When it comes to framing, I reckon it’s very much akin to finding the right hairstylist you’re used to and stick with them. They are accustomed and tuned to your expectations and requirements fairly well. Walking around with a bad hairdo is equally as disastrous as having your limited edition prints framed and mishandled. The challenge is finding the right one on your first-time hunting.
I found one in TTDI; Classique Frames (No. 8, Jalan Datuk Sulaiman, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, 60000 Kuala Lumpur). It was a rather old surly chinese man who peers at you through his glasses. My gut feel told me then it was not going to be a pleasant encounter as he clearly flunked the first impression test. Nevertheless, as I was in a rush, I gave him some of my client’s pictures to be framed just to test him out before I commit to sending him my “Being There” exhibition prints.
Turns out it wasn’t a neat job. While the price quoted was pretty close to market price (which I found out later from another framer whom I eventually engaged), he initially wanted to charge me a much higher price, until I negotiated. He did not even get back to me with the promised quote of my 22 “Being There” exhibition prints. His lackluster attitude immediately got him written off my list. He sure does have some pretty big names in his clientele, but too bad, he just wasn’t right for me.
Instead, I found a better framer in PJ (much accessible in terms of parking space; helps in loading) recommended by a friend. It’s just right across Three Two Square. The framer is simply known as Mr. Tan. This guy is almost as every bit similar to the previous framer, but with a much more pleasant and amiable persona. Lesson learnt? It’s the attitude and friendly personality that seal the deal. Sometimes I wonder what one has to gain for being “difficult”.
Here’s the contact:
Advance Framers Glaziers
Specialise in Frame, Glass, Mirror & Art
No. 32, Jalan 14/22,
The Right Angle,
46100 Petaling Jaya,
Tel: +603-7956 5897
Mr. Tan gave me a much better price and was very nice to deal with. He was patient with my questions and requests. He wasn’t just selling me his framing services; he was selling me a relationship. And that’s what matters most. That’s what keeps customers coming back. That’s exactly what a photographer should be selling, instead of mere pictures. This is one topic which definitely deserves a post by itself.
I brought in 22 first edition prints (16″ x 24″) printed on Digital Type-C print on Kodak Endura Paper to be framed. Got them from the famed Photo Media Sdn. Bhd. in SS 2 (No. 44, 2nd Floor, Jalan SS 2/67, Petaling Jaya 47300, Selangor). They can be contacted at +603-7875 5227. Very knowledgeable bunch of people with over 30 years of experience in the family business. Ms. Sohphee (and her dad) was very helpful and proved to be an invaluable teacher who taught me much about color management and digital printing in 1 hour than 3 months trawling in forums.
Here are the pictures laid out with the borders all cut and ready.
I wasn’t sure whether to sign on the pictures as I felt by so doing, it violates the “virginity” and sterility of the prints. Normally, the signature is placed outside the picture, right on the print’s surrounding borders; but I’ve not included borders in this batch of prints.
I tested scribbling my initials and signature on a sketching paper before I just decided to sign (more like merely writing my name, date and edition) on the beige borders of the frame. I’ve wanted to sign on the back of the print but was not able to, as the print will be mounted/glued permanently onto a board to prevent warping.
Eventually, I’ve decided to not leave any markings on the print itself. Only my written name, year and edition on the beige borders bear any proof of my authentic identity. I guess my would-be buyers would have to trust my impeccable record keeping and credibility to ensure exclusivity of the seven-editions-only prints.