Old School Photo Shop, Dublin

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Imagine running a camera shop these days. First, you must compete on price with the large shops like B&H in NYC and Amazon, not to mention the online printers like Shutterfly. Then there is the expense of running the shop; rent, staff, inventory and such. Now imagine you have succeeded at that for 52 years. How? By developing a niche market and serving it faithfully.

This past  May I posted an article about Pro Camera in Charlottesville, Virginia, a unique shop in that its focus is primarily film photography. While traveling in Ireland and much to my delight, I came across John Dunn Camera in South Dublin, a third generation family owned photo shop. Unlike Pro Camera, whose original owner was a photographer himself, John Dunn did not start out on that path. He was working for Roches department store on Grafton Street when he met his wife Louise, and together they ran the photography department. Eventually they left to start their own business in a small shop on Pleasants Street. Now in larger quarters on Camden Street they cater to analog photographers, with supplies, film processing and printing. The formula works, there seemed to be a constant stream of clients coming through the front door. 

Film stock

Paper, chemicals and more

If John eventually decides to slow down, and for now he doesn’t seem to, he has Fiona and Cathy to carry on. They both shoot film and have a strong reputation with the film shooting community and that keeps the business healthy. Cathy’s niece Kiera is working  part time over the summer until she starts classes at the university in the fall. I wouldn’t be surprised to see her working at the shop someday.

John Dunn

Kiera and Cathy

John working the crowd

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