Best Resources for Massachusetts Photo and Video Enthusiasts
Written by Alyssa
Photo and Video Equipment Stores
Capturing memories nowadays is as simple as picking up your phone. But a phone camera doesn’t have the same quality. Whether you are looking to start up a new hobby, want a nice camera for a vacation, or are looking to add a new lens to your kit, these stores offer the selection and specialized equipment you are looking for.
- If you still shoot analog… catLABS is your resource for picking up film photo cameras, offering a wide range of medium and large format, and 35mm cameras and accessories.
- For Worcester locals… L.B. Wheaton provides a wide variety of cameras, lenses, and film. In addition to outsourcing camera repair and film development. Plus they can even do passport photos!
For professional prints and enlargements of your newly digitized slides…
- Digital Silver Imaging* offers InkJet, Giclee and value prints as well as custom wood framing services out of Belmont.
- A one stop art shop on the Cape, Cape Cod Photo, Art, and Framing*, offers professional fine art supplies, camera accessories, and framing in Orleans
Equipment and Studio Rental
As a digitizing company, we know having the right space set up and equipment is crucial to get the job done right. If you just need something for a temporary project, or want to try before you buy, renting can be a good option.
Want to view your slides before you sort them for digitizing? Boston Photo Rental has a slide projector in stock for daily or weekly use, as well as a variety of camera, lens and video supplies.
If you are looking to rent equipment…
- Rule Boston Camera offers a massive selection of supplies available for rental, including audio recorders and mixers, display monitors, grips and lenses, right out of Newton.
- In Concord, Lens Pro to Go, offers camera packages and anything you need for your next video gig or studio shoot.
Looking for a place to shoot? Boston Photo Studio Rental offers a location for photographers and videographers event space and a place to set up for shoots.
Want to add a fun activity for the guests, rent a photobooth from
- 413 Photobooth, in Berkshire county
- Magic Blast Photobooth, Clinton
- Atlas, Shrewsbury
- Hello Booth Rental, Boston
Since we specialize in negative scanning, we know that there is a special quality to shooting film. Remember when getting your film developed was as simple as dropping it off at your local pharmacy? Now almost everything is outsourced to other labs, and there are extra cost and fear in fronting shipping. Luckily there are still a few hidden gems that process in-house.
- Apex Photo Lab provides C-41 development of color film in Woburn.
- CineLab process a variety of video reel films, including 16mm and Super8 in New Bedford.
- Orleans Camera* offers 35mm film processing, classes, and even DSLR sensor cleaning.
- In A Flash* services the Springfield area and processes 35mm and APS film.
If you want to process and print your own black and white film, there are still limited options for places which allow darkroom access.
LaPete in Boston offers rentals per day of their darkroom facility.
Photography Studios and Event Videographers:
Weddings, graduations, anniversary and birthday parties or corporate events, there are plenty of celebrations worth documenting. Make sure you catch the moment mom’s favorite picture comes up in the slideshow, or grandma’s reaction to the photobook of her love letters.
- A Perfect Image, located in Middleton, has been providing wedding photography for 30 years. Their site also has recommended venues and other resources.
- EcA Production specializes in Wedding and Commercial videography in the Boston area
- From music videos, to drone footage Boston Event Films offers a variety of videography services.
- If a full service professional video production is what you need, check out New York Sound and Motion in Springfield.
Dive into History:
Massachusetts is one of the oldest settlements in the United States, so it is chock full of places to explore to learn more about the events, people, and places that helped shape the nation.
The past can be illuminated by photos, or scrapbooks that document life a century ago, or a collection of letters between family members or husband and wife. All of these things tell us what life was like before our modern technologies today. There are lots of resources to learn more about olden times:
Visit a Museum or Historical Site
National parks are one of the biggest vacation destinations, and photos of these destinations are really common in family albums. But you don’t have to go far to visit places recognized by the National Park Service, there are plenty of Historic Sites right in our own backyard:
- African American National Historic Site in Boston
- The Longfellow House National Historic Site in Cambridge
- And the New Bedford Whaling National Historic Site in New Bedford
- …to name just a few.
- Located in the heart of the capital city, the Commonwealth Museum, is the go-to destination for discovering Massachusetts history with a variety of interactive exhibits and collection of significant documents.
- The Concord Museum advertises “one of the oldest and most treasured collections of Americana in the country.”
- The Framingham History Center consists of three different historic buildings: the Edgell Memorial Library, which hosts rotating exhibits, The Old Academy, a research library, and Village Hall, an available rental hall.
- The Worcester Historical Museum hosts the only historical house museum in the city, and a family gallery specifically designed to be children friendly.
- The collections of the Franklin Historical Museum include artifacts from the last 300 years, ranging from Native American hunting objects to Franklin High School Yearbooks.
- The Cape Ann Museum offers a variety of arts and cultural programs in addition to their exhibitions and galleries.
- The Art Museum at Fruitlands is home to the country’s second largest collection of 19th century vernacular portraits, this site also contains a Shaker and Native American Museum.
- Ready to jump straight into a time capsule? Plimoth Plantation is a living history site of an early settlement of the 17th century. They have a farm of rare heritage breed farm animals- and are currently working on restoring the original Mayflower ship.
Access Resources with Genealogical and Historical Societies
Like EverPresent, there are a lot of people out there dedicated to preserving history. Historical Societies in towns link to a plethora of resources like documents, photos, and records available to the public to make it easier to research. Genealogical Societies specifically specialize in the promotion and research of family trees. There are tons of accessible online tools, where you can find digitized newspapers, documents, and photographs.
Historical societies work hard to preserve documents, records, and other important memorabilia significant to a location’s past. Check out these places for resources on town or region specific information.
- Founded in 1812, the American Antiquarian Society in Worcester, has one of the most extensive collections of pre-20th century books, newspapers, and graphics in the country.
- Plymouth Antiquarian Society oversees several historic properties in the area, as well as collects various artifacts and decorative art objects. They also archive a host of local photographs, papers and journals.
- The Peabody Historical Society and Museum, boasts an exclusive collection of vintage photos and other printed artifacts available for research. Additionally, they offer a variety of exhibitions and lectures, and even have a barn available for rent as an event venue.
- The Manchester Historical Society established the Manchester Historical Museum to collect and preserve records and objects of importance to the coastal town’s past.
- Historic Northampton has a museum and record store as well as thousands of searchable digitized photographs on their online database.
For an alphabetical directory of historical society, check out this MassHome webpage.
Has getting all your old photos scanned piqued your interest in researching more of your family history? Maybe you want to share the photos with extended family who you have never connected with. Maybe you don’t know what your great grandfather’s sister’s name was because you can’t decipher the caption on the album page. Whatever your goal is a genealogical society can help you connect pieces of your family tree.
Start Your Search Online:
Digitizing historical records for online access has become an increasingly more common preservation method. Check out these resources to browse scanned copies of important images, art and documents.
- Look at the Massachusetts Archive Digital Repository
- Explore the Digital Commonwealth
- Browse the Boston Athenaeum’s Digital Collection
Plan a Trip to an Archive
Not everything has made the conversion to digital yet, these sites preserve the physical copies of many locally and nationally significant documents.
National Archives at Boston
New England Historical Genealogical Society has an extensive research library and many online resources.
Join a Local Society
You’d be surprised how many comrades in arms you have on this heritage journey. Whether you are looking to attend talks, meet some friends with similar interests or just need advice, there are many local genealogical societies in every Massachusetts county.
- Go to the Cape Cod Genealogical Society for links to searchable historical databases. They also provide Genealogy, Estate and Probate research, as well as custom-made family trees.
- The Falmouth Genealogical Society lists various resources and provides some database searching
- The Central Massachusetts Genealogical Society in Westminster, MA helps preserve historically significant objects, promotes interest in and provides resources for genealogical research.
- Essex Society of Genealogists, inc. has a comprehensive collection of town records, journals and periodicals. They offer seminars and research support.
- Interested in keeping up with the government legislation of public access to record: look into the Massachusetts Genealogical Council
- Western Massachusetts Genealogical Society, Inc. provides research assistance as well lectures by well-known speakers.
This list is just a handful of the many local community centers and organizations that work to preserve and research history. Try searching “historical [or genealogical] societies near me” to find the closest one to your home.
Our Massachusetts Locations
Learn about our Massachusetts digitizing services.