By Maria Rocha-Buschel
As tourists wander around Madison Square Park taking pictures that mostly stay trapped inside their phones, a new shop nearby on Fifth Avenue is hoping to encourage these photographers to create more lasting memories with the snaps.
Photography company Fujifilm opened Wonder Photo Shop at the end of July and an employee told T&V that the purpose of the store is to get people more engaged in photography by having their photos printed out instead of only stored on their devices.
The store features a DIY lounge that will soon offer classes from experts and special guests to help crafters create personalized photo products and there is a variety of scrapbooking materials to choose from. There will also be classes available on the technical aspects of photography.
In addition to Instax, a modernized version of Polaroid instant cameras, the store sells professional DSLR cameras that can also be borrowed for free as long as photographers leave their credit card information and return the camera in perfect condition on the same day.
The shop is the first of its kind in the United States for the company but there are other retail locations in Tokyo, Barcelona, Bogota, Manila and Shanghai. The Fifth Avenue space was formerly occupied by a Jamba Juice location that closed last year.
The store is located at 176 Fifth Avenue between West 22nd and 23rd Streets and the website is wonderphotoshopnyc.com. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day except Sunday, when it is open from noon to 6 p.m.