WHEN THE FUJIFILM House of Photography in the heart of London’s West End first opened to the public towards the end of 2019 it was to a resounding chorus of approval and positive reviews. Not surprising really since, quite simply, there was nothing not to like. Billed as the ultimate ‘photography playground,’ here was a state-of-the-art, free-to-enter facility packed full of things to do and outstanding hands-on opportunities, a soft sell chance to see and try out first hand Fujifilm’s extensive range of products.
Above all, however, it was an open invitation to revel in photography and to enjoy a warm and welcoming experience. We all know what happened very shortly afterwards of course, but the good news after a year that’s been disrupted by lockdown, is that normality is returning and the doors are back open again. The public has the opportunity once more to return and to savour everything that this truly outstanding facility has to offer.
Precautions, of course, are still in place and there will be a strict regime of cleaning, masks, protective screens and social distancing in place for the moment to ensure the safety of both staff and visitors, but the aim will be for the atmosphere to be just as welcoming as ever and all the facilities will be on offer as before. You don’t need to pre-book so it’s perfectly possible to simply turn up and walk in to have a look around, provided that crowds on the day aren’t too heavy. However, if you’re looking for a one-to-one demonstration of a particular piece of gear then the recommendation from Fujifilm is you should make an online appointment in advance to avoid disappointment.
What to Expect
If you’ve not had the chance to visit and have a look around just yet then get ready to have your mind well and truly blown by the scale and ambition of this incredible and spacious facility. It’s fair to say that there’s no other retail outlet in the country that’s quite like this one. The Fujifilm House of Photography celebrates every element of taking, making and sharing photos using the instax, X Series and GFX system cameras and a wide range of printers, so give yourself some time and come prepared to get involved and hands-on with all the latest gear.
As well as offering plenty of opportunities to try out cameras and lenses, the Fujifilm House of Photography offers excellent places for you to put them to the test. The vibrant Living Wall is an explosion of colours and textures that makes the perfect place to get creative or, alternatively, you can head for one of the social stations provided, to film unique video content that your followers will love.
If you want to go further and take advantage of a free hiring facility for some of the latest Fujifilm X Series and GFX system cameras and lenses before buying them, then if you use the Fujifilm
Meanwhile it’s also possible to order and pick up prints at the Wonder Photo Shop.House of Photography app in advance to book out the equipment you’re looking to test you’ll be able to pick it up in-store. With world class attractions, such as Covent Garden and Trafalgar Square, within easy walking distance you’ll have no shortage of subjects on the doorstep and you’ll be able to experience first hand exactly how your chosen piece of gear handles.
If you need help with your current Fujifilm camera there’s a team of photographers and experts on hand instore who can provide advice on getting the most out of your set-up and perform a quick maintenance service. This involves a sensor clean, firmware update, exterior camera and lens clean and tightening of loose screws, and it’s priced at £75 for X Series and £125 for GFX cameras. You can also drop off gear to be sent away for repair.
You can either order in-store by bringing in your SD card, memory stick, phone or even negatives, or upload files for collection later via the app or website, and a wide range of products, such as standard prints, enlargements, photobooks, photo gifts and wall art, are all readily available. Prints can be ready instantly, in one hour or nextday depending on the service, and they can be collected from the store or delivered.
Professionals can also take advantage of a state-of-the-art in-house studio that’s available for hire at £300 a day or £250 for a half day. For those that might be commissioned by clients in or around central London or who are working with models who could be coming in from a variety of directions, this is an incredible opportunity to be able to find a fabulous professional standard working environment in a fabulous premium location at a truly affordable price.
If you’ve not had the opportunity yet to encounter the full Fujifilm House of Photography experience you owe it to yourself to visit next time you’re in town. The location couldn’t be more central: 8-9 Long Acre, Covent Garden WC2E 9LH and you can find more details on the website or download the app from the Apple App Store or Google Play.
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