The Front Porch Sessions – Photographers Get Creative in the Wake of COVID-19

Photographers by nature, are “people” people, and when sheltering in place and social distancing guidelines went into effect in March, they were among the many who were temporarily out of business. It was no different for Elise Wicklund, and her husband Tracy, of Wicklund Photography in Parrish, Fla. “It virtually stopped our business,” Wicklund says. “In an instant, we had to clear our calendars.”

With so many cancellations – and they were cancellations and not reschedules – the Wicklunds had to get creative and come up with something different to capture this historic moment of the worldwide pandemic. “We considered education, but we know we aren’t teachers,” she says. “We are photographers, so our reaction was to come up with different types of sessions.”

That’s when Wicklund got the idea for the “Front Porch Sessions”. She reached out to neighbors and clients to see if they were interested in doing family portraits on their porches. The popularity of the sessions exploded, and they booked all the sessions they had available. “We decided to let families document this part of their lives, just like they would any other – birthday parties, graduations, pandemics – if we don’t take photographs of these times, we won’t have anything but memories, and memories fade with time,” Wicklund says. “That’s why we photograph, so we figured this is just another memory to photograph.”

The sessions proved to be a great outlet for many of the families and some of them proved it with their sessions. While some families took a serious approach, Wicklund says others had fun with it. “Everyone had been cooped up inside their homes,” she says. “The sessions were whatever the families needed – some took them very seriously; others had a ton of fun.  We didn’t care or direct that part.  We were there to document and serve our families.”

While they enjoyed chronicling the pandemic through these sessions, the Wicklunds did not charge their clients for these sittings. “We still weren’t officially allowed to operate, so in lieu of session fees, we took donations for the food bank,” she says. “Our brand is all about servicing our clients and we believe if we have a servant’s heart, our brand will succeed.” Photographers who are doing charitable work, like Elise and Tracy, may consider printing on LexJet 8 Mil Production Satin Photo Paper, an economic solution that offers a wide color gamut and gives photos a natural look with minimal glare.

As the state of Florida has slowly begun reopening, Wicklund says they are starting to see more interest in regular sessions. They’ve also reached out to past clients, especially wedding clients, about design services for albums or videos that were not purchased at the time of the event. “We’ve reached out to see if people want to pre-book their sessions once isolation orders are lifted,” she says.

Looking at the future, Wicklund says she’s not opposed to scheduling more porch sessions, even after things return to normal, but it comes down to helping their clients get the most out of the sessions. “If this hits again, we will probably offer them again,” she says. “There’s no real reason to only offer those sessions, but it might be fun to see how things have changed in a year.”

As with most “people” people, photographers will certainly be happy to get back to weddings, graduation, and newborn sessions, but in the meantime, they are looking to get creative like Elise and Tracy Wicklund. However, as we approach the second half of the year, Wicklund is cautious about what’s on the horizon. “Based on how 2020 has gone so far, there’s no telling what we will be photographing this time next year!”

Fundy Designer Software Now Available at LexJet

LexJet is excited to announce a partnership with Fundy Designer Software. With more people turning to local print service providers to transform their amateur photographs into artistic masterpieces, Fundy software helps PSPs with photo editing and designing layouts, providing new and easy ways to build revenue with this growing trend.

This design suite simplifies the process of choosing the right image for the right space by visualizing images on virtual walls. Fundy can also be used to organize photo albums and arrange presentations for proofing. It opens the door for PSPs to delve into new – and often overlooked – markets.

Fundy Designer Software allows you to streamline sales and increase profits on wall art that practically sells itself:

  • Present beautiful wall art your clients will love
  • Design collections in a stock room or import a client’s room
  • Preview canvases, metal panels and frames
  • Create your own collections in a few clicks

In the coming months, additional tools will be added to the Fundy suite of products, giving printers more options within the décor market.

If you are attending WPPI in Las Vegas, Feb. 26-28, we will have live demonstrations of Fundy, as well as the opportunity to get a copy of Fundy Lite for free. Stop by booth #233 at the show or contact your LexJet sales rep at 800-453-9538 for more details.

The Next Evolution in OBA-Free Canvas: Sunset by Fredrix Matte Canvas

OBA Free Canvas
This giant gallery wrap reproduction of a photo Jorge Blanco took of Mesa Arch in Utah was printed on Sunset by Fredrix Matte Canvas in three panels and stretched on 1 1/2″ stretcher bars. Blanco says huge pieces like this are great alternatives to wall murals since they can be easily detached and moved to a new home or office.


Based on demand from fine art reproduction companies, print shops and photographers for a consistent, high-performing OBA-free canvas, LexJet and Fredrix Print Canvas introduce Sunset by Fredrix Matte Canvas.

The new canvas has a brighter white point than other OBA-free canvases, provides consistent print quality, and is easy to stretch and finish.

Jorge Blanco, owner of Gallery Works, a fine art and photography reproduction company based in Tampa, says, “I’m very impressed with it so far. I think it’s a hit. I don’t know of anything like it. I’ve tried other canvases and they always seem to have one problem or another with cracking when you coat and stretch, but this canvas performs very well for me. And, the output is as good or better than any canvas I’ve tried.”

Compatible with the latest aqueous inkjet print technology from Canon, Epson and HP, Sunset by Fredrix Matte Canvas is built on an acid-free, pH neutral, poly-cotton base.

“Our customers that prefer to use an OBA-free canvas also want more consistency than they’ve seen in the past, both in output and finishing, whether they’re coating and stretching a canvas or simply framing it,” says Jaimie Mask, LexJet product manager.

Sunset by Fredrix Canvas is now available from LexJet’s North American Distribution Network for fast delivery in 17″ x 40′, 24″ x 40′, 36″ x 40′, 44″ x 40′, 60″ x 40′ and 64″ x 40′ roll sizes. Contact a LexJet customer specialist at 800-453-9538 for more information.

X-Rite Annouces December Color Management Webinars

X-Rite Photo Marketing announces its schedule of December 2012 Webinars developed to address specific color management topics and designed to appeal to both professional and serious Color calibration webinarsamateur photographers and videographers…

Tuesday, Dec. 11, 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET, Professional Monitor Calibration for Still & Video: As more still photographers move into videography with DSLR cameras the need for color management solutions specific to those output environments has become obvious. X-Rite’s i1Profiler software now includes video presets for popular video formats including NTSC, PAL-SECAM, and Rec. 709. The introduction last year of the new i1Display Pro colorimeter combined with these presets in i1Profiler makes the X-Rite i1Display Pro the perfect solution for calibrating and profiling monitors for video editing and output.

When i1Display Pro is combined with X-Rite ColorChecker Targets the combination provides a capture to output solution for video editing that allows exceptional control over white balance in any scene, says X-Rite.

This brief webinar will review how to access and utilize the video presets in i1Profiler software and will briefly look at use of ColorCheckers in the video footage as a visual reference. For those shooting, editing, and preparing video for output this webinar will provide the insight into X-Rite color management solutions that can streamline color control in video.

To register for this webinar at 10 a.m. ET, visit:
To register for this webinar at 1 p.m. ET, visit:

Thursday, Dec. 13, 3 p.m. ET and 7 p.m. ET, Simply Amazing Color. Take control of your monitor, printer and camera! The ColorMunki Family of color management solutions provides advanced control for a photographer’s digital workflow. This webinar will review the individual ColorMunki solutions including software demonstrations and discussions of how each solution is used.

This live webinar gives users the opportunity to ask questions and understand each solution in detail so they can make the right decision on what ColorMunki family solution is for them. Attendees will also enjoy special discounts.

To register for this webinar at 3 p.m. ET, visit:
To register for this webinar at 7 p.m. ET, visit:

Tuesday, Dec. 18, 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET, Raw Color Power – The Benefits of Custom Camera Profiles with the X-Rite ColorChecker Passport: ColorChecker Passport is a “capture to edit” color solution for any photographer looking for more accurate, consistent color and creative flexibility. And when combined with Adobe Imaging solutions users can gain even greater benefits. 

Host Joe Brady will show step by step how to bring digital photography color to a new level. Attendees will learn how to quickly and easily capture accurate color, instantly enhance portraits and landscapes, create their own color look with one click and maintain color control and consistency.

To register for this webinar at 11 a.m. ET, visit:
To register for this webinar at 1 p.m. ET, visit:

For more information on all X-Rite Photo webinars visit the Webinar page found under the Learning section on All webinars are also archived for online viewing any time.

Registration for WPPI Now Open

Wedding & Portrait Photographers International (WPPI) announced today that registration is now open for the WPPI 2013 International Conference and Expo at 

Photography trade showAll WPPI 2013 classes, events and the expo will take place at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas from March 7-14, 2013. Last year, nearly 16,000 registered attendees and over 180 speakers from throughout the United States as well as from 46 foreign countries as far away as Latin America, Australia and Russia gathered in Las Vegas for WPPI.

The 2013 conference will feature specialized education programs like Platform Classes, Master Classes, Plus Classes and WPPI U. WPPI U is a university-style, two-day workshop providing the fundamentals of photography to help today’s up-and-coming photographers strengthen their shooting skills, learn to market their photography services and how to run a profitable business. Also, the 16×20 Print and Album Competitions provide additional recognition during the event, culminating with the Awards Night extravaganza.

The early bird registration rate for access to the WPPI 2013 Conference and Expo is $199 for WPPI members and $379 for non-members through Dec. 14. On Dec. 15 registration rates increase to regular prices online: $275 for WPPI members and $399 for non-members. These rates include one free guest, all Platform classes, special events and a three-day pass to WPPI 2013.

For more information about WPPI 2013 and all of its workshops and events, visit

I.T. Strategies Survey Shows Pro Photographers Like Having Control over Printing

Professional photographers who have purchased inkjet printers for photographic output like having control over the entire process. That’s one of the findings of an in-depth survey conducted in May 2010 by I.T. Strategies, a digital-printing market research firm that has been surveying photographers since 2005.

According to I.T. Strategies analyst Patti Williams, gaining “control” was by far the most common response to an open-ended question that asked photographers why they had purchased an inkjet printer. Respondents reported they wanted “control over the printing process from capture to final print, control over quality, control over the final product, control over color, control over the schedule, control over workflow, control over size, and control over substrates.”

In an I.T. Strategies Market Pulse report, Williams says that more than 1,000 respondents took the time to explain why they purchased an inkjet printer for photographic output. Although some respondents provided more than one reason, she was able to group the answers into eight major categories. The top three categories were: Control, Quality, and Cost.

Here’s just a sampling of what the photographers who own inkjet printers had to say:

  • I am able to control all aspects of product output at any time, day or night, and do not need to wait for UPS to deliver my prints.
  • I wanted total control of my images, from setting the lights to the final print.
  • I can control my workflow in a more accurate way.
  • I am a control freak and I love fine-art papers. Having my own printer allows me to be controlling of my fine-art output.
  • I don’t want to send it to someone else and hope they print it how I want them to.
  • I love the results, and chemical darkrooms are unhealthy, toxic, and aren’t as much fun. The results now surpass the wet darkroom and I can now do things digitally that I could never do with wet processes.

It does appear that most survey respondents have been in the photography business for awhile. For instance, 78% of the professional photographers who responded to the survey had purchased their first inkjet printer for photographic output between 1988 and 2004 (with 42% purchasing between 2000 and 2004).

Only 23% of the pro photographers who responded to the survey had purchased their first inkjet printer for photographic output from 2005-2009. This may reflect the fact that many newcomers to the photography business are being actively encouraged to send their work out to photo labs so they can focus on learning everything else that goes into starting a photography business.

It’s also important to keep in mind that for some types of professional photography (e.g., stock, commercial, and editorial), the professional photographer has traditionally provided their clients with transparencies or digital files instead of final prints.

Wedding photography is one field in which photography pros traditionally generated a healthy portion of their revenues from prints. However, some newcomers to wedding photography have disrupted that long-standing business model (and given up control over the look of their final images) by simply providing files on disk to their clients or letting their clients order prints directly from an online lab.

So, it doesn’t surprise us at all to learn that fine art was the most popular type of photography printed by the survey respondents, followed by portraits, and nature/landscape photography.

Nor does it surprise us that the 1,226 survey respondents listed 77 other applications of their inkjet printers, including highly specialized niches such as historic reproductions, equine portraits, and funerals/memorials. This simply shows some of the many different ways photographers have discovered to use inkjet printers to expand their businesses and develop new revenues.

In fact, many survey respondents commented that they liked the versatility of inkjet printing technology and its ability to print big and on a variety of substrates. Here are a few other comments worth noting:

  • Large-format prints are becoming a bigger part of my sales.
  • It’s easier to have a printer in house and more profitable.
  • I was more particular about my color quality than wet labs could meet. Also wanted a wider color gamut than wet process.
  • I like having control over the print-production process. At the end of the day, the prints are our product. Fast turnaround is a factor as well. In rare cases, if a client is not quite happy with a print, we can redo it on the spot, rather than asking them to come back.

In her analysis of the survey results, Williams observes that as more photographers developed expertise in inkjet printing, they began to develop new business models that were based on in-house printing. For many photographers, this meant an increase in profits as products were no longer outsourced to a lab: “Inkjet printers meant that bigger images could be printed, and photographers and artists began to develop new types of products they could show and sell  their clients.”

At LexJet, we know this is true because we have helped thousands of professional photographers, advanced amateurs, and artists learn how pro-model inkjet printers can give them greater control over their print quality and develop new products and sources of revenue.

If you would like some one-on-one advice on how to buy, use, and profit from a pro-model inkjet photo printer, please contact a LexJet account specialist at 800-453-9538.

For more information about this I.T. Strategies Market Pulse report and future reports that will be developed from their 2010 Survey of Photographers and Inkjet Printers, visit: