I know, this post is worthless without pics, lol. Anyways, the day came where I needed to "pull the trigger" and order some prints, matting and backing. Having no previous experience with printing and matting, and this being my first showing of my work, it is a pretty daunting task to get all this ready.
Luckily, I have found TWO AMAZING places that are super friendly. One is local, which is always a plus. I joined Miller's Print Lab, which incidentally owns MPix. Miller's is geared more for the "professionals", while MPix is geared more for the hobbyist. I dunno what category I fall under. While I have not made a dime with my photography, I believe it is good enough to attempt to sell, lol.
So I placed my order today with Miller's. I ordered two 16x24 metallic prints. What I like about their uploading software (and this might be the standard, but since I am new to this process..) is that if the dpi is too low for a certain print size, it will give you a disclaimer. One of the many reasons I would like to upgrade from my 10 year old camera. So i choose a print I may not have originally chosen to be printed big.
The beauty of Miller's is that they usually print the same day, you can follow their progress (much like a tracking number from FedEx, if you will), and standard overnight shipping via FEDEX is included in the price (I think..need to check my account :) ). So I would think by Wednesday I would have these prints on hand.
Next up was matting and backing board. Sure there is the usual suspects; Michael's, Aaron Bros, etc, but their prices are pretty ridiculous if you think about it. Every time I have gone into Michael's to ask for help or prices, they act like i am a burden. So I was looking on POTN (photography-on-the.net) and luminous landscape about matting and basic info, and there was a shoutout (if you will) to documounts.com. Redimats.com was a site I was looking at, but there is a minimum order of $100 on ALL matting, and $50 on supplies. So I was looking at documount, and noticed that their shipping time to Oregon was 1 business day. I investigated some more, and realized they are located in Portland. 14 miles from my place!
Not knowing anything about matting, I emailed them about what sizes I need for a 16x24 print and 13x19. I didn't know what size border I needed, and I received an email back from Judy. She was very polite and advised me that local pickup is fine and you don't get charged for shipping. They will even box up the stuff for you for a $5 charge. Otherwise, they shrink wrap your order up to make it easier to transport!
I called this morning and talked to Judy. She was VERY helpful and walked me through EVERYTHING! I ended up ordering 2 matts for the 16x24. They measure 21 1/2 x 29 1/2 in. with a 3 inch border. I then ordered 6 matts for my 13x19 prints. She advised a 2 1/2 inch border will be a good decision. Next up was the 8x10 matts. They offer a package deal, perfect for art shows and whatnot. It consists of 25 qty 11x14 matts (8x10 photos), the backing and the plastic sleeves! I also ordered 5 small photo stands. While they are like 6 inches tall, they will handle the unframed 8x10s' for display. All this came in under $180. The prints were $64. Now I just need to sell some stuff, lol.
The matting supplies should be ready on the 24th (next Monday). So I am hoping by next Tuesday, I am fully ready for the show. Pictures will be posted of the finished products.