Camera shop owner aims to bring diversity to photography in Long Beach

Drake Woodson, owner of vintage film camera shop Relics, is on a mission to bring diversity and accessibility to Long Beach.
LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- 'Retro Row' in Long Beach recently welcomed a new addition to its stretch of vintage shops.

"Relics is a premium vintage camera shop," said owner Drake Woodson. "The beauty of the vintage camera is just the whole look and feel of how the photographs come out. It's just a very magical thing."

Woodson opened up shop in December after switching paths from San Francisco tech consultant to Long Beach small business owner.

"I figured I'd never really make it easy on myself. I always make things super difficult," Woodson said. "So, opening up a business during a pandemic seemed pretty much on par for the way I am in my life."

For the Virginia native, Relics is about more than just vintage film.

"When I was starting out in photography, I would go to shops and the owners did not look like me at all," Woodson said. "I was very intimidated and uncomfortable."

The new shop owner hopes that Relics will make photography more accessible to everyone.

"It's super important to have diversity in the film photography community because there are people from different backgrounds that are buying their first camera, and they're able to tell their story through their eyes their way," Woodson said.

Relics is located at 2106 E 4th Street in Long Beach.

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