John Gunn Camera Shop

by Kate Phelan ———

John Gunn Camera Shop is mom-and-pop outfit of the truest kind.

First opened in 1971 by married couple John and Louise, they’ve since recruited two of their daughters into the family business, passing on to the next generation a deep love of photography that John inherited from his own mother, who had a darkroom in his childhood home.

The shop has been open in its current location on Wexford Street since 1980, and in that time the Gunn family have become well-known for their encyclopedic knowledge of all things photography-related.

They’re equally renowned for being amongst the friendliest shop owners to be found in the city, ready and willing to answer any question a customer might have about a potential purchase.

More than that, they just love to chat to fellow photography buffs, or anyone with a budding interest in the art form. John says his favourite thing about running the shop is meeting a great variety of people. “I just love it,” he says.

The family feel is what makes this place so special, more like a second home than a shop.

The grandchildren pop by to visit – John has been known to post beautiful black and white photos of them exploring the store, taken on his favourite camera, a Canon EOS 3, to social media – and John’s beloved Märklin model trains – his other passion – are displayed on the shelves alongside their wares.

Though they stock the latest in digital cameras and accoutrements, through the years the Gunns have also maintained a dedication to traditional film photography.

They’re recommended by analogue lovers as one of the cheapest places in the city to both buy film and get it developed. In their lab, black and white film is reverently processed by hand, with a quick turnaround of 2-3 days.

The shop also sells everything you could ever need to set up your very own darkroom at home, just like John’s mother did.

What to expect:

  • A nearly 50-year-old business run by a photography-obsessed family
  • To spend 45 minutes talking about life and the weather, and forgetting what you went in for in the first place.
  • Cameras, obviously, as well as a broad selection of accessories and equipment, from professional studio equipment all the way down to memory cards
  • They also provide printing services and facilitate camera repairs