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brightmatter
26-Jul-2015, 07:33
Hi everyone,
I was chatting recently to a street photographer in New York who made some of his money selling passers-by 4x5 instant prints of themselves for about $20-30 per print and I've been wondering whether I should try something similar in London with Impossible 8x10 instant film. Has anyone here ever attempted something similar? Do you happen to have any tips on approaching this? Also, any advice on the most affordable way to get a decent 8x10 portrait setup (pinhole or fixed lens perhaps?) would be much appreciated! This is probably a bit of a hare-brained idea but seeing as how fascinated people are with large format cameras, it could be quite a fun way of making some extra cash.
Kind Regards,
Rowan

Randy Moe
26-Jul-2015, 08:24
In 90's Chicago an old guy with 3x4 Polaroid camera and flash, Pro looking, used to hit Punk clubs. Meaning he came in, approached obvious couples of any persuasion and offered to photograph them. He kept samples in his fedora.

He became well known on the circuit, I was on, however I was not shooting. He worked midnight to 4am. I watched him sell single Polaroids for $10, 10 to 15 per visit. These were big clubs. Lot's of people. He came and went in 15 minutes and often made 2 or 3 visits to each place. Not weekends, but when professionals drink. Not for the faint of heart.

He wasted no time, was very friendly and professional. I am sure he cleared $500 on a good night.

His clients knew him, trusted him and were drunk lovers.

One day he never was seen again.

vinny
26-Jul-2015, 08:24
You might break even. I wouldn't worry about making a profit.

BarryS
26-Jul-2015, 08:27
The issue I see is the high cost of 8x10 instant film. You'd need to sell the prints at $50-$60 minimum, and that's a lot for an impulse purchase on the street. The cost of your setup would make it an uphill battle just to break even--check the prices of Polaroid 8x10 holders and processors. Alternatively, you could build an Afghan box type camera and your startup and materials costs would be very low.

brightmatter
26-Jul-2015, 08:42
You might break even. I wouldn't worry about making a profit.


The issue I see is the high cost of 8x10 instant film. You'd need to sell the prints at $50-$60 minimum, and that's a lot for an impulse purchase on the street. The cost of your setup would make it an uphill battle just to break even--check the prices of Polaroid 8x10 holders and processors. Alternatively, you could build an Afghan box type camera and your startup and materials costs would be very low.

This is exactly my thought, although I could probably get away with around £20-35, since the film is £13 per sheet. I think it all depends on demand really. I need to find an area with plenty of moneyed, inquisitive types (tourists always seem to have the cash for such things as this!) I also agree that a very simple camera with little to no movements would be the way to go. All in with one box of film I'd hope to spend around 600-800 pounds. As vinny said, I'll worry first about breaking even, then I can think about making a profit. Since I'll soon be starting university, I'm not exactly swimming in dough (!) but where there's a will there's a way!
Thanks for the words of advice guys,
Rowan

brightmatter
26-Jul-2015, 08:44
In 90's Chicago an old guy with 3x4 Polaroid camera and flash, Pro looking, used to hit Punk clubs. Meaning he came in, approached obvious couples of any persuasion and offered to photograph them. He kept samples in his fedora.

He became well known on the circuit, I was on, however I was not shooting. He worked midnight to 4am. I watched him sell single Polaroids for $10, 10 to 15 per visit. These were big clubs. Lot's of people. He came and went in 15 minutes and often made 2 or 3 visits to each place. Not weekends, but when professionals drink. Not for the faint of heart.

He wasted no time, was very friendly and professional. I am sure he cleared $500 on a good night.

His clients knew him, trusted him and were drunk lovers.

One day he never was seen again.

Sounds just like the mysterious photographer I mentioned speaking to in my initial post!

paulr
26-Jul-2015, 09:09
If you can think of some angle for the project that gets the public imagination involved, you might be able to get the film company to sponsor you.

goamules
26-Jul-2015, 10:40
Photographers with Speed Graphics used to show up at a lot of tourist bars and restaurants from the 1930s until probably the 1980s. In Mexico, they still were shooting Polaroids until the 1990s when I went down there. But that's handheld 4x5, not 8x10. Today, I have doubts:

- That was pre-internet, today everyone has gotten used to free everything on the web. The won't buy music, books, or anything without first checking to see if it's free on the web.
- Then, having a photo to remember the occasion was a rare thing. Today everyone is taking selfies and dinner plate shots with their phones.
- Having tried to sell wetplate portraits in several venues over the years, I've learned people are very reluctant to part with their money for photos. It depends on the location, but most art shows, street fairs, and historic places I've set up I get about 1 customer for every 400 lookie loos.

brightmatter
26-Jul-2015, 11:08
It depends on the location, but most art shows, street fairs, and historic places I've set up I get about 1 customer for every 400 lookie loos.

Wow, that's a lot of lookie loos for one sale! Could I ask how much you were charging for a print?

Jim Jones
26-Jul-2015, 12:30
I suspect success with such an endeavor would depend more on salesmanship than equipment or photographic ability. Even so, being able to produce sharp and well exposed portraits on the first try are important. An Afghan-style camera can be fast to operate with a string or rod determining the correct plane of focus. If the camera is free to move a few inches longitudinally. the rod can move the camera to tweak the focus. Then the photographer can step out of the picture, direct the sitter's eyes as desired, and trip the shutter with a remote release. Such equipment need not and probably should not look new out of the box. The economics of the project may be more problematic than the technique.

brightmatter
26-Jul-2015, 14:57
I suspect success with such an endeavor would depend more on salesmanship than equipment or photographic ability. Even so, being able to produce sharp and well exposed portraits on the first try are important. An Afghan-style camera can be fast to operate with a string or rod determining the correct plane of focus. If the camera is free to move a few inches longitudinally. the rod can move the camera to tweak the focus. Then the photographer can step out of the picture, direct the sitter's eyes as desired, and trip the shutter with a remote release. Such equipment need not and probably should not look new out of the box. The economics of the project may be more problematic than the technique.

In terms of economics, I'm not too worried about making back my money too soon, since I'd really like to have an 8x10 anyway to complement my Hasselblad 500. However, I'll definitely try and be as economical as possible in acquiring the camera, lens and processing equipment.

Randy Moe
26-Jul-2015, 17:16
Fancy camera, expensive 8x10 impossible will not yield break even. And you will worry about it all.

Dirt cheap, old clothes, hat, Afghan DIY setup, play fool and have a good time.

It's a game.

Corran
27-Jul-2015, 06:50
Done it with 3x4 Fuji instant film.

It's fun. I am doing it again in a couple of weeks at a music/arts festival. Profit is high with the small prints (I charge $10 per, and I have a nice little paper frame to go with it).

I would imagine 8x10-sized instant film would be tough. Doesn't that large IP film take longer to process? I seem to remember reading somewhere that it was barely "instant," more like 30+ minutes? Could be wrong.

My friend and I haven't done it, but are looking at ways to do wet plate (8x10) in this fashion. More unique/interesting, and not much (if at all) more expensive than 8x10 IP. We've done tons of plates in an afternoon at a workshop. Only problem is the insufferable heat down here - messes with the chemicals (it got up to 90 degrees in the darkroom tent last time).

brightmatter
27-Jul-2015, 06:52
Done it with 3x4 Fuji instant film.

It's fun. I am doing it again in a couple of weeks at a music/arts festival.

I would imagine 8x10-sized instant film would be tough. Doesn't that large IP film take longer to process? I seem to remember reading somewhere that it was barely "instant," more like 30+ minutes? Could be wrong.

My friend and I haven't done it, but are looking at ways to do wet plate (8x10) in this fashion. More unique/interesting, and not much (if at all) more expensive than 8x10 IP. We've done tons of plates in an afternoon at a workshop.

8x10 instant film is pretty unique! ;) Wet plate is obviously amazing as well. Actually the dev time is around 4 minutes, which is quite feasible. Glad to see one person has made it work, albeit with a less complex setup.

Corran
27-Jul-2015, 06:54
Hmm, don't remember where I read that, well never mind. Anyway, if it were me, I'd focus the camera on a fixed point, and then setup a rangefinder set to that distance on top of the camera and a sports viewfinder of some sort, and move the camera back and forth to "focus" to that point. If that makes sense.

I've definitely made a few bad exposures and you just roll with it and shoot another. But for you that'll be expensive!

The best part for me is I've had a few instances where people loved the product and later found me and hired me for more work. Did a band album cover like that. All Fuji instant shots (scanned).

DrTang
27-Jul-2015, 07:14
that new direct positive film - asa supposedly of 120 - is coming out...maybe use that instead and build a developing 'tent'..well..large changing bag thing you could use on site..or a paper processor if you can find one about

how much do those character sketch people charge anyway?? like 40 bucks right??... with a cool background and portable set up..one should be able to do okay I would think


years ago..I had this idea that the local chamber of commerce or art commission would sponsor me (hahahahahaah = oh man..that sounds so funny now) - sponsor me by providing film, insurance maybe and some downtown storefront that happened to be empty . and I would grab people off the street as they passed..photograph them and slap their 8x10 polaroid right up on the wall - then and there... it would be a photo gallery that would open w/o one single image.. and by closing..the walls would be filled....ah...to dream

brightmatter
27-Jul-2015, 08:38
that new direct positive film - asa supposedly of 120 - is coming out...maybe use that instead and build a developing 'tent'..well..large changing bag thing you could use on site..or a paper processor if you can find one about

how much do those character sketch people charge anyway?? like 40 bucks right??... with a cool background and portable set up..one should be able to do okay I would think


years ago..I had this idea that the local chamber of commerce or art commission would sponsor me (hahahahahaah = oh man..that sounds so funny now) - sponsor me by providing film, insurance maybe and some downtown storefront that happened to be empty . and I would grab people off the street as they passed..photograph them and slap their 8x10 polaroid right up on the wall - then and there... it would be a photo gallery that would open w/o one single image.. and by closing..the walls would be filled....ah...to dream

What's the name of the new film? Sounds intriguing

Bruce Barlow
27-Jul-2015, 09:01
I used to do it with Type 52, and later Type 72, as a fundraiser for my son's school at their Craft Fair. Got 8x10 cut mats with hinged backing board, and had an assistant coat and then linen-tape the prints in the mat. Clear plastic bag, and voila!

It was really fun, and great practice. I'd do 75 a day, at $10 apiece. I donated the materiais, being a good sport.

137629

Sometimes it was so much fun I'd make a negative.

DrTang
27-Jul-2015, 09:15
What's the name of the new film? Sounds intriguing

Galaxy I think..paper


it's at the bottom of the forum in the kickstarter section

Oren Grad
27-Jul-2015, 09:21
What's the name of the new film? Sounds intriguing

As mentioned, it's not a film, it's a paper. And it's not really a direct positive paper, either, though it's being promoted as such. It requires reversal processing, which is not likely to be something you're going to want to do on the fly. And based on what they've shown so far, results are likely to show the same excess contrast and problems with highlight and/or shadow detail that are typical of paper used in camera.

If you want to learn more, there's a link to the Kickstarter campaign in the discussion thread here.

brightmatter
27-Jul-2015, 09:33
As mentioned, it's not a film, it's a paper. And it's not really a direct positive paper, either, though it's being promoted as such. It requires reversal processing, which is not likely to be something you're going to want to do on the fly. And based on what they've shown so far, results are likely to show the same excess contrast and problems with highlight and/or shadow detail that are typical of paper used in camera.

If you want to learn more, there's a link to the Kickstarter campaign in the discussion thread here.

I agree, I think the relative immediacy of the IP film makes it a more viable option. Does anyone know if you need a license to just plonk your camera down somewhere and charge for photos?

Oren Grad
27-Jul-2015, 09:50
I agree, I think the relative immediacy of the IP film makes it a more viable option. Does anyone know if you need a license to just plonk your camera down somewhere and charge for photos?

Surely that will depend on local laws and regulations.

Bill L.
27-Jul-2015, 09:58
What bothers me about the IP 8x10, at least gen 1, is that there is a strong recommendation to peel it and let it dry for 24 hrs, then reassemble. This is the way I've used it - my understanding is that otherwise in weeks-months it can discolor and crack, which would not make for happy customers. It's worth checking on before you commit - I'm not sure if this applies to the gen 2 (which I'll try when I finish my stock of gen 1, but I don't use it quickly because of this issue). However, if you have to do some sort of maintenance after shooting, this is going to make the project much less practical.

Cheers!
Bill

vdonovan2000
27-Jul-2015, 11:34
What bothers me about the IP 8x10, at least gen 1, is that there is a strong recommendation to peel it and let it dry for 24 hrs, then reassemble. This is the way I've used it - my understanding is that otherwise in weeks-months it can discolor and crack, which would not make for happy customers. It's worth checking on before you commit - I'm not sure if this applies to the gen 2 (which I'll try when I finish my stock of gen 1, but I don't use it quickly because of this issue). However, if you have to do some sort of maintenance after shooting, this is going to make the project much less practical.

Cheers!
Bill

This is a problem with Impossible 8x10. Because the developer uses water as a solvent, the image will degrade quickly (within weeks) if it is not dried in some way. Impossible recommends storing it in an airtight envelope with dessicant, or peeling the image as Bill L. describes above. It is true of both first and second generation Impossible film.

In my experience, you've got to charge $40-50 to make any money at all shooting 8x10 on the street or at a festival, and most people aren't prepared to spend that much money on a whim. I've sold tons of Fuji instant pictures (3x4 and 4x5) for $10 and $15, but the few times I've tried 8x10 I didn't get much interest. It's fun to shoot, though!

I'm hoping that the folks at New55 can work out their technical issues. That film, even at 4 or 5 bucks a sheet, will be great for street instant photography.

Bruce Barlow
27-Jul-2015, 12:01
I had a dream of making 4x5 portraits of people in the downtowns of small towns across the country. I have notched, numbered holders, and could take names and addresses and later send them PT prints. I was going to absorb the cost because, hey! I like to photograph, and it would be a really fun project.

I learned, sadly, that America's small towns are mostly deserted. Dead. No one there to photograph on the street.

There seems to be more life here in Maine, so I may still try it. It's on the list with the other million things I have to do.

Randy Moe
27-Jul-2015, 12:10
There's no place like home.

DrTang
27-Jul-2015, 12:15
I learned, sadly, that America's small towns are mostly deserted. Dead. No one there to photograph on the street.
so photograph that

that seems a more telling portrait of America right now anyway

Bruce Barlow
27-Jul-2015, 13:18
so photograph that

I did. Awfully sad pictures.

Randy Moe
27-Jul-2015, 13:47
i did. Awfully sad pictures.

lol :(

goamules
27-Jul-2015, 17:16
Location, location, location. While I was unsuccessful with wetplate in Arizona (and others have been too), another spot may work great. I see you are in London, it's a totally different scene there than New York city, and certainly desert towns near the border of Mexico. I have a friend in Manchester, John Brewer, that works as a fulltime photographer putting on alternative and wetplate workshops. You could never do that here.

So I recommend you start small. Get a 4x5 Speed Graphic or something else that you can shoot smaller instant film in (I'm assuming there is at least SOME peel apart 4x5 available today, but could be wrong. No matter, find a way to sell yourself, and your process. That's what you're selling, not the pictures. Make it different enough where some people think "that's better than a cell phone selfie...." If it works for you with smaller/cheaper cameras, then think about moving up to 8x10. Or if you must do 8x10 from the start, don't think of it as money making. Think of it as creating a body of work, and pass the hat around. That works well in London too.

jbenedict
27-Jul-2015, 18:35
Here's a suggestion which might be a little different and maybe not what you are looking for but....

If you could get a "partner in crime" i.e. the owner of a bar or another business to go along with you, you might be able to make 'real' photographs. We hum and haw about developing times, solutions and etc. but you could probably expose, process and print a piece of film in a half an hour. In the "old days", portrait photographers used 5x7 (or a 3.5x5 x2 split back) and contact printed. Some of my older relatives have dozens of portraits which were made that way. If the business owner could give you some space in a closet for a darkroom, you could take the shot, develop and fix the film in 10 min and 5 min. later, contact print it on RC and have it ready to take home in under an hour. If funky Polaroid would be good enough, the results from this would be good enough. If you had a van and a couple of layers of black paper, you might not need the cooperation of a business owner to have a dark closet.... 5x7 film is not cheap but it is less than Polaroid, especially in 8x10...

I know this is the Large Format Photography forum but, on second thought, the thing that would probably sell is a digital shot printed with a inkjet printer with a cost of about $10. But, considering that most folks are happy with selfies, I don't know how many you would sell....

Randy Moe
27-Jul-2015, 18:41
I have my local trained and ready for me to shoot in the bar.

And I will train my victims to wait 3 days for prints.

Regulars always come back.

If I really wanted to mess with them, I would bring a model...

steveo
28-Jul-2015, 01:56
brightmatter, sounds like the sort of thing that you might pilot, at least, at the Edinburgh Festival (Fringe). Nice compact area with lots (and lots) of passing pedestrians many of them in the mood to spend money.

I just don't have the time or the people skills but I'd love to try one of those Afghan box camera things with 5x4 direct positive paper at the festival.

goamules
28-Jul-2015, 06:47
As far as making an instant photo, that's why wetplate is so great. From having a customer say "OK, I'll take one" to drying the plate is only about 10 minutes. But then you have to varnish it, though I've told customers in a hurry just to spray it with Poly when they get home.

With film, I'd consider what Jbenedict said above, with the Randy alternative - shoot the pictures, and have a "wall of fame" where you post prints each week. People pay you up front to take the shot. Then they return next week to pull their photo off the wall. If they never come back, it's advertisement for the next customer. Pick a busy bar, once a regular has done it, they probably won't need another one.

Gary Tarbert
28-Jul-2015, 07:20
Your first question was feasibility ? , The answer not feasible , The instant gratification market is digital , And even worse mobile phone

Corran
28-Jul-2015, 07:28
I think it's completely feasible depending on the market, marketing, and product.

When I was on the street doing this, I had my camera setup on a tripod and a table showing off prints and instant portraits. I only did it on busier Friday evenings that were marketed towards a "night out on the town." People were immediately drawn to the camera and wanted to know what I was doing. I sold plenty of 3x4 prints and actually that size is pretty nice for most people. I think given the choice between that and 8x10 at 2-3x the cost, I wouldn't have any 8x10 buyers.

This was in my small and faltering city, not a touristy area at all, so I imagine in the right location you could do a ton of these. I've been to New Orleans several times in the last couple of years and I've thought about trying it somewhere around Jackson Square just on a lark. I bet I could sell tons there.

HMG
28-Jul-2015, 07:40
Some random comments:

If selling to tourists (which might be your best bet), you need to have something recognizable in the background. I.E. photo in front of Buckingham Palace gates or whatever.
Consider how people will deal with the print once in their hands. Will a tourist wandering London want to carry around an 8x10 print that doesn't fit in a purse or backpack?
Assume some waste. 25-50% of your exposures will a) not be good enough in your eyes, b) not be good enough in their eyes, or c) be test shots. Plus 5-6 up front as promotional shots to display.
Factor in other material costs. At a minimum, plastic envelopes and cardboard to hold and protect the print.
I agree with the 4x5 suggestion. If you're looking for an excuse to buy an 8x10, then get a 4x5 back.

brightmatter
28-Jul-2015, 08:43
Thanks for all the advice and insights everyone! It's awesome that this thread has garnered so much input from the forum. I think the general consensus is that 8x10 prints would only appeal to a very small, niche audience so maybe I could buy a 4x5 reducing back for the 8x10 and offer both New55 4x5 prints and, as an option, the larger IP 8x10 film. New55 obviously isn't cheap either right now but it's nowhere near as costly as 8x10. I'd still want to use an 8x10 camera, partly to use it for other projects on colour negative/slide film and also for the 'wow' factor. As much as the rational part of me says that 8x10 instant film is a silly idea, I can't shake the desire to shoot it, even at the stupendously expensive price of £13/$20 a sheet.

Oren Grad
28-Jul-2015, 09:00
Just a bit of a reality check here: New55 is not yet a done deal. I don't mean that as a criticism - the amount of effort and problem-solving ingenuity that Bob Crowley and his crew are investing in the project are pretty impressive, and if there's any justice they deserve to succeed. But it looks as though at best it will be a while before there's a steady supply, and the price per sheet may remain high for a while, or indefinitely.

Also, you need to think about whether your customers will want a monochrome print, or whether color is a likelier bet.

Re a reducing back for an 8x10 camera: keep in mind that you'll need a second lens if you want to offer a choice between 4x5 (or 3.25x4.25, if you go with Fujiroid) and 8x10-size pictures that are to show exactly the same thing.

brightmatter
28-Jul-2015, 10:20
Just a bit of a reality check here: New55 is not yet a done deal. I don't mean that as a criticism - the amount of effort and problem-solving ingenuity that Bob Crowley and his crew are investing in the project are pretty impressive, and if there's any justice they deserve to succeed. But it looks as though at best it will be a while before there's a steady supply, and the price per sheet may remain high for a while, or indefinitely.

Also, you need to think about whether your customers will want a monochrome print, or whether color is a likelier bet.

Re a reducing back for an 8x10 camera: keep in mind that you'll need a second lens if you want to offer a choice between 4x5 (or 3.25x4.25, if you go with Fujiroid) and 8x10-size pictures that are to show exactly the same thing.

This is something I've been considering as well, always the caveat with using reducing backs of any kind! Impossible Project should soon be releasing a colour version of their 8x10 film, which should be amazing, judging by the pioneer film they released a few years back.

Larry Kellogg
29-Jul-2015, 20:34
So you met Louis Mendes?


http://mobile.nytimes.com/2010/01/03/nyregion/03polaroid.html?referrer=

Louis is always trying to convince me to shoot on the street but I guess I can still pull other, higher paying gigs. Who knows, I might be out there eventually.

Louis is smooth with the ladies, that helps with sales. He can draw a line in Times Square.

I think you have to get down to the cheapest setup possible. 8x10 is way too expensive.

Louis burned up a dozen Spectra cameras back in the day and used to do little double exposure shots with them.

Randy Moe
29-Jul-2015, 21:08
That's the way to do it.

Just like my guy in Punk Chicago.

Copy Louis Mendes in your own city.

1/4 plate Fujiroid is still under $10 for 10 shots.

brightmatter
30-Jul-2015, 04:38
So you met Louis Mendes?


http://mobile.nytimes.com/2010/01/03/nyregion/03polaroid.html?referrer=

Louis is always trying to convince me to shoot on the street but I guess I can still pull other, higher paying gigs. Who knows, I might be out there eventually.

Louis is smooth with the ladies, that helps with sales. He can draw a line in Times Square.

I think you have to get down to the cheapest setup possible. 8x10 is way too expensive.

Louis burned up a dozen Spectra cameras back in the day and used to do little double exposure shots with them.

Bingo! Yeah, he was quite the character. Half tried to sell me a Crown Graphic for $2000. I said that that was way too much so he said 'ok, $5000.' Made my day [emoji38]

Larry Kellogg
30-Jul-2015, 07:38
Yeah, Louis is a great guy and a character, he's a fixture on the street. You should have got your picture took, it would have cost you only $20. Louis shot me and my girl at the Easter Parade last year. Here it is:

137753

Louis would have enough work to rival August Sander if Louis had the negatives, but, alas, Louis has no negatives. He shoots the instant pics to make the rent money. Nothing wrong with that but I wish I could look through his negatives from forty years ago.

By the way, I shot 5x7 on the street for a class at ICP. It's a lot of work, and hard to do alone, because you have to constantly worry that a pedestrian is going to knock over your tripod while you're talking to the subject.

Raymond Bleesz
1-Aug-2015, 05:21
Not sure about this, but mention was made of 2x3 Fuji film----is there a "holder" for this film which can be used in a Arca Swiss 4x5 field camera?? If so, what has been your experience doing so???

Thank you Raymond

Corran
1-Aug-2015, 05:26
Fuji 3.25 x 4.25 inch packfilm can be used on most 4x5 cameras with either a Fuji PA-145 holder or a Polaroid 405 holder, both available used on eBay or in the classifieds semi-regularly. Some cameras have limitations and you should search specifically for any discussions about your camera and the holders in question (I have no knowledge of Arca stuff myself). There are also a couple of different versions floating around of the Polaroid holder, you might peruse this thread regarding that:

http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?106879-The-Polaroid-405-film-holder-only-fits-some-4x5-cameras

esearing
2-Aug-2015, 04:56
If local laws allow you could set up a temporary photo booth and have some vintage clothes, western theme, or steam punk items for portraits like they do after awards shows. It only really needs to be two walls and a floor with some moveable furniture. I thought about setting one up in my backyard and have the neighbors come by for a fun family portrait.

goamules
4-Aug-2015, 14:07
That's true about costumes, which I've found are more important to customers than the media used. Most people coming by my wetplate setups ask "do you have old timey clothes for us?" When I said no, many moved on. I think the more viable business model is to solely provide costumes, and just take a digital snapshot of them.

Corran
4-Aug-2015, 14:12
Last year I vacationed in the Smoky Mountains and stayed at a hotel in Pigeon Forge. There was an "Old Tyme Photo" type place literally every block. Just on the 5-10 mile stretch on the main street from PF, I counted at least 10 different store fronts with various names like that - doing costumed photo snaps.

I don't know if they do much business but I guess so since there were so many. But outside of a touristy area like that, I wonder if that kind of kitsch really would be of interest? I guess we here on the forum like the idea of a wet plate or Polaroid instant print, but the public at large...?

bvy
6-Aug-2015, 18:50
Late to the party, but to the OP as it relates to Impossible film, you can offer something a little more novel and address the image stability/drying issue by doing an emulsion lift onto paper. These make really nice pieces, and the way the emulsion swells, you actually get something closer to 9x11. Looks nice on 11x14 paper.

Also, if you're going to do field work, you might want to look for a manual processor. Calumet made (or branded) these, although they command ridiculous prices on eBay -- two or three times the electric ones.

Just some thoughts...

barnacle
10-Aug-2015, 07:56
I believe the "traditional" way of doing this was to "take" a picture of any likely looking couple, and then aggressively hound then for payment. If they did pay, the picture you didn't actually take earlier would turn out to be faulty, so an actual image would be made...

I'm not suggesting you do this, of course!

Neil

brightmatter
11-Aug-2015, 00:25
Late to the party, but to the OP as it relates to Impossible film, you can offer something a little more novel and address the image stability/drying issue by doing an emulsion lift onto paper. These make really nice pieces, and the way the emulsion swells, you actually get something closer to 9x11. Looks nice on 11x14 paper.

Also, if you're going to do field work, you might want to look for a manual processor. Calumet made (or branded) these, although they command ridiculous prices on eBay -- two or three times the electric ones.

Just some thoughts...

Thanks for the advice! I've looked at the emulsion lift and it does look very nice (and probably the only viable way to present the prints to the customer.) I was looking at the Calumet processors till I found out that the cheaper electric processors actually come with a crank to use when electricity is unavailable.

nede
28-Sep-2015, 12:01
I played with fuji fp100 last year and a 4x5 old loŰking camera in a park
I asked 10€ for a shot, so every 1,2 shots my whole pack was paid...
I told a friend to do so in front of his galerie, and pin the polas on a wooden board.
Believe me, tourists, lovers, brother and sisters were fond of this stuff.

You have to keep it simple, easy but overall FUN , play it like you dońt know if it will be good when you peel off the two layers, and put a large smile on your face!!
It was crazy every day to shoot as much pola!!

adelorenzo
28-Sep-2015, 15:24
I have an Instax wide shot from a street photographer that was taken ten years ago. I was in Vancouver with some friends for a trip before I got married and he snapped a group photo of us. I think I paid $10 or maybe $20 for it and it's a great thing to have. Before everyone had smartphones and Instagram it's the one memory from that trip.

The 8x10 is a very cool idea but the price, as others have mentioned, is steep. I think you'd want to price yourself to break even on 2-3 shots per box just to account for wasted shots or the person not liking it or whatever. So at $200 USD a box you'd be asking $70-100 per shot which is a tough sell on the street.

I've always thought the perfect thing to do this with would be Polaroid Type 55 or, some day, New 55. You sell them a print for $20 and you get to keep the negative.

I4YM
3-Nov-2015, 17:23
Keep it simple. Notice Larry Kellog's photograph ( Louis is a mentor of mine). No back drop or change of clothes.. Believe me I have had folks stop me to ask what I was doing with my rig. No back drop change of clothes just a interesting photograph from a vintage camera. The Fuji FP-3000B is wonderful film. The way I look at it I am able to photograph day or night...