Photography is the rage in San Francisco. Whether it be via a vintage film camera, a DSLR with a giant lens attached, or your iPhone posting to Instagram, San Franciscans keep shooting away. I’m taking you on a tour of my favorite photo establishments that quench my craving for photography. (I realize this blog is named A Box of of Paints, but unlike Joni Mitchell, I can’t paint at all.)
Glass Key Photo
Glass Key Photo is run by a man named Matt who, I think, is one of the most knowledgeable people about vintage gear and film. Located inside of Rooky Ricardo’s record store in the Lower Haight, Glass Key Photo is a treasure trove for the film enthusiast. Somehow, Glass Key is able to procure some really rare finds and always has the film I’m looking for in stock. It’s pretty easy to spend an afternoon geeking out with Matt about what he has in stock, and learning a lot, too!
Glass Key Photo 448 Haight Street | 415.829.9946
The folk over at Photobooth know what’s going on in photography in this city, and have some pretty incredible customer service skills. Every time I go in there, I’m constantly asked about what sort of photography I’m doing and what projects I’m working on, currently. They take a genuine interest in their customers. On top of Photobooth being a retail space, they also act as host for a myriad of events including portfolio reviews and photo walks in the city. One added bonus about Photobooth is the availability to have tintype portraits taken. (When you google tintype photography they are the first result.) Do yourself a favor and have a tintype taken of yourself or loved ones.
Photobooth 1193 Valencia Street | 415.824.1248
Photoworks can boast about most likely being the “premiere” place for film development in San Francisco. They allow you to either send in your film or bring it in, and also help in the printing of digital images in a variety of ways. Photoworks recently announced the ability to print mobile photos that a user has posted on Instagram. That’s pretty impressive. I have used their services before and have always been impressed with the quality of work. Personally, I’ve had to overlook occasional questionable customer service from Photoworks, but it’s obvious that these individuals in the Castro know what they’re talking about.
Photoworks 2077-A Market Street | 415.626.6800
Lomography Gallery Store
Lomography is more than a shop, it’s a movement. Technical prowess is left at the door when it comes to lomography. Shots are taken based more on instinct rather then tech specs. Customer service at the Lomography Gallery Store is through the roof. They also have classes and provide you with a camera and film during those classes, if you’re looking to get your feet wet. Let’s not forget about the gallery showing some beautiful lomography work. This is a great place for a beginner looking to dive into film photography.
Lomography Gallery Store 309 Sutter Street | 415.248.0096