Mon - Fri, 9:00am - 5:15pm (Eastern)
When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade, and when Mother Nature gave Hattiesburg Mississippi a Hurricane, Leon Franklin turned it into something sweet. That's just the way Leon Franklin works, not much anyone or anything could get this gentle man's pulse to raise one point. I remember my first conversation with Leon back in 2006 like it was yesterday. He called just before I left to eat lunch with my father, and said he had found us when searching the internet for " Photo Labs." I must admit I did not think much would come from it, I mean how many other Labs are closer to Franklin’s Photography that could print school pictures for him in the 709 miles that separate us? Why would he choose Mastercolor? I am not sure how the stars lined up to pair this business relationship, but it was a match made in heaven.
I have always said that the best part about working at a small photography business is the chance to work closely with friends, and to create images of their families and from their memories. It seems like just yesterday that my friend Karen Kelly came in to Mastercolor wanting us to create a stretched canvas for her of a really fantastic shot she had captured while visiting Maine on a family vacation. At the time we were already printing on canvas, but to be honest, we really did not want to get into all the materials and space needed for creating Canvas Gallery Wraps. Well Karen is one of those special types of people that can tell you what you should be doing without coming across as pushy. Long story short Karen knew our business better than we did, and now Canvas Gallery Wraps are some of our most requested items.
After Karen convinced me how easy they were to make, told me where I could go to buy the stretcher bars, and how popular these would become, Mastercolor produced our first Giclee Gallery wrap with her image of the "Good Ole Buoys". Karen’s Gallery Wrap has been hanging in our lobby ever since .
The advice given to me by a close friend has really helped shape the future of our business. We even designed a separate website just to handle the volume of Giclees and Canvas Wraps we received, www.mastercolorcanvas.com.
I think the thing I like the most about Spring is CHANGE. "Change" is all around us. I would be lying if I said business was "as usual" during the cold of January and February, but the fact is time seems to be standing still during these cold winter months. However, one of the positives that comes with the lack of orders flowing through our plant is we can plan for change, determine what changes are needed, and implement changes in the services we extend to our customers. To prepare for the future at Mastercolor we decided we needed a new printer that could print more 8x10s per hour to meet our commercial needs, but also a printer that could add something to our line that we have been lacking. Starting May 1st we will be offering affordable panoramic prints sizes 8"x24" to 12"x36". We recently attended the Carolina Nature Photographers Association convention and one of the main request we received was for us to offer volume pricing on panoramic prints, so please check back with us in May, or join our Email list to receive future notifications about our specials. Change is not limited to the business decisions happening in the office. Step outside, notice the changes all around you. I walked out of our office yesterday and looked at a beautiful dogwood in the front lawn of Mastercolor. All winter this dogwood looked as if it was not going to make it, but yesterday confirmed my hopes, the buds are on the limbs, and the blooms are right around the corner. What have you taken a picture of recently or in years past that let you know that Spring is/was finally here?
At Mastercolor Labs we see thousands of different Christmas Cards each year, and every year we are asked "which picture should I use for my card." My answer is always, use the photos that show what your family is like in their every day life. Sure everyone wants to look like a Norman Rockwell Painting, but the cards I remember the most are the funny cards with kids laughing, dogs facing the other way, babies crying, and parents looking frustrated. Remember you are sending these to friends, and they already know AND like you (hopefully), so be yourself.