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Get Your Kicks with Polyvoile: Windows on Route 66

Box Portrait Gallery, run by Gary and Pamela Box, resides in what used to be a shoe store on Route 66 in Sapulpa, Okla., a small town near Tulsa. The old shoe store is a fitting location since its large display windows allow the photographer couple to give their high-end work maximum exposure.

Box Portrait Gallery

The Polyvoile fabric banners provide an excellent transition from the storefront and into the studio at Box Portrait Gallery.

The two windows – one highlighting Box Portrait Gallery's senior photography and one featuring their family/children work – are backed by two translucent Polyvoile fabric banners that can be seen from the outside looking in, and from the studio gallery, which is behind the windows.

"We display images that are dramatic and eye-catching, and make people say, 'Wow... I want to look like that!' We have eight 24" x 48" banners, primarily printed on satin photo paper, and we laminate them. Then we use banner hardware, and it makes a really nice presentation," explains Gary Box. "For a divider between those windows and the front gallery we printed some on the Polyvoile fabric. It's a barrier to the window, but at the same time it's not, because you can see the image on both sides of it. It also allows light into the main gallery from the windows, which is another great aspect of the material. It creates a real nice effect and is effective in our sales presentation."

Box Portrait Gallery

The fabric's translucency allows the images to be seen from outside and inside the studio.

The studio’s showcase prints in the main gallery are printed on Hahnemuhle Torchon. The mix and match of photo and fine art paper, along with the translucent Polyvoile fabric banners guides clients through the printing capabilities and photographic excellence of Box Portrait Gallery.

Box says they've been printing banners for about five years, and originally got the idea from banners they saw in local clothing stores. They also use banners for their speaking engagements across the country.

Because of the nature of the Polyvoile fabric, it took some trial-and-error to get the printing just right on their Epson 7600. Box recommends using an enhanced matte setting and printing at 720 dpi, rather than 1,440 dpi. "The quality we're getting now is great, and using those settings will cut down significantly on wasted material," says Box.

Box Portrait Gallery

The window banners are changed out regularly, usually as each season approaches. Box Portrait Gallery's main business is senior portraits, and Box estimates that about 75 percent of their work is in the senior market.

The banners, and other printed pieces that adorn the studio, are integral in helping to maintain the $1,200 per portrait average Box is able to maintain. It not only shows their expertise behind the camera, but what they can do with the images beyond the typical 4x6 or 8x10.

Volume 2  -  No. 7


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