Most businesses fail within the first five years of being open. And that’s if they even last that long. Well, we’re here to introduce you to a business that’s seen success once, and — due to changes in the market — has been forced to reinvent itself and is seeing success once again.
In 1974, Bill Johnson founded Robin Color Lab. It processed transparency and negative film for commercial photographers. Unless you’ve been lodged underneath a rock for the past 10 years, you would have noticed film photography is a dying art form. That's not to say it doesn’t exist; it’s just harder to find like, say, an albino alligator.
Thanks to advances in technology, just about anyone can be a photographer. And whether you’re a true professional rocking a DSLR or an aspiring photog busting out the iPhone for a sunset panorama, it doesn’t matter much to Bill Johnson. He and his 10-person staff are here to treat your work like it’s good enough to be hung on the walls of the Guggenheim.
Nestled inside an 18,000-square-foot space in the Mohawk District of Over-the-Rhine, Robin Imaging is fully dedicated to the business of art reproduction and wall decor. In 2013, they ceased processing film. Keep in mind (once again) that the business started in 1974 and was built entirely around processing film. Yeah talk about a pivot.
But they’ve done it. As the need for their services decreased, they changed their strategy. Now they ensure that whoever walks in the door to drop off an SD card with a story to tell later walks out with a professionally-crafted piece of artwork worthy of a Pulitzer.
And that’s truly their favorite part... Watching someone pick up the finished product, break into the protective plastic, and smile with excitement because his/her moment was brought to life. It's not a bad way to spend a day.
They’ve also assumed the role of an art exhibitor, transforming the second floor of the space into the Mohawk Gallery. It’s a place for clients to display their work in a welcome environment that shows off new and old talent alike. The lineup for 2018 is already looking rock solid, with exhibit themes “Fire & Ice,” “My Photography” (for high school photography students), and “Reveal” for FotoFocus 2018.
So whether you have some digital photography that ought to be printed or are merely looking for some creative inspiration, a visit to Robin Imaging and their Mohawk Gallery is worth it.
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Robin Imaging Services is located at 2106 Central Parkway (45214).