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Everything You Need to Know About the Print Shop

Oct 17

Today on the blog I’m sharing everything you need to know about my print shop that’s launching next Tuesday, October 23! You all have been dying to know more so I’m excited to answer your questions. I’m sharing the behind the scenes of how I shot the first collection and what you can snag next week! If you’re not on the email list, sign up here to be notified when the store goes live and to get 10% off your first order!

How did the print shop come about and what inspired the first collection of photographs?

The summer before my senior year of college at RISD, I lived in Charleston and was a photo intern at Charleston magazine. I TOTALLY fell in love with the city learned my way around when they sent me on different shoots. Every January, RISD had a 5-week winter semester meant for internships or taking a class outside of your major. I did everything I could to get back to Charleston! Luckily, the magazine was happy to have me back and I found a fellow RISD alumn and wedding photographer, Gayle Brooker, to intern with as well.

I was so excited to have 5 weeks in Charleston again (and avoid the blizzard-y Rhode Island winter!). I rented a film Hasselblad camera from school and took it with me to document my time in the city (keep scrolling to read about this camera and the process!).

On my days off and weekends, I took my Hasselblad camera and color film around Charleston with me. I loved going on walks downtown and exploring with my camera. I spent a ton of time on Sullivan’s Island beach during my time there, so I took my camera there as well. Hasselblad film cameras are mechanical and have a lot of tiny buttons and mechanisms to move while loading film and shooting, so my hands almost froze every time I was shooting (remember it was January!).

I’ve always loved these resulting photos because they remind me so much of why I fell in love with Charleston. I can’t wait to share Charleston’s endless good vibes with you all through this print shop. I’m already planning to shoot new print shop collections for 2019, and I can’t wait to shoot the city with the same camera and film after living here for three years and falling even more in love with this place!

How are the photographs shot?

All of the photographs in the print shop are shot on 120 medium format color film with a Hasselblad 501cm camera. If you’re wondering what all of that means, read on!

Why shoot film?

I shot all of the print shop photos on film, not digital! Film is a little bit of a throwback, and it’s so much fun. I learned photography by shooting 35mm black and white film in my high school photography class (my teacher was very against digital!). If you’ve never shot and developed your own film and prints in the dark room, all I can say is it’s magical! Every step is hands-on and forces you to work slowly. It’s the only way to truly learn photography!

Film has a really nice soft look and captures light gorgeously. There are plenty of filters that can make digital photos look like film these days, but they’re never the same! I don’t shoot film for client projects because it doesn’t make sense typically, but for personal projects like the print shop I LOVE shooting film!

What is 120 Medium Format Color Film?

Because the film is 120mm instead of 35mm, the negatives are larger and therefore give you more resolution and detail. Each roll of 120 film has 12 exposures, so I’m working much more slowly and deliberately than when I shoot digital (I can shoot hundreds on one memory card!). The Hasselblad camera also shoots in a square format, so the resulting images are like the original Instagram!  

Color film is also much more involved to develop than black and white, so I send it out to a lab to have developed and scanned into a digital file after I shoot it. I digitally edit the scans and print them on archival fine art luster paper.

What is a Hasselblad 501cm camera?

The Hasselblad 501cm camera is a medium format film camera. Hasselblad is a Swedish company that started making film cameras in the early 1900s. The cameras are so gorgeously made and feel so satisfying to shoot with. The camera has a removable back where the film is loaded, a viewfinder on top to focus your image, and everything is completely mechanical. Click here to see a video of what it looks like to shoot with one!

What options will be available in the print shop?

Head to this post to see all of the photographs that will be available when the shop opens next week on Tuesday, October 23! Each photo will be available as an unframed print or custom framed! The available sizes are 10×10″, 12×12″, 16×16″, and 20×20″, and the frames come in your choice of white or black.

Why get a framed print?

Square frames are hard to find in your typical Target or Michael’s, so I am including framing as an option in the print shop! The frames are high quality (much better than Target or Michael’s!) and made in Italy. They include UV-resistant acrylic glass and pre-installed sawtooth hangers for easy hanging. A framed print will guarantee your print will look great for years to come.

Will the prints be signed by you?

Yes! I am signing each print in archival ink (whether framed or unframed) so you know it was created by me and an original artwork.

Want to know more?

Drop me a comment below! I’d love to answer any other questions you have about the shop!

comments +

  1. Beth

    October 17th, 2018 at 2:41 pm

    Hi Abby!

    Just wondered how long an order would take. (Both framed and unframed)

  2. abbymurphy

    October 22nd, 2018 at 12:37 pm

    Hi mom!! Because of the custom nature of framing, expect 3-4 weeks for delivery of framed prints. Unframed prints will take 1-2 weeks. Free hand delivery is available to anyone in the Charleston area!

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