire process through LexJet, from ordering to shipment to installation, was a breeze, thanks in large part to her LexJet customer specialist, Yvette Rios. In the email that introduced Bennett to LexJet, she wrote:

Reproducing fine art with an inkjet printer and canvas“The iPad has arrived, and I just wanted to say thank you so much for all your time and great customer service. I work in the same type of industry and I am the technologies trainer/customer service for the entire state of Alaska. I know how important it is to get a thank you. It is the grumps that can put a big dent in our day, and the thank you’s at times seem few and far between, but mean so very much. You and your staff have been 120%+ positive, helpful and great to work with at all times. I have only experienced great things working with you and for that I Printing inkjet canvas for fine art reproductionswill always be a return customer. Plus, your product is awesome; we are thrilled to have such a great printer. We have grown leaps and bounds with our locally ‘made in Alaska’ product because of this printer. It was a big step for us, but it was the best decision we have made in the first year of our small business. Please make sure that you forward this on to your boss peoples. I would like them to know how happy we are with your company, and for them to hear it is because of the great people they employ. THANK YOU AGAIN, YOU ROCK! (and thanks for the iPad!)”

Thank you for sharing, Beth!