During the closing ceremonies at Photoshop World in Boston there were a lot of humorous moments. Not the least of which only came to light days after NAPP president Larry Becker announced the winner of APC’s “Ultimate Canvas Studio Makeover.”
Despite the fact that it was the biggest prize to be given away in the hall that day, there was a surprising lack of excitement or enthusiasm when the winner was drawn and called to the stage to claim it.
In hindsight, the winners’ reaction at the time really shouldn't have come as a surprise – but it was still pretty unexpected (and funny) when the winners later contacted us to reveal they spent the afternoon thinking they'd won “a day of beauty at the local salon and massage parlor.”
Perhaps due to the ceremony running long – or maybe because Larry had to be at least a little disoriented with the running gags appearing on the jumbo video screens behind him – he forgot to read the prize description or even point out “Artistic Photo Canvas” as the prize sponsor. “Makeover” was pretty much all the audience heard as the prize was hurriedly announced.
It wasn't until returning home from the conference and opening the prize envelope that the winning couple realized their luck had landed them a lot more than a mani-pedi. Back at the APC offices – after a few days of smarting over our ginormous PR misfortune – we at least managed to garner a good laugh out of that one. [Note to self: Rethink use of the word “makeover” when planning future giveaways!]
Happily, we did not end up disappointing our winners, Richard and Robin Gross of Lakeville, MA. What did they actually win? $1,500.00 worth of custom APC gallery wrapped canvases!
Richard – we’re sure breathing a sigh of relief – wrote us a nice letter after discovering that he and his wife were not themselves going to be subjected to a “makeover.” We especially enjoyed reading about their Photoshop World highlights...
“We have been in love with photography ever since we got a Chinon camera to take our kids’ baby pictures. We have gradually gotten better over three decades. We have taken photos on Safari in Tanzania, on a climb up Mount Kilimanjaro, in the Australian Outback, the Carribbean, and Central America. But our favorite location is our own backyard. We raise all sorts of plants that attract butterflies. We photograph them and all manner of garden snakes, pond fish, lilies, plants, bugs and birds.
“This year we had our first show at the local library Great Ponds Gallery. We displayed 30 large format photos. Most were gallery wraps on canvas. We also showed two photos at the Deblois Gallery in Newport, Rhode Island, and several at the New Bedford Home Show. This summer we are going to try our hand at some local art festivals. Robin and I work together and call ourselves Backyard Adventures Photography. We joined the Whaling City Camera Club.
“This year we went to Photoshop World in Boston. We were alumni from the ’07 show in Las Vegas. We had a great time. We got lots of books: Scott Kelby’s Digital Photography Boxed Set, Martin Evening’s Photoshop Lightroom 2 Book, Joe McNally’s Hot Shoe Diaries, and Tom Bonner’s Digital Field Guide for our Sony Alpha DSLR 350 camera. Mr. McNally and Mr. Evening graciously autographed our books. I was so enthused about Mr. Kelby’s book that I got overwhelmed and gushed right up to Dave Cross and asked him to autograph Scott’s book. Dave was gracious as Canadians always are, but he did not forge Scott’s name. (I swear it must have been some sort of hypnotic suggestion from the opening ceremony spoof.) We had a professional critique by Moose Peterson that was frank and honest. He taught us more in 15 minutes than we had learned in years.
“It was terrific to see all our Photoshop heroes. Robin really loved Rick Sammon. His book on travel photography has inspired our family photo expeditions, and it makes really nice reading in my office waiting room. Vince Versace really blew me away. I thought of him as a photo artist, but I think the sharpening actions he showed us when applied to cardiac CT scans will save a lot of lives, and ought to make him wealthy.
Of course for us the height of the show was winning the APC Ultimate Canvas Studio Makeover. At first I thought we won a beauty salon treatment for Robin, but this was way better! For the last year Robin has been trying to get me to send our photos to be mounted and printed professionally. When I can get our photos to come out on canvas, they have a fine art quality. The trouble is, it is not that easy.
“I have been stubborn, but persistent. I calibrate my monitor. I even calibrate my canvas with the spectrophotometer, and use the matching printer, branded ink sets, and branded canvas. I spent more than I want to admit on tools, a staple gun, a compound mitre saw, and spray fixatives. I print a hard proof. Still, I have to print at least 3 or 4 photos to get one to come out right, and I never get two pictures to come out exactly the same. I still can not make gallery wrap corners look good. I feel cognitively challenged.
“Until now, I had no idea how I would ever produce enough prints for all the shows Robin planned! My only problem is this. If the photos we send you come out the way your gallery wraps looked at the Photoshop convention, we might become regular customers.”