Prints That Win: Randy McNeilly’s Triple Crown

In November, Shelby, N.C., photographer Randy McNeilly celebrates 40 years in photography, a true milestone in the industry. Over the years, he has seen many changes when it comes to the art of capturing and conveying a story with images. Through all the changes, McNeilly, who won three regional Sunset Print Awards in the PPA Southeast District this year, believes the biggest change was the switch from darkroom to digital.

“Classic” by Randy McNeilly

McNeilly was prepared for this inevitable transition, as he was already doing his own work in a color lab. McNeilly says “digital didn’t increase my workload,” because he had always been so hands-on every step of the way, from capture to completion.

He takes pride in focusing on portrait and in-studio work, because he feels there is an emerging trend of more photographers going outside the studio, vying for the unique exterior setting. McNeilly estimates that “about 90 percent of my work is still in the studio, and I feel that there is less competition” because many other photographers concentrate on exterior settings, while he works with the clients who still cherish the look and feel of a cozy, studio photo shoot.

Getting a Consistent Look from Paper to Canvas

Professional photographers know the importance of creating a signature look with their photography and editing skills, but another way to create a look that clients remember is through the choice of paper and canvas used for the finished piece.

Portrait photographer Tom Milne, based in Fresno, Calif., started with LexJet Sunset Photo eSatin Paper 300g several years ago, thanks to its excellent reproduction, durability and weight, and ability to handle a good, dynamic range of colors. The eSatin is an ideal choice for single prints and framed portraits.

Catching the Game in Style at OKC’s Chesapeake Arena

Red River Photo Services in Oklahoma City, led by Leighton and Katrina Kirkpatrick, is not one to back down from a big job. So when MidFirst Bank requested 34 face-mounted images in its founders’ lounges in Chesapeake Energy Arena, home of the Oklahoma City Thunder, the crew at Red River set into action.

Red River 1
Photos courtesy of Red River Photo Services

“This is the largest project we’ve done like this,” Leighton Kirkpatrick says. “We were contracted to do 34 images mounted on 3/8-inch plexiglass acrylic, ranging from 4-by-8 inches to 6-by-4 feet.”