Ever since I started my business I’ve been working with digitals 95% of the time. I still do. I love digital photography and I love giving my clients enough flexibility to print as they wish. But there is also SO MUCH value to seeing your photographs in print that I went on to find the Pro Photo Lab that suits my vision and style. It’s not an easy task simply because you have to do a lot of research, order samples and ask a lot of questions. It can get overwhelming, tiring and expensive. But I want my clients to have the best, so here are a few labs I’ve had experience with that are worth mentioning.
I adore their books! I would only ever order books from them, despite the not so good exchange rate and that they are overseas. BUT recently when I had to order a beautiful boudoir book for my client, I was told that their policy is against publishing exposed breasts. I need to clarify that there was 1 (one) photo that was an issue and those photographs are a beautiful and tasteful collection of sensual images. But it turns out local purity laws prohibit Vision Art to publish certain type of images.
When it comes to prices, they are quite reasonable and simple to understand. Shipping is also FREE. Yes, that’s right, free shipping even to Australia! Customer service has been nothing but great and their turnaround for hand made books is 2 weeks which is amazing!
I’ve only ever ordered prints from them, but they also have a range of other print products. Prints have always been spot on, turnaround is quick, software is easy to use and best thing for me is that their lab is in Melbourne, so you can go pick up your order or check out their samples in person.
To be completely honest, I’ve had little experience with Seldex, although they are also in Melbourne which is definitely quite convenient if you are local. It’s so easy to go to the showroom and check out samples in person, their selection of book covers is enormous and that is awesome, but it is also a little overwhelming. Their prices do not include GST so when you check out the price list, don’t forget to add 10%. Products looked beautiful, however, their turnaround time is 3-4 weeks which for me was a deal breaker. The price point for books is a little more expensive than Vision Art, but with the current exchange rate of 1:0.74 it’s almost at par. It’s also worth mentioning that Seldex has over 60 years of experience and work with some of the best Australian photographers!
Despite the fact that Atkins Pro Photo Lab has been working with prints since 1936, I’ve only learnt about them recently. They are also Australian company, 3rd generation family business and their customer service is what essentially won me over. It always felt that I was talking to real people and that my concerns matter. They happily printed my test prints for free and answered every one of my 1001 questions. Their turnaround is 2 weeks and prices are on par with Seldex, however the book paper currently available is semi gloss although there is a plan to add more paper options which I am excited about.
Here are a few things that came in the mail today:
I’ve printed some of my stationary/cards at Momento Pro and recently purchased a beautiful box to fit my client’s 8×8 book. Their service has been great and I am very happy with the products I’ve received. Check out their range of books – I heard they are beautiful too!
There are a few others I’d love to check out in the very near future and will update you on my experience then 🙂
A while ago, purely by accident I stumbled upon Melanie Leighton’s review of the workshop with Yan Palmer. I remember thinking that there was likely a very little chance for me to ever get to such workshop. I can’t even remember why I was thinking this way, but now looking back at the dates it was probably because we just recently moved to Australia from Canada with our 2 year old son and I was pregnant with my daughter, and my husband was a full time student. We were here on a student visa and would potentially be moving back to Canada, so any kinds of endeavours like that weren’t in the cards for me at that time.
Fast forward just over a year and one of my fellow photographer friends asks if I’ve heard of Yan and if I’d be interested to attend her workshop! Talk about the power of thought! Of course, I had to sign up and I am glad I did.
You see, I am a firm believer that things happen for a reason, even if that reason isn’t obvious to you straight away… So here is the preamble to the whole workshop review:
Our whole move to Australia was pretty spontaneous. First we came to explore, the next thing we knew my husband decided to applied to school and change his career. First we came for school and then decided to stay. For a while there my husband was a full-time student and working part-time. It was really a no brainer for me to start my photography business because child care is so expensive in Australia and it was very important for me to make sure our son is well adjusted and has full access to at least one of his parents.
During these months I happened to realise some important things. I used to always be a person who needed to have security, needed to know what will happen next and needed to be in control. After our move across the globe, I found myself excited getting rid of STUFF and packing our things, I was completely content NOT knowing what’s next and I was just stupidly happy for no apparent reason. Back in Canada I quit my well paid job with great benefits, left my amazing team and here I was unemployed, but oh so happy. It was very strange. Very unusual. But I just went with the flow. Time went on and I noticed more changes in myself – it felt like everything was literally upside down for me. In a good way. I still don’t know what’s next, but I am enjoying this wild and crazy ride. Many things changed since then but one thing for sure – I would never regret that crazy decision to move far away from family in search of our calling.
You may ask me now what it has to do with the workshop review? It’s quite straight forward really – one of the main messages from Yan’s workshop is to stay true to who you are and listen to your gut. She openly says she had no idea what she was doing when she started but the power of intuition is so strong it can lead you to where you are meant to be if you only give in to it and trust it wholeheartedly.
To me, Yan was a conductor reconfirming that I am heading in the right direction. Her review of my portfolio was so spot on – she instantly picked up the two things I need to concentrate my attention on. She provided some invaluable feedback in such a loving manner that makes you feel so warm and fuzzy on the inside. She is such a ray of sunshine. That can see you from the inside. All the little things. And she’s so brutally honest. About everything. Just like I love it in real life!
It was amazing going through the actual family session with Yan and seeing her interact with the children. She’s got tricks up her sleeve for anyone and I was practically mesmerised watching her glide through the session with so much humour, grace, confidence and love. Love towards all human beings!
Here are some of the images I snapped during the workshop
In a photography session there is always a lot of pressure put on the subjects to pose and smile just the right way to get the perfect photos. However, not enough emphasis is being put on the role of the photographer in the photography session.
Sure, we come up with the ideas and we execute them, but for all of the work that you see your Melbourne photographer putting in at the session, what you forget is all of the long hours we spend with your images after we’ve put our camera down.
We relive each moment with you. We smile and we cry as we edit; and when we send off your package, we often feel overwhelming sadness. As much as your photography session is important for you, it’s also equally as important to us to make sure that we’re making your experience and lasting memories the best we can.
What a Melbourne photographer like myself values the most is when we get feedback from our clients that we work so hard for! It really is one of the most important parts of our jobs and here is 4 reasons why providing feedback to your Melbourne photographer goes a long way:
1.It is more than just a job.
Being a Melbourne photographer for families I know many other fellow photographers who, without exception, will tell you that they get emotionally attached to their work. We don’t simply shoot and go home. We pour our heart and soul into each session. We relive every single emotion with the family. We laugh and cry. Each session is our little baby. Photography isn’t just our work – it’s our passion.
2. We strive to keep our customers happy.
Excellent customer service is a pivotal point of what we do. So, it is essential that we hear about your experience as it can help us make our service even better! Constructive criticism is always valued so is simply letting us know what we are doing right. And as always, referrals to your family and friends also looking for a Melbourne photographer is always appreciated!
3. We are artists.
Which means that no matter how good we are, how good we think or know we are, we have our moments of vulnerability and insecurity too! A few kind words our way can help us grow our wings and improve our ways. Your generous feedback is NOT to feed our egos, it is more so to let us know our efforts are appreciated and that you had as much fun at your session as we did!
4. Photography is a subjective art form.
There is no right or wrong (I am not talking about technical side of things) and different people may like different things about the same image, or they may not like the image all together. There are different styles, different post-processing methods, and different messages in the images. What may appeal to some could as well be a turn off to others. Hearing what YOU think about the end result of your images is important to us!
If you’ve just finished a session with me or had one a while back, take some time to leave a comment on my Facebook page or Google+ page! I value your feedback and would love to hear from you. As well, if you need a Melbourne photographer for your next photography session, or have a friend who is looking to make some lasting memories, get in touch with me and lets do it!