FILM SPOTS #07: Dickerman Prints | San Francisco CA, USA

FILM SPOTS #07: Dickerman Prints | San Francisco CA, USA
June 10, 2014 FotoFilmic

Founder: Seth Dickerman
Location: San Francisco CA, United States
In business since: mid 1990’s

FotoFilmic: Can you briefly describe the type of analog photography facilities & services you offer?
Dickerman Prints:
We offer a full range of photographic services, designed to suit a both analog and digital workflows. Most often, we see photographers come through our lab that fall use a combination of the two methods, and we strive to accommodate both ends of the spectrum equally. We process both black and white and C41 color film, from 35mm all the way up through 8×10 sheet film. Most of our photographers use medium format or large format film, and choose to scan their film through us as well, via Imacon, flatbed, and drums scans.

We also offer contact sheets alongside film processing, and it’s one of our favorite services! Though the technology of digital photography has grown incredibly since its inception, one woefully missing piece of the process is the magic of contact sheets. In the time of film, the process of photographing was markedly different. After every shoot was the unavoidable wait for processed negatives and the accompanying joy of hunting through your contact sheets. We’d liken it to the ritual of your morning coffee with the paper, or any ritual you adhere to with care. Looking at a freshly developed contact sheet, with a red pen and an eye for editing, was a revered and enticing step in defining one’s vision.

F/F: What is the human & artistic story behind Dickerman Prints? What motivated you to create or sustain a kind of business many now see as obsolete (if not doomed)?
DP: We’ve certainly seen a great deal of change since we began in the mid 1990′s. When our owner, Seth Dickerman, moved to San Francisco he opened Dickerman Prints as an all-optical custom photo lab. At that time, we made fiber-based black and white prints to 40″x50”, and type C-prints to 30″x45”. Seth’s enduring love of working with light and photosensitive papers kept him printing in the traditional darkroom until he began experimenting with the digital printing system, and purchased digital printing equipment.

While our methods may have changed, the goal remains the same. To work with the photographer’s images, to produce prints which best articulate what the photographer wants to say, employing the craft, skill, and perseverance to make the imagined manifest in the finished print. We are fortunate enough to be a part of an active, vibrant photographic community, which shows no signs of becoming obsolete.

F/F: What’s the most important, rewarding or joyful aspect of your job?
DP: We feel it’s important to support our photographic community, and our business has been carefully crafted around this ideal. We hand-process film, and use care and intention in our scans and custom prints. Our job is not finished until we’ve helped photographers realize their vision. We also feel that studio space important for everyone, not just the lucky few, so we offer free use of our digital darkrooms for photographers who are using our photographic “C” printer. Our grounding ideals are quality and choice. Because we can offer the finest analog and digital services, we do both, and it’s up to the photographer to choose the right path for their work.

F/F: How can we reach you?
DP: Our website: and address in San Francisco:
1141 Howard St.
San Francisco, Ca. 94103


FILM SPOTS focus on existing analog photography businesses (photo labs, public darkrooms, traditional photo stores, etc..) in an effort to both promote them, and fight the general assumption that traditional and film photography industries are  progressively disappearing.