Over the years, as the local camera stores dwindled down to one, and then none (see my previous post), I and my photography friends would amuse ourselves with what we would do if we won the lotto and wanted to open a camera store, etc. Obviously, it would require something like that, because nobody expects to make any money at it. However, here are some main points to consider:
1. It should be a gathering place for people in the arts, and especially photographic arts.
2. Film and alt-process materials would be available.
3. C-41 Film lab with scanning services for 35mm and 120.
4. Used equipment for sale.
5. Coffee shop and gallery space included.
6. Darkroom/studio space.
|some cleaning needed...|
That's the short list, of course. It doesn't have all the details in how the place would be operated. It would have to find a niche and be a place that adds value to its customer base. For one, such a place would offer a series of workshops from basic photography to specific techniques and methodology.
A library of sorts is a useful thing to have. Especially when sipping a coffee. The gallery space would rotate on a 60-day basis. A coffee shop/photo store isn't as far-fetched as it sounds. Bookstores have been doing it for years.
|Exhibit openings are a great place to be.|
|Cameras and coffee!|
The darkroom and studio space could be rented, of course. Studio space is especially necessary, as it frees people to try some projects and be creative without having to actually have to own a space and all the lighting that is necessary.
|Partnering with LOMO not a bad idea.|
This fantasy store obviously can't be in a town with high rents like Ann Arbor. It would have to be in a place where the rent is cheaper and lots of unused downtown spaces. Since this IS a fantasy store bought with Lotto winnings, I guess owning the building is a better choice. Adrian, MI would be one such place, but closer to Ann Arbor would be better. Ypsilanti, perhaps. It would have to be run by people that love photography, and are willing to do the outreach and build the customer base. So, yes, it would require one to win the lottery to be able to finance this imaginary store. Or else, it could be a co-operative venture, but that still takes money.
What would your fantasy store look like?