Coronavirus - a helping hand from Firstcall

What's happening at Firstcall

Are you open as normal? 
Yes, we are open as usual (9 am -5.30 pm Monday to Friday). We are working closely with our suppliers to ensure that we have stock available. Currently, we have good stocks of most analogue photographic materials and supplies – there's no need to panic buy.

What are we doing to support our customers?
Although in the short term we are no longer allowing customers to collect their orders from our Taunton warehouse, if you are self-isolating, we are still happy to deliver to you. We have also put in place additional steps for customers shopping online who are self-isolating. The principle one is you no longer need to sign for deliveries from us (from either DPD or DHL). If you want your parcels left outside your home just put a notice up for the driver as to where you'd like your delivery to be left.

Should you expect substitutions when you order?
As we're a specialist photographic supplier, our policy is never to substitute an item without asking you first (by phone or email). The exception would be in logical discretionary substitutions, i.e. when a pack of 100 sheets of paper was ordered, and four packs of 25 could be sent.

If you are self-isolating or working from home, how can Firstcall help?

To all our wonderful customers who may be home keeping safe, we are becoming aware that many people are planning on using this uncertain time to reacquaint their photographic skills, getting all those little jobs done and having time to get those long-overdue projects sorted.  

Our top six ideas to keep you busy and your spirits up

1) Organise your negatives, slides or prints.

If you've promised yourself you'll store and index those negatives and slides that have been lying around your home – now is the time to do it. We are the UK importers of Clearfile. We sell many different formats of pages and files for you get your housekeeping, in order. Appropriately done, this is a project that will easily absorb hours of your day.

2) Retouch or enhance a photographic print

You could improve your photographs or repairs in Photoshop or any other editing software. Still, we think it's much more satisfying (and time-consuming) to do it the old-fashioned creative way using a brush and chemicals. 

No retailer in the UK keeps a bigger selection of retouching and hand colouring material than Firstcall. Whether it's those old creased and faded family shots that need retouching or contemporary shots that you like to remodel we can offer dyes, inks, oils or pencils to achieve fantastic new results. Check out our new and inexpensive range of Jacquard Pinata inks for maximum creativity.

3) Cleanliness is a watchword right now, but how about your photographic equipment?

Clean lenses, whether for your camera or enlarger, will give you a payback with sharper, cleaner images. Wipe off the front and rear elements of your lenses with our microfibre cloths and suitable cleaner like Calotherm. We have a comprehensive range of cleaning materials to choose from including stain removers for your darkroom and film emulsion cleaners for those precious negatives you want to keep in pristine condition.

4) Make a start in analogue photography

While it is not permissible to take part in social photography right now, landscape photography can give stunning results.

As part of your personal exercise regime why not get up early for stunning sunrise shots when you stand a chance of not coming across anyone else. Black and white analogue photography is the best option for beginners, and you can get started for under £30 (camera and two films) with the Harman Reusable Camera.

5) Make a start in analogue photography (without leaving the house)

At Firstcall, we can convert any digital image into an analogue film by using our brilliant laser writer. You upload the photos to us by Dropbox, complete the order form and we'll send you a roll of black and white film back by post all for only £25.00

6) Get acquainted with home processing

Of course, if you do shoot a film, then you'll need to process it. It's not difficult or expensive to do this and can also be a great way to learn a new hobby too. We give you plenty of help to make it easy with our Paterson Complete Film Processing Starter Kits that contain everything you need in both accessories and chemicals for under £80.


As I write, I hope we will all manage to face the problems calmly and logically, keeping ourselves occupied when we are at home. I'm sure it won't be too long before we're all free to enjoy photography again without the current restrictions we're all forced to endure.

Don't feel lonely we'd love to talk to you

PS If you're lonely at home and want to chat about your hobby call us, we'd love to hear from you on 01823 413007.

Posted by Rodney Bates
19th March 2020

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