NEWS: Fundraising Campaign Launches for East Texas-Based Community Darkroom

By Molly Kate

Piney Woods Darkroom aims to open its doors to residents of East Texas in the fall of 2023 with the help of a crowdfunding campaign. The registered 501 (c) (3) non-profit organisation will offer access to analogue darkroom facilities and materials as well as over 20 years of expertise from its president and Longview-based photographer, Jamie Maldonado.

Even though analogue photography’s popularity is raging, Maldonado has seen a gap in the current availability of community darkroom spaces and commercial film labs in his area. He says that while learning by watching videos and practising at home is possible, it’s not for everyone. Many people don’t have the space or money to begin an analogue darkroom journey in this way.

“Anecdotally, I know so many film photographers in East Texas and have provided help in developing film, purchasing film, and selling cameras to dozens of people in the area, and there are several others I hear of doing the same,” Maldonado said.

In response to these challenges, Maldonado is on a mission to create a space where all are welcome and can learn a variety of darkroom techniques as well as safety practices.

All skill levels and experience will be welcome. I hope to offer services for retired professionals all the way to newcomers to film photography – Jamie Maldonado, President and Manager of Piney Woods Darkroom

Polaroid of Piney Wood’s Founder and President, Jamie Maldonalso
Image courtesy of Jamie Maldonaldo

While the darkroom already has a complete business plan and a large number of materials, the organization has launched the IndieGoGo campaign to fund the opening of a physical location. The campaign is now live and will run until June 10, 2023. For more information about Piney Woods Darkroom and to contribute to the campaign, visit the IndieGoGo page here.

Direct donations can also be made by contacting Jamie Maldonado at [email protected].

You can follow Piney Woods Darkroom on Instagram @pineywoodsdarkroom or visit their website here.

About Jamie Maldonado:
Jamie Maldonado, the President and Manager of Piney Woods Darkroom, is a former photography student and assistant at Kilgore College in Kilgore, TX. He holds an MA in Studio Art from Texas A&M Commerce in Commerce, TX. His photography work can be seen on his website here or on his Instagram @jamiemphoto. Jamie also runs a Youtube channel where he offers a lot of experience, knowledge, and behind the scenes of his photographic art and portraiture. Check it out here!

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About The Author

By Molly Kate
Photographer, writer, and CPA currently running a Youtube channel called Eclectachrome. I'm a huge fan of shiny new objects which makes writing news a perfect fit. Favorite cameras are often mechanical rangefinders, folders, and compacts and I love most film stocks. I enjoy developing and scanning my own film as well as printing in the darkroom when there's extra time!
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Art Meripol on NEWS: Fundraising Campaign Launches for East Texas-Based Community Darkroom

Comment posted: 15/05/2023

What a gift that will be to the community. I know the Piney Woods well. My Mom was born and raised in Gilmer and I spent a lot of time in that area seeing family while growing up. Later in the 1970's I worked at the newspaper in Texarkana. I now live in a large metropolitan area and there is nothing like what Jamie is doing here. I wish there was.

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Molly Kate replied:

Comment posted: 15/05/2023

I agree! And small world there :) Perhaps it will inspire others to do the same!


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