Hidden Light is one of the most respected businesses by artists in Flagstaff. They serve many of Flagstaff’s finest artists with quality print photography and framing. Their owners are involved in giving back to the community. Corey Allen is the President of the Board of Pine Forest Charter School, recently helping the school acquire new property for a major expansion. His partner, Stephen Saunders, is on the Board of the Flagstaff Arts Council.
From the nomination letter:
Hidden Light was started in 2001 in a little warehouse on the east side of town by Stephen Saunders and Corey Allen. Today, they own the former church on S. San Francisco and specialize in a dying art. In a digital photographic world, the business focuses on hand-made prints made in a wet darkroom, what used to be called a “traditional photo lab” but is now referred to as “alternative.” The clients are allowed to come into the darkroom and work with them, thereby learning about a process that only a handful of people still specialize in. In a world of digital photography, Hidden Light is dedicated to the traditional process and works to maintain a dying art.
Hidden Light works directly with the artists in the darkrooms making the final product fit what the artist wants, together creating a “hand-crafted print.”
“We don’t like to keep secrets. By engaging in the darkroom, everyone grows as artists,” said Saunders.
Hidden Light specializes in traditional black and white photography developed in a wet darkroom, and palladium/platinum prints, dry mounting, matte cutting, a full retail frame business, custom framing, mounting to metal, glass, retail picture framing, commercial installations, and coordinating photographers for exhibitions.
They recently installed 50 images in the Western Caballeros Museum in Wickenberg in a permanent installation and they do quite a bit of out of state printing, bringing many artists from around the country to Flagstaff. They make negatives from digital capture and sell black and white film.
Hidden Light LLC was voted Best of Flag in 2013 and 2014, and was voted, “Best Local Institution Keeping Old School Photography Alive,” in Flaglive’s 2010 Editor’s choice awards.
“For us it’s always been to help people and solves problems for people. Working in the dark room with your hands, I never get tired of seeing a print come up in the tray. It’s magic—alchemy. It’s science, but fine art. The caliber of the artists we work with–it’s spectacular to work with those types of people,” said Saunders.
Hidden Light also sponsors and supports non-profits in the community. They have been a major sponsor of the Viola Awards in past years, and give back with donations to support community groups.