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Building A Foundation In Film With Safelight District

Tori Fyfe discusses why she started Safelight District and the role she hopes it will play in the photography community

The art of film is experiencing a renaissance among all classes of photographers, rising above the niche of hipsters and fanatics that have kept it afloat in recent years. As phonographs and bell-bottoms make their way back into pop culture, so too does the exposure experience. With everyone falling back to the basics and rediscovering the opportunities film has to offer, there is still one problem plaguing amateurs and veterans alike: where do you get it developed?

Photographers who value their time and sanity (and are fed up with the sub-par services offered by Walgreens and Walmart) can find solace in Tori Fyfe- Chattanooga’s local photographer-turned-entrepreneur and owner of the Safelight District

Photos by Gaston Farmer

"The film community has really shown up and surprised me," Tori shared. "It's an even bigger community than I hoped, and things are going great!"

Safelight District is Chattanooga’s first community darkroom, and the result of Fyfe’s mission to “KEEP FILM ALIVE!”. The local business offers photographers the ability to develop and scan their exposures through drop-off and darkroom booking, as well as access to photography workshops, hosted on-site (all with the option of a reduced-fee membership program). 

Photos by Marianna Riddle

Simply providing a service isn’t enough for Tori, however- she hopes to build a community for photographers in Chattanooga. Plans include adding regularly scheduled workshops, community events, member showcases, and even a biannual zine (both physical and digital). The goal is to create a platform for local artists to collaborate and be featured, with the company planning to include digital photography soon. 

Photos by Kevin Lane

"I want to make Safelight a hub for photography in Chattanooga. Not just film, but digital as well. A place that provides a sense of community and resources for all things photography related. Safelight gives those who shoot film a platform where they can work and be featured, and we want to keep working with other local small businesses and photographers as much as possible. There is so much room for so much creativity."

Photos by Tori Fyfe

To learn more about memberships and ongoing workshops, you can visit, and make sure to follow Tori on Instagram to learn more about her photography and entrepreneurial projects!

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