Chamira Young Takes Bella Art Prints for a Test Drive

by Chamira Young

It is my firm belief a digital image is brought to life through the age-old medium of print. There is something unmistakably magical about the tactile experience of running your fingers over the smooth fibers of a high quality paper and knowing your image can be passed down from generation to generation.

Of course, it goes without saying your printing source of choice has to be high quality. And if you are in the business of photography, then it is also preferable your printing source also have a quick turnaround and be cost effective for you as well.

Enter Marathon Press

Today I’m writing about my first impression and firsthand experience with Marathon Press. Over the years, I’ve been exposed to a number of printing companies, so I was curious to see how this one measured up.

For the image to print, I chose a photo I took from a recent vacation. It is of the abandoned ship La Grande Hermine, and rests in the Jordan Harbour in Ontario, Canada. It’s one of my favorites. Selfishly, I wanted to see how it would turn out on Marathon’s new Pearl Bella Art Print Paper. Given that their Pearl option includes unique, tiny glimmers of pearl dust, I figured it would pair well with the image’s dream-like quality.

 The Process

After signing up for Marathon Press via their straightforward sign up form, I downloaded their ROES software onto my computer. From there, I uploaded my image and placed the order, which was relatively easy. I noted that the price was extremely reasonable, much less than I was expecting. Frankly, it cost less than $50 for a 16×24 pearl print on their Pearl Bella Art Print paper with their sturdy white styrene backing. Not bad.

First Impressions

After I placed the order, it took three short days (I live in Michigan) for it to arrive via Fedex, wrapped securely in sturdy cardboard. Being ever the nerd, I took photos of the unwrapping process from the moment I eagerly carried it into the house. Hey, it’s important that our precious cargo arrives in one piece, right?

After I pawed cardboard open, I was pleased to find the print wrapped in additional protective paper and flexible styrofoam-esque sheets. Here’s a series photos of the external cardboard encasing, along with some detail shots:

Once the print was entirely free, the first thing I noticed was how the subtle pearl texture gently caught the natural light from my nearby window. Rather than being an overwhelming glare, it actually enhanced the beauty and impact of the print. Upon gently lifting it off the table, the second thing I immediately noticed was how wonderfully sturdy the print was.
Proudly, I propped it up and took a photo of the photo. Yes, as aforementioned, I am a nerd. From the beautiful Pearl paper to the sturdy styrene backing, the print made a first impression that radiated unmistakable elegance and sophistication.

Getting An Outside Opinion

Due to the extremely high quality of the print and
my emotional attachment to the photo, of course I was head over heels in love with the final product.
However, it always helps to get an outside opinion. In my case, this came in the form of a friend’s unsolicited feedback later that week.

My friend (we’ll call him John) stopped by for a few minutes to chat, and on his way out the door happened to glance
in the direction of the photo propped up on my couch (I hadn’t hung it on the wall yet). John abruptly paused in his tracks, swiveled his body to follow the direction of his head, and slowly approached the print.

“This is beautiful,” he breathed, “Really beautiful. Did you do this?” And to my surprise, he slowly, gingerly took a seat next to the print, as if he might startle it with any sudden movements. Of course I was all too happy to extol him with an explanation of the photo and the pearl paper. It was entertaining watching him swivel from side-to-side as the nearby window’s natural light caught the subtle shine of the pearl textures and illuminated the vibrant colors.

“You should sell this,” he said softly, entranced, “People would buy this.”


About Chamira Young by Skip Cohen

On the Photofocus site, there is a short bio about Chamira:

Chamira will readily admit it: she’s an art nerd, Photoshop geek, and photographer with an obsession for productivity and creativity. Through online teaching and podcasting, she loves helping other creative minds become more successful by empowering them with the knowledge and inspiration to up their game. Currently, is the hub of her creative mischief. It branches out to her other projects, and allows her to be an artist, photographer, podcaster at, and online course creator. You can also find her on Twitter.

But her bio doesn’t begin to do her love for the craft justice. Chamira is my co-host on the Mind Your Own Business podcast and I’m having a blast working with her. There are a handful of people in our industry who you meet and know there’s nothing outside of photography they’d ever be happy doing. In fact, the photographer who captured Chamira’s headshot is another mutual friend and equally passionate about the industry, Levi Sim.

We’re all part of a relatively small industry, but as I’ve written numerous times in the past, the best thing about photography has nothing to do with imaging, but the friendships that come out of everyone’s love for the craft!