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RpMerleon Live Photo Sales Review - 20 October 2002

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Phew, we are totally shacked, very tired, sleepy and sick. Not to mention we were severely shorthanded and our assistants, being degree holders & professionally trained in IT were underpaid! But we really enjoyed ourselves at our first live digital photo selling.

Crudos to Ching Yuen & Vincent, our two very wonderful RpMerleon Assistants who slogged throughout lunch, dinner, supper and even sleep to assist us. With nary a complaint, they served you, the competitors with cheer and even at times lending a sympathetic ear to a few competitor's grouses. Not only must they attend to sales, they must also operate IT equipment, periodically run to RpMerleon photographer, Robin to give feedback on photo quality and customers' requirements.

Poor Robin, he was sniffing yesterday and developed a terrible sore throat today and was given MC by the doctor. Robin is RpMerleon's technical guru and because of this live photo sales, he was determined to capture your best shots so have been experimenting and improving on his digital photography skills. RpMerleon being poor, can only afford 1 digital camera right now. Glad to say, the best crop of digital photos were produced in the 15th Singapore International Ballroom Dancing Championships, 20 Oct 02.

Hey competitors, be nice to him, give him feedback on your photos or your requirements and he'll make sure you will be captured with the best shots!

For the life of RpMerleon's mascot, Bat the cat, Pele never expected a live digital photo sales to be such hardship. It was indeed easier to dance competitively then to sell digital photos live. For the past weeks, she has to experiment with new printing media like the photo magnet, photo key chain, photo window decal, a new professional photo printer, a borrowed professional printer on a new notebook with a borrowed 18" flat screen monitor (RpMerleon's poor) and had only an average of 6 hour's sleep for the past 6 days.

That's the reason why she was "blur blur" like "sotong" when you guys tried to speak to her yesterday. She kept snapping at Cheng Yuen, Vincent and even Robin, she also yelled at some competitors when terribly irritated by their unreasonable comments.

RpMerleon would like to appologise for not being able to process some minor orders and for stopping order taking from 10pm onwards as we were overwhemed with backlogs to process. The photos will be uploaded onto RpMerleon iShop for those who missed out. For locals who have ordered, paid and waiting for deliveries, thank you for trusting us and we'll rush it out within these 2 days.

Just to explain a little if any misunderstanding was caused:
- RpMerleon photos are printed with resin-coated ultrachrome pigment inks which are water resistant, onto professional photo paper. This combination ensures your photos will last 40-60 years (depending on your storage) without any color fading and lamination is entirely unnecessary. The lifespan is even better than those photos printed in any other media or photo labs that last only 1-25 years.

- RpMerleon will try to capture every single pair of competitor with as many shots as possible and it's NOT true that each pair has a quota of 2 photos. But if you tell us that you would like some photos, we would try get more shots for you

- Nor is it true that we only capture those competitors that we like as we were doing live sales yesterday, so the more the merrier

- You might have danced well but some other competitors might have blocked the photographer or you might be doing your beautiful lines away from the photographer

- There's only so much that one photographer can do. In the past, we had two photographers, but with live sales, we are down to one. More photographers will end up with higher costs and thus higher pricing.

- Understand that the higher level of dance you achieve, the better your photos will be and it's easier to photograph you

- We take alot of effort in processing and printing the photos to give you the best quality (getting the photos selected, cropped, sharpened, colour adjusted, titles etc) and that takes time

- There's a huge investment in equipment (cameras, lens, flash, computers, monitors, software, network equipment, printers etc) to produce top quality live digital photos. We also use the best materials (inks, paper) for printing so that your photos don't fade and the photos are vibrant. And we need to pay our poor assistants. All these costs add up and thus we have to price it accordingly to recover cost. Any small profits are ploughed back to recover cost and into further investment to bring you even better quality in a shorter period.

We'd like to say a big "THANK YOU" for the support you've given to RpMerleon throughout the years since 1996! You've helped to keep RpMerleon website afloat and our spirits alive! Special thanks to Ms Aleena Tan & Sunny Low for entering into a great partnership with RpMerleon, Dr SH & Amy Wong who are constantly there to give encouragement & moral support, our "Uncle" William Lor for lending a sympathetic ear & giving encouragement, Felix & Molly & Raymond for being our comforting pillows and believing in our sincerity & capabilities, Mdm Sim Joo Joo, Li Peng & Hui Joo for offering food items to boost our energy in every championship, Teresa Ang & Lau Tan, William Tan & Maybell Koh and Lionel Cheng & Carolyn Lam for always buying up all pictures taken of them without hesitation. And many others who've helped in one way or another.

Are you happy with RpMerleon's photo and its quality? If yes, will you inform future championship organisers? Any other comments? Please give your valuable feedback if possible in the forum.

This article was published on Monday 21 October, 2002.
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