Starting My Own Print Shop

If you’ve followed me throughout the years, you know I have a passion for photography. And while I still have things to improve on, it’s pretty dope to see how I’ve developed my skill.

Opening an online shop to sell prints of my work has always been a goal for me. Whether I make $2 or $200 (hopefully more, but who knows). I’ve gotten interest on photos I’ve posted on social media, so I thought why not translate that into potential sales? However, there were several questions…

How is an online store like this set up?

What all was needed to print the photos?

Can I use a third party printer – like Shutterfly – and then resell those prints?

Let’s rewind to high school, where this passion blossomed. Photography was an elective course we could choose and I really enjoyed it. Oh, by the way, I’m not talking about digital photography. This class utilized the “old school” film camera with developing in a darkroom. I still have some of those prints, actually.

While in that class and subsequent courses thereafter, I gained some valuable knowledge about the photographic process. Both in taking and developing photos. In fact, it was in this course that I learned about the N.C. State Fair Photography Competition. Who knew that a state fair – focused on agriculture – would have a competition for me?!?

I entered a photo produced in class – a cool, double exposure pic of rolls of film – and it didn’t win anything. However, we all got cool ribbons just for participating and that really set things in motion. I’ve entered a photograph each year since and it’s always cool to receive comments on them. From fairgoers and fair workers alike.

Moving on to the present, I think I’ve stepped up my game and done so without spending thousands upon thousands of dollars on professional cameras. Only an iPhone and a few editing apps. Since starting this journey, my photos have been featured on global creative platform hitRECord, in a calendar for the N.C. State Alumni Association, and at The Bulls of Durham. Not bad, huh?

After months of research on opening a photo shop, I came across a company called Darkroom. The company takes care of all the logistical aspects of a print shop (printing, shipping, and customer service). All the photographers have to do is create an account, upload the photos, and set prices. A nifty idea, for sure. And have no fear, they are legit, having been featured in publications such as Format and Fast Company.

The main question with Darkroom was, how would print quality be? That is kind of important! Another cool aspect of the company is creators can order samples of their prints at any time. The quality is just as good as other print companies I’ve used prior.

Whew! Long post. But it has a purpose. I’m happy to announce that my print shop at Darkroom will go LIVE at 10am EST this Friday! Just in time for the holiday shopping season, too!

Here, you’ll find a selection of some of my works and each will have choices ranging from traditional prints on lustre paper, to canvas and framing options. Even a metal option. Yes, a print on metal (if you get one of those bad boys, send me a pic)! There are various sizes as well to please all tastes and wallets.

Why now? Being, for lack of a better term, furloughed from my job due to the pandemic, I wanted a source through which I could hopefully garner a little extra money. But beyond that, the time spent at home has given me an opportunity to think. Opening this shop has been at the forefront.

I hope you’ll find something you like and there will be more photos in the future. And, trust me, I know a lot of people are struggling financially during this time. If you’re unable to purchase anything that’s totally fine! But what you can do is share my shop with friends and on your social channels. That would be huge!

Also, I decided to have a little fun with the opening of my shop. The featured photo in this post is a haiku I wrote. One word in the haiku is the keyword you can use to get 20% Off when the shop opens! There is a limited number of discounts available, so act fast!

From the bottom of my heart, I appreciate all of the likes, comments and support throughout the years. Your support made me believe I could do this and I’m forever grateful!

Much love and…check out my shop on Friday 😉

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