Sometimes you just have to give credit where credit is due. Gavin Byrne at Frametastic deserves all the credit he gets and here’s why…….
Late last year, I found myself feeling the need to find a new print service. I had two choices, buy a printer to print my own work or find a new supplier. I’ve always wanted to print my own work and still love the idea of it. However, I fear that my current print volume would not justify the expense of a large printer which could ultimately become clogged if left idle as I expect it may do in my home.
Print Where Now?
There are several well-known print services in Dublin that have been tried in the past. Quality of the print was always good but you did pay a huge premium for it. My biggest issue with these providers has been accessibility from Drogheda. A two-way journey typically eats 3 hours at the minimum. 3 hours I don’t have during the working week….
I had heard whispers of a guy based in Carlingford, Co. Louth who was starting to churn out some good print work. Information was hard to find at first but I eventually got a name – Gavin Byrne. Without a company name, the old google machine wasn’t being very helpful. I eventually managed to track him down via facebook and had an e-mail with a full set of pricing & print options within minutes of making contact.
It turns out, there are quite a lot of local photographers using Gavins services. For some reason have not been shouting about it.
The Quality Test
I sent off a few images to test the waters – one landscape print on his standard lustre paper and a composite image for a high end matt paper print. The following evening, I met the man in person. It was dark &we were standing on the side of a country road between our two cars. We ended up chatting for half an hour. Even in the dim light I could see straight away that the quality of the print in hands was there. The standard Lustre prints are of a great quality and probably can’t be matched for price. Higher end papers do command a premium as you would expect but are still much more competitive than Dublin print prices.
Gavin actually printed off two of the higher end prints as he felt there was an issue with his 1st attempt. I couldn’t see any difference and entered Gavins rejected print it in a competition. The judge clearly couldn’t see any issues either giving full marks (brag, brag).
I’ve sent a bit more printing Gavins way at this stage. I have given clear instructions on the papers I’ve wanted for certain images and Gavin has been good enough to contact me advising me I am making the wrong decision and then given sensible reasons for it. We have reached a stage where I’m happy to just send images over via mail and tell him to pick the most suitable paper. In fairness, he won’t try and use a more expensive paper when he knows there is little additional quality to be achieved over his standard lustre offering.
Location & Service
Carlingford is a little bit out of the way – there’s not much to be gained travel wise. This is the really special bit…..
Gavin literally passes my home or office several times a week, so it’s an easy task to meet up for a coffee and a chat. He offers a postal and next day courier service anywhere in the country. I recommend the courier service which I “think” runs at €15 a time. This is very competitive if you have a number of prints in one run. The postal service at my house is not what I could call reliable.
All print work whether individual or dry mounted come in clear plastic presentation bags to keep them clean and safe. Framed work comes very well padded for added protection. Its these small details that again help set him further apart from his competitors.
He actually cares about your work
This is the reason I am writing this blog and I hope it demonstrates the level of service Gavin can provide.
Last week I contacted Gavin about an exhibition I had gotten myself into with relatively tight turnaround timelines. In the excitement of being exhibited, I had never even considered total costs and realized quickly that they would be quite high with the possibility of very little return other than some local exposure.
I visited Gavins workshop and to his credit he spent 2 hours talking me through the pro’s and cons of each paper versus the style of image I was presenting. He then took me through all the various framing and mounting options until we had found a style that looked great. I gave Gavin my budget, fully expecting the upsell and pressure to spend more, but it never came.
Two days later, he dropped all the cut mounts off for signing & picked them up again a few days after that. 2 days later, he delivered all the finished goods in full at my front door in pristine condition within an hour of when I told him I needed them. There can’t have been a lot of profit in it for Gavin but yet he went out of his way to make it happen for me.
There are few I have come across yet. Yes you will always find someone cheaper but will the quality of work, service and attention to detail be there?
If you are a photographer who has used Gavin’s service and agree, please leave share this post with your friends.
If your not a photographer, then send some work to both of us and order a print from here…..
That’s my good deed done for the day….enjoy and share this post please to get the word out there.