Framers Hate Her!

Not many people know this, but for three years in high school I worked at Aaron Brothers. I took classes and seminars and actually had a lot of fun helping people custom frame the pictures, artwork, and memorabilia that were important to them. To this day, I’m still the weirdo who inspects the artwork on her friends’ walls and occasionally admires a reverse-beveled mat or float-mounted piece of artwork.

As you can imagine, I’m pretty finicky about my own framing projects when I get a chance.

Today, I took this beautiful photograph my good friend Aaron James (you may remember my glowing endorsement of his photography work from this post) printed out for me down to Aaron Brothers. My goal was to get it custom matted and framed in an off-the-shelf frame (also known as a Quick Frame in Aaron Brother terms).

I unrolled it onto the familiar counter top and announced my intentions with the frame, specifically that I wanted a top mat the same color white as the moon, and a 1/4″ gray mat that matched the tone of the moonlight on the waves. What did the framer pull out?

A black top mat (the tone of which was wrong) and a double white mat (which is twice as expensive) to go on the bottom.

Having lost my faith in his eye for color, a crucial skill for a framer, I corrected him and picked out the correct colors. When he rang it up, he told me the grand total would come to $225 not including frame. As I looked at the cost breakdown, I laughed and told him he could skip the Preservation Mount (something expensive you only need to do if something is rare, one-of-a-kind, or signed/numbered and worth money), the UV glass (preserves the colors in your artwork longer, but not necessary if you’re hanging the piece out of direct sunlight, and that pesky double mat again (hi, I’m not new, here).

As I turned down the unnecessary services, one of his coworkers tried to convince me of the necessity of the Preservation Mount, to which I held up one hand and said, “I’m aware of what it is, I worked here for three years. It’s not necessary.”

She shut up, he took the extra charge off with a sheepish look, and I left having secured the correct price for the services I was requesting.

This might all sound like gibberish, but what it boils down to is this: Either through incompetence or greed, people will try to upsell you if you don’t know better. If you need something framed, ask me to go with you. I’m really good at it, and I’ll make sure you’re not charged for something stupid.

Also? How awesome is this photograph? I love it so much I want to stare at it while brooding and drinking Scotch. Aaron is crazy-talented. Go buy a bunch of his work and then let me come with you to frame it.

I May Not Know Why, But I Know What I Like

Photo credit Aaron James Imagery

Photo credit Aaron James Imagery.

True confession: I’m not a “fancy” person. I can’t look at high art and ‘get’ it, I can’t really differentiate the nose of a Cabernet and a Merlot, and I can’t taste a gourmet dish and tell you what, exactly, I like about it other than that it tastes good.

That said, I do like things. I can’t always provide a fancy-pants high brow explanation of why I like things, but I definitely know what I like. (Unless we’re talking about writing, of course, about which I know enough to be exceptionally picky.)

When it comes to photography, I tend not to be interested unless the photo in question tells a story of some kind. I’m a storyteller, I like to be transported. I fully believe in photography’s ability, when done right, to take you somewhere new so you can feel something. It’s about freezing and preserving a moment in time. I like photography to be rich and textured, and can’t usually say I’m terribly blown away by what I see touted as photography.

Photo credit Aaron James Imagery.

Photo credit Aaron James Imagery.

Except when I look at my friend Aaron James’s work. There’s something magical about what he does with a camera. It isn’t anything fancy or contrived, he just has this natural ability to capture the exact images that define moments and feelings. The guy’s got great instincts, and it shows in his work.

I don’t know if it’s because of how he uses light, or because his finger instinctively knows when to press down on the shutter, or because he’s just one of those people for whom these things come naturally. What I do know is that he’s serious about his craft and it’s a lot of fun to watch him do what he loves.

Photo credit Aaron James Imagery.

Photo credit Aaron James Imagery.

His real specialty is children. He’s a father of three and, as such, has this uncanny ability to take pictures that tell you everything you need to know about his subjects in a single image. Unfortunately for you, I can’t show you the incredible pictures he took of my kids because I’m protective of my kids’ privacy. Just trust me. They’re stunning.

In case you’re a Seattle area local and you want Aaron to make you look good too, he’s currently taking bookings and charges reasonable (read: affordable) rates. Check out his website here or just email him at aaronsbjames{at}gmail{dot}com.

He in no way asked me to blog about him or compensated me for this post, I just believe in him. A good photographer deserves to have tons of work to do, and you deserve to have terrific photos taken of you. You’ll be so happy you hired him, trust me.

My Friend the Photographer

So I have this friend. His name is Aaron. He just so happens to be married to one of my closest friends. Her name is Jennifer. They just moved here from Missouri, which makes me super happy because trying to drink margaritas together from half a continent away doesn’t really work. Not well, anyway.

So my friend Aaron, he’s a photographer. A really talented one. Believe me when I say I don’t throw that word around lightly, because I don’t. Even I, with my plebeian eyes, can tell he’s got an eye, so that should tell you something.

Photo credit: Aaron James Imagery

Photo credit: Aaron James Imagery

Anyway, he’s getting his photography business set up here in Washington. This means he’s offering a special that’s so good I have to blog about it and share because seriously? You’d be crazy to pass this up.

Photo credit: Aaron James Imagery

Photo credit: Aaron James Imagery

Are you ready? Because here it is: He’s doing family photography sessions for $75! Amazing!!!

Photo credit: Aaron James Imagery

Photo credit: Aaron James Imagery

He took my family’s pictures last year and I was thrilled with the result. Those pictures are worth every penny.

Photo credit: Aaron James Imagery

Photo credit: Aaron James Imagery

If you live in Washington and have a family you’d like amazing photos of, contact him. Take advantage of this offer while it lasts!