My first commission – The finished result

Vail Williams Commission - for publicity frame

This is the last entry describing my first ever photographic commission. It would have been posted much sooner, as I wanted to include some images of the framed photographs in their final resting place i.e. – hanging on the walls in the offices of Vail Williams, but lack of time and other commitments have prevented me from making a trip to North Harbour. Another day perhaps and an excuse for another blog entry. For the time being I have put together this composite of all ten photographs.

The Stern
The Stern

The last stage in the process of this commission was not without its challenges. As far as I was concerned every one of the A2 size prints had to be printed perfectly. No blemishes, no banding, just perfect results. My Epson 3880 performed extremely well but on a few occasions the print quality was not to my satisfaction and when this happened, in the bin it went, and another one was printed.

Printing the images with an Epson 3880

Mounting each image proved fairly straightforward. I had recently bought a new mount cutter by Longridge which would cope more easily with the size of board and opening I would be cutting. I had already calculated the size of the finished print so that I could cut each mount board identically to fit the black frames which I had purchased beforehand. Using archival ‘acid free’ tape I made ‘T’ hinges to fix the print to the mount board. I then used ‘acid free’ double sided tape to fix backing board to the mount board to keep the print flat and ensure a good fit inside the frame.

The Longridge mount cutter made easy work of this stage in the process

Perhaps the hardest task was placing the mounted photograph inside the frame. This task should be the easiest of all, but there were countless times when dust or some other tiny fragment would get trapped between the clear perspex and the board or the photograph itself. I simply can’t ignore it when this happens so I remove the print, clean the perspex and start again. I got there eventually but it can be most frustrating!

Commission completed – The stack of ten A2 photographs

My work finished I invited Ian Froome round to check that he was happy with the results. He was, so out came the bubble wrap and each of the ten framed photographs was packaged and stacked carefully in his car.

Inside Lakeside
Inside Lakeside

A few days later Ian contacted me to let me know that the ‘North Harbour handyman’ had hung each picture and the commission was well and truly completed. I received payment for my expenses and as agreed at the outset Vail Williams made a generous donation towards The St Peter Project.

Spinnaker Tower across the harbour
Spinnaker Tower

I thoroughly enjoyed my first commission, from agreeing the brief, to taking the images, making up a short list, processing them and finally making them ready for display. It did take a lot of time but I learnt a great deal in the process, and I would happily take on another commission given the opportunity.

The first entry – Agreeing the brief can be found here.

The second entry – Taking the photographs can be found here.

The third entry – Processing and selection can be found here.

2 Responses to “My first commission – The finished result”

  1. stevenjwillard

    Thank you for this account of what it takes to properly fulfill a fairly straightforward commission. I think most people have now idea just how much effort and care is required to do the job properly. Great job, and the images glow on screen. The prints must be gorgeous.

    Liked by 1 person

    • alan frost

      Thanks Steven. There was a lot more work involved than I had imagined, but I loved every minute of it. Yes it was a challenge…..and would I do it again? Definitely, but I would know how much time it takes and the amount of care involved. Shooting for a client is a very different thing to shooting for your own pleasure.



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