Come one, come all. Lomography has partners all over the world to help serve your analogue needs. If you're from Japan then it's your lucky day! We're featuring our Kyoto-based stockist Etsuko Matsui of Photolabo Hibi in today's installment of Lomography Partners.
Can you introduce yourself to the Lomography community?
Since 2013, we've been running a multi-space for photography called Photolabo Hibi. We aim to create an interesting daily life by combining photography and other elements under our theme “Experiments into daily life”. We also have a cafe and gallery.
What does analogue mean to you?
We believe that analogue has an important role and that is to support camera life.
What does Lomography mean to you?
Lomography for us is about making the photography experience more creative and fun.
Why do you choose to work with Lomography?
Because we feel in one with Lomography's mindset to enjoy film photography more freely. And that's something we like to tell our customers.
What is your favorite Lomography product and why?
Color Negative Film series. They have different ISO ratings and we like the ease of use when it comes to colors. The films allow us to play with it and pursue our favorite photos. A lot of our customers are fans, too.
Are you doing any creative projects right now in the store or personally? Please tell us more about them.
We are currently planning some photo exhibitions and events. You can visit the gallery space in Photolabo Hibi to see them. You can also check the event’s information from our Instagram.
What does the future of analogue photography look like to you? How will this impact your store in the next ten years?
Compared to years ago, the current market of analogue photography has slowed down. So we think that there will be challenging years ahead. But we believe that analogue photography can make a strong comeback in the next 10 years.
What hardship did your shop/lab have to face during the lockdowns and what kept you going through these hard times?
Fortunately, we could run our lab despite the restrictions because our lab offers services to all regions in Japan. On the other hand, it was an opportunity to rethink the state of our lab. We didn't want to give up the pleasure of daily life in the form of receiving films from visitors then chatting and drinking coffee with them. We are constantly thinking about its appeal and we want to keep it going.
What's the most annoying thing about running an analogue lab?
Today, there are a lot of people who aren’t familiar with film cameras because of the digitalization of photography. So we sometimes struggle to share with them our knowledge about film cameras.
What's your favorite memory from the lab so far?
It’s so difficult to choose our favorite memory, but we get interesting encounters and memorable moments every day. We feel pleasure in experiencing unique moments in daily life and that is why we have the word "hibi" in our name. It means "day" in Japanese.
What's the weirdest thing you have received when developing films?
A B&W film from about 100 years ago. It was a film about a customer’s grandfather and recorded daily life 100 years ago in Japan. It was such a beautiful and precious film negative.
What would you do if you didn’t run a photo lab?
I feel that my love for photography cannot be changed. So I would have worked in a similar industry related to photography except in the lab.
Official Name: Photolabo Hibi
Began Accepting Film for Developing: 2013
Address: 462-2 Shoojicho, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto, 606-8353, Japan
Services offered: 35mm, 120 C41, We can also offer developments of B&W and E-6 to other labs.
Film lab staff: 3
Want to see your favorite store featured in our magazine? Please send us an email at email@example.com and we will check them out!