Helios Industrial Contact Sheet / ICS


We love our ICS, and some of you do too. It’s 16x20 inches and created from start to finish from 100% old school methods. It starts by photographing you or your event in black and white film, and ends up as a large contact print of selected film strips, backed and matted to museum grade specs, for you to simply slip into a ready made frame and hang on the wall. Think of it as a film storyboard or giant print of a comic strip… a conversation piece if ever there was one. All your visitors will appreciate and remark on different frames within the print, which is why it’s both beautiful and functional for your home.


One day in our old partner lab in Boston, Doug saw an option on their service guide of a 16x20 inch contact sheet option. The usual is 8x10. After asking who did these, the lab people said it was rare, but only fine art photographers who wanted to see their images a little bigger than usual, before investing all out onto a single large print of one of their images. Hmm… what if this was the final product though? What if it was beautifully backed and matted and put into a museum grade frame on the wall? That’s how our ICS idea was born.


We photograph all in black and white, either with medium format or 35mm cameras. For the medium format route, we end up with twelve images on your ICS, made up of four different strips of negatives. With 35mm, we end up with 35 frames, made from seven strips of negatives. Our lab partner in Boston than takes our various film strip selections, slides them into a single negative holding sheet, puts it high up into a special old school manual printer in the darkroom, and makes the magic happen. 

Because we photograph in both film and digital, the ICS is only able to happen if you order it before your event or portrait session. Doug will then plan and carry out all the steps necessary for a beautiful and archival 250+ year Industrial Contact Sheet for a wall in your home. 

Here are a few images showing our trusted darkroom magicians making one of our ICS prints..


Sorting the seven different strips of negatives into one negative sleeve over a lightbox.

Sliding the negative sleeve sandwiched in glass plates into a large format specialized print head in the darkroom.

Washing the prints in large 20x24 inch trays in the darkroom after they have been exposed onto the light sensitive silver gelatin paper from the enlarger light.

Using Format