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Photo Salon in SF Turns Phone Photos Into Fine Art Prints in 30 Minutes


Neomodern is a new startup in San Francisco that turns smartphone photos into fine art prints while giving owners a memorable, educational, and inspiring experience along the way.

Located on Union Street, Neomodern was founded by Michael Rubin, previously a Senior Innovator at Adobe.

“This idea had been nagging on me and I just gave in and did it this year,” Rubin tells PetaPixel.

There are two components to Neomodern: a printing side and a gallery side.

For printing, Neomodern invites anyone to walk in with their smartphones. The staff consists of experienced professional fine art printers who will guide you through the entire process of turning your digital photos into high-quality prints.

Neomodern is “reviving the old tradition of the ‘printmaster’,” Rubin says.

After helping you select the photo you’d like to print, the staff guides you through the concierge printing service, editing the photos in Lightroom and Photoshop before turning them into large, archival prints.

Finally, Neomodern will cut a custom mat and help you frame the print.

30 minutes later after arriving, you can walk out of the building with a finished fine art print that you’ll be proud to hang on your wall.

If you don’t have a chance to visit San Francisco, Neomodern can walk through the same process with you remotely through screen sharing.

“It’s our position that you can’t just print a file – and making it look ‘good’ is a personal thing,” Rubin says. “We need to do it with you.”

Neomodern is also a photo gallery that maintains a significant private collection of modernist photography by photographers such as Adams, Kertesz, and Cartier-Bresson.

The goal is to educate people about great photography and use the examples as stepping stones to discuss customer photos. This means the concierge time with customers doubles as a short class.

Rubin believes that there’s a big movement coming in photography and he’s positioning Neomodern to ride the wave.

“We believe that a renaissance is coming to photography that isn’t retro, but still about printing and about connecting people printing today with classical photographic prints,” Rubin says. “We are elevating ‘amateur” culture in photography, away from ‘art galleries” and just toward the personalization that photography creates.

“Photography has always been democratic, and populist, and we’d like to revive those attributes.”

Neomodern offers three frame sizes and two frame colors (black and white). The 20×24-inch framed print costs $295, the 16×20 one costs $195, and the 11×14 option is priced at $165.