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Creative business thinking to find the art in you

September 21, 2005

Masterpieces – creative business thinking to find the art in you

For Dave and Nadine Wall it’s all about thinking outside the box. The couple, who have a passion for photography and design, had successfully sold their Downtown Auckland Snap Printing franchise and wanted a more flexible working life that would allow them more time with their toddler daughter but still give leash to their creativity.

They also saw an opening for more a more inspired approach to providing people with cost-effective works of art based around their photographs – or just about anything that is important to them.

This week, after a lengthy trip through the South Island that naturally involved taking lots of photographs and several months of planning, the Walls are opening Masterpieces Gallery in Newmarket. They promise customers affordable art works that mean something to them beyond simply being an appealing image.

“These days just about everyone has a digital camera,” says Mr Wall. “They take a huge number of photos – after all, there are no film or printing costs – but they are not doing much with them. We want to change that and give people imagery that’s innovative and worthy of being displayed, either at home or in the business environment – and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.”

The Walls’ have embarked on their Masterpieces business venture with a wealth of experience in the retail and service sectors gained during the past six years of building up their Snap Printing franchise from a turnover of less than $200,000 to over $1 million.

For the most part their customer base at Snap comprised central Auckland businesses, including many well known blue-chip companies. “No matter who our customers were, they all wanted printed material that was well designed and looked good – everything from business cards to greeting cards and brochures to marketing materials,” Mr Wall said. “Along the way, we saw that many of them also needed professional photography for their collateral and so we established our commercial photography company, ND Photography.”

While the Walls will encourage Masterpieces customers to bring them their own photographs or other treasured items, such as their child’s first school painting or even the golf ball that landed the hole in one, the extensive ND Photography image library will also be available. This can be viewed online at in a month’s time and will include the latest shots from their South Island holiday trip.

Using computer technology, the Walls can digitally manipulate images every which way – or simply enhance the existing picture – before printing them onto canvas or photographic paper. The resulting image can measure just about any size from miniatures to murals measuring 1.1 metres deep and as long as required.

“We use UV stable inkjet printers to ensure long life expectancy with the result that the photo or treasured item is turned into a print of the highest quality available on the market today,” said Mr Wall.

Masterpieces also offers in-house custom framing and canvas stretching.

The Walls see that their latest business venture will appeal a range of customers – from proud parents seeking creative photos of their kids, to anglers who want a less stuffy way of preserving the fish that didn’t get away, to horse owners whose equine fancy finally won the race, to photographers wanting dramatic prints for an exhibition and to corporates looking for eye-catching artworks for the office that don’t burn the bottom line.

“Essentially, we are promoting art for all and using innovative digital and print technology to achieve it,” Mr Wall said.

Both the Walls caught the shutter bug at an early age. Dave Wall was just eight years old when he got his first camera and had advanced to an SLR camera and lenses by the time he was 12. Nadine Wall was first inspired as a teenaged school girl. They both acknowledge the design training they received during their time with Snap Printing stands them in good stead.

Masterpieces Gallery can be found at 5 Short Street, Newmarket, phone 09 376 6096 or (from October 31) visit


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