What is Make it Easy?

Make it Easy is the combination of two groups of friends who want to share their dedication and passion for analog photography.

The idea behind Make it Easy is to provide an environment where people of any background can learn, share and practice analog photography.

Make it Easy came about when The Photo Parlour in Nottingham and Take it Easy Lab in Leeds decided to see how they could create a space to support people, from beginners to current practitioners, in making the mystery of analog photography simple.

Through online resources, as well as physical access to facilities such as cameras, darkrooms and scanners, our aim is to help people start making photographs instead of taking them.

Life before Make it Easy...

Before it became Make it Easy, there was Photo Parlour...

The original Photo Parlour started in April 2013 in Derby, where Dan took on a small space above a friend’s tattoo studio and built a black and white darkroom along with a photo studio, a teaching space and a gallery. In the 2 years that he occupied this space Dan began to run workshops and built a community as well as developed a reputation as an educator and a photographer.

During this time he became friends with renowned photographer and educator John Blakemore and they began to run workshops in black and white printing and hand made book making together.

This period transformed Dan’s attitude towards photography and teaching. This is an approach he aspires to pass on to everyone that comes to The Photo Parlour, whether that be to learn to use the darkroom or to drop off a roll of film.

Two years later Dan expanded and moved the facilities to Nottingham, taking over a lab that had been a testing house for AGFA and an award winning Fuji processing lab for 20 years.

Along with a larger space came professional facilities that expanded the services that the Photo Parlour was able to offer. This includes professional film processing, and both colour and black and white hand prints. Over the years amateurs and professionals alike have been taking part in numerous workshops, regular social events and continue to use the facilities.

Dan set up the space in the belief that photography can inspire social change and as such, helped establish “Nottingham Centre for Photography and Social Engagement”. This Community Interest Company operates using Make it Easy as a base and provides creative support to community groups as well as free mentorship to young photographers who don’t necessarily have the means to access formal education. It also runs a bi-annual photography festival called “Off-Centre” which is free to enter and it also provides free education during its duration. All selected artists have their work printed free of charge and are given the opportunity to keep their prints as a portfolio after the festival ends.

Take it Easy are now excited to be collaborating with Make it Easy to provide our services to a wider audience and to work with a truly passionate and inspiring team of people!

Head over to Make it Easy