We were at the Copper Kettle, just a few doors down from Campkins Camera’s on King’s Parade chatting with one of the Campkins team.
Hayder is the person behind your printing at Campkins. And we talk about his role, the importance of printing and catering for all levels of photographer.
Hi Hayder. Tell us a bit about what you do at Campkins.
I do printing at Campkins. I’m in charge of everything to do with printing, whether it’s small format stuff like the 6×4 standard postcard picture, or the large format things such as posters, canvases, anything really that photographers needs for printing.
The Print Specialist man! What is your background in the trade?
So my background is in design. So I grew up learning graphic design. I’ve been learning Adobe stuff, Photoshop, Illustrator, since I was about 10. And from there I went to into web design and coding and all this kind of stuff. And so that’s my background.
So you’ve got background in design, but then that’s merged with photography. So what is it you love about photography?
So I’ve always been a multi-disciplinary person. I like to do a variety of different things. So my perspective is whether it’s photography, design or painting it’s just like another tool that you can learn. So I have to achieve a vision or an idea or something that you have. So for me at the beginning, I was really in love with the technical aspect of photography. And I always like different ways of figuring out light and composition and things like that.
And this, it’s kind of, it’s the same principle. If you’re designing a poster, it’s always composition and balance and things like that. So it’s really interesting to see the difference between that and me getting to do both. And being on both sides of that has helped me become a better designer. It can help me improve my photography. I already have an idea about what makes a good composition.
I actually never have never held the camera before I started at Campkins. I never even used to take photos and everything, and then Owen tried get me more interested in cameras. And he gave me an EM1, a brilliant camera for me back at the beginning, it was an old one, even at the time. Then I just got started with that.
In a world of mobile phones, camera rolls, hard drives, it’s never been easier to capture those moments with photography, but in terms of printing, what’s your view on the role of printing?
So the way I see it is, if you don’t have a camera, you have a phone. When you don’t have a phone, you have something else that’s going to be able to take a picture. There’s an abundance, right? And it’s hard because I have about over 2,000 pictures a month on my phone. I guarantee you I’ve never looked at each one twice – I just take picture and leave it there.
And printing a picture is a way for you to emphasise a moment, right. You’re not going to print every picture that you take, but the ones you choose to print, that’s a physical thing. Let it live on your shelf, live in an album, or live wherever else. And that’s making memories, but also for professionals who want to connect with their work better. You have a better understanding of your work and work hard to improve.
And then you looking over there on the screen, it’s kind of that disconnection. I’m not the type of person who’s going to tell you I’m anti technology, I grew up around computers and screens and that’s all I’ve looked at all my life. But there is a difference when you bring that piece of art into a physical dimension, right. You look at it and say – “you know what? I could have done that better.” You can be more critical of it, more connected to it.
And it’s also a great, great way to show your work – somebody asks you for a portfolio these days and you bring out the nice boards and say, “this is my work.” I think that’s much nicer than looking at it on a computer or an iPad.
It’s true. I think, because in a way, the flood of digital photography has meant there’s even more focus on print. So you’re really able to capture those moments and get up close and personal with your photography.
Yeah. And that’s the two things we are kind of like trying to focus with printing at Campkins that we have.
Someone comes in and wants pictures of their grandkids. We walk them through that. We walk them through the process and we print it for them.
And then we have photographers who come and want to print their portfolio, and they know exactly what they want. We try to make that as easy as possible, so they just get their work to get printed.
I know a lot of other stuff, I’ve been working with editing software, Photoshop, for many, many years. So a lot of the time if somebody is struggling to get their files to the right resolution or wonder how they can cut it and things like that, we just sit down with them and chat in the shop and then we can get that to print.
And you’ve got that post-production experience as well to kind of elevate the photography much more and make it even more special. Yeah. And a lot of times people just don’t want to bother with editing. They say “can you get this picture to look a certain way for me?” And we just do that, you know, we get the raw file, we edit it and then we print it.
So we try to get out of the way for professionals and just have them print their work. But if somebody needs that help we always try to give them as much help as possible to get them over that fear of printing: What resolution do I need? Do I need a really expensive camera and resolution and megapixels to print at that size?
Most of the time, the answer is you can, you can print your picture, whatever size and get that quality.
I like what you said about when you’re doing the printing for hobbyists, somebody who really knows their photography, you step out of their way and you go, “Right, you know what you want and we’ll print it for you.”
But then when you’re looking at somebody who’s more or your everyday photographer with their mobile phone, you then go “right, let’s adjust the service there to make sure we’re doing these extra bits because they just want to see their photography printed out.” So that’s a really nice balance.
And the nice thing is that a lot of people end up just loving this stuff. And the next time they come they have a 300 gb file ready and we just print it, and it’s easy.
When it comes to Campkins, you’re the print specialist. What do you love about printing photography for your customers?
I get to see really awesome work! A variety of people’s work: Travel photographers, street photographers, people who go on adventures, and you get to see what their eyes are seeing. The kind of shots they take.
And there’s some amazing pieces of art coming through and you get to print that and when that comes out it’s beautifully I really like looking at people’s work and seeing what they do.
The technical side of it is fun for me, you know, getting the files ready and cutting the right aspect ratio and adjusting the colours and things like that. That sounds boring for probably the majority of people, but for me, that’s the fun part.
It’s not surprising actually, because you talk about working on websites – there’s that element of changing something, seeing what happens. That developer/programmer attitude is a satisfaction in seeing something change in front of your eyes.
Yeah. And I really enjoy that. And I like getting to teach people how to get that post-production aspect of it. It’s just fun for me.
If you want to chat with Hayder about how printing services then get in touch with us online or pop into the shop. We’re here to help.