Come one, come all. Lomography has partners all over the world to help serve your analogue needs. If you're from Ireland then it's your lucky day. We're featuring our Dublin-based stockist John Gunn Camera Shop in today's installment of Lomography Partners.
John Gunn Camera Shop had just celebrated their 50th anniversary in the photography business so you know you're in good hands when you deal with them. They pour their heart and soul into the work they do and it's no surprise that this family-owned business is loved by many film photographers. After all, 50 years in the industry is no small feat! Learn more about them in this interview.
Can you introduce yourself to the Lomography community?
We are John Gunn Camera Shop, a family camera shop in the heart of Dublin 2, Ireland and we are celebrating our 50th year in business this year.
What does analogue mean to you?
Analogue has always been our passion. We have a hugely supportive film community behind us and we process both black-and-white film and color film in-store. We still wet process print though we scan more film than is printed these days. All of us from the store are active film users and we just love experimental film.
We are currently very excited by the LomoChrome Purple, Metropolis, and Cinestill film as we have always embraced alternative processes. The Lomography Color Negative 400 has really impressed us with how well it handles greens; particularly Irish winter forest greens in the bleak mid-winter. It added so much life to our pandemic photos.
What does Lomography mean to you?
It is an exciting and progressive brand that embraces the fun and experimental nature of film photography. Whilst other film producers are cutting film from their catalogs, Lomography keeps going from strength to strength.
Why do you choose to work with Lomography?
At the core is the "Why" of Lomography. It showcases a passion for film photography and there is simply no other way to feel about film photography. They have an enthusiastic professional attitude completely underscored by enthusiasm about their work which in turn breeds excitement with us about their products.
What is your favorite Lomography product and why?
Metropolis – it’s a really contrasty, urban, metallic-hued film that lends itself to recording city life. It transforms images and interprets them artistically.
Are you doing any creative projects right now in the store or personally? Please tell us more about them.
Yes, we just finished celebrating our 50 years in business with a walking street exhibition of our customers' work called ‘Joy’, which in large part was down to spreading joy from the analogue community to people passing by and struggling with the isolation of Covid 19 lockdown. It reflected the generosity of spirit of the creative film community.
What does the future of analogue photography look like to you? How will this impact your store in the next ten years?
We love analogue and as a business, we have always done what we love. Whilst film photography may become more niche, people using it now are more accepting of the costs of shooting analogue as it is a choice. None of us in our family business have ever been able to convey our creative selves in quite the same way shooting digitally as we have with film. You shoot analogue with your heart and digital with your head, I guess.
What hardship did your shop/lab have to face during the lockdowns and what kept you going through these hard times?
Instagram kept us going in lockdown. Our postman sending films to us kept us going. But our customers willing us to succeed and sending in films to keep the business ticking over whilst we worked behind closed doors kept us going most of all. Ultimately, it was our film community's support that meant we could financially endure the lockdown.
What's the most annoying thing about running an analogue lab?
Not finding your gloves or tail pullers.
What's your favorite memory from the lab so far?
Printing students end-of-year exhibits and them queueing outside the lab for their turn to share their excitement.
What's the weirdest thing you have received when developing films?
Finding a tub of shampoo inside a film canister.
What would you do if you didn’t run a photo lab?
Run a gallery.
Official Name: John Gunn Camera Shop
Began Accepting Film for Developing: 1994
Address: 16 Wexford Street, Dublin 2, Ireland
Services offered: 135 and 120 film developing, black-and-white and color processing, camera, film, studio equipment, and darkroom supplies sales
Film lab staff: 3
Want to see your favorite store featured in our magazine? Please send us an email at email@example.com and we will check them out!