Come one, come all. Lomography has partners all over the world to help serve your analogue needs. If you're from the Czech Republic then it's your lucky day! In today's installment of Lomography Partners we're featuring our Prague-based stockist Martin Škoda and their team at FotoSkoda.
Can you introduce yourself to the Lomography community?
Martin Škoda: FotoSkoda is the biggest photo specialist in the Czech Republic located in the center of Prague. It offers a combination of the newest photo equipment, analogue photography gear, and photographic services.
What does analogue mean to you?
Analogue is our heart–with a ground floor of almost 400 square meters dedicated to analogue photography. We create a unique place for meeting photographers and analogue lovers. We are still able to repair old cameras from the last century and offer all services like developing or scanning films.
What does Lomography mean to you?
Lomography is a community that belongs to our customer base. Passion for analogue photography and retro style is something we have in common.
What is your favorite Lomography product and why?
The Diana F+ is probably the biggest success which keeps attracting customers and film lovers all throughout.
Are you doing any creative projects right now in the store or personally? Please tell us more about them.
We are opening a large darkroom this year. We want everyone to get the feeling and understanding of what it means to develop their own film or enlarge a photo.
What does the future of analogue photography look like to you? How do you think this will impact your store in the next ten years?
We don´t expect analogue to be mainstream, however, we want to be the first place where people want to go anytime the topic of film photography is raised. We want to keep its tradition and preserve the knowledge for future generations and raise awareness for analogue as much as possible.
What hardship did your shop/lab face during the lockdowns and what kept you going through these hard times?
There were fewer occasions to take pictures, and less demand. There were obstacles to overcome like how to deliver goods and materials, and offer services. We tried hard to convert offline to online and update logistics to keep our business running.
What's the most annoying thing about running an analogue lab?
Lucie Bártová (head of photographic services department): Probably the most difficult thing for lab assistants is to scan films or slides without DX codes. You have to be absolutely concentrated while counting frames and it´s quite annoying when anyone interrupts you.
What's your favorite memory from the lab so far?
David Dobiáš (lab assistant): One story comes into my mind right away. Once I asked a customer which frames he would like to develop / print and he didn´t know off the top of his head. So he pulled out the undeveloped film from the cartridge to show me.
What's the weirdest thing you have received when developing films?
David Dobiáš (lab assistant): We can see a lot of "strange" things in the pictures and after such a long time working as lab assistants, it doesn´t even seem to be unusual. But we probably won´t ever forget some orders for different reasons. I mean, for example, undeveloped film strings without cartridges brought to us (to be developed) in a black cotton bag or black sock or single frames of film and slide pinned on a steel skewer needle with a cork on one end or strung on a piece of twine.
What would you do if you didn’t run a photo lab?
Lucie Bártová (head of photographic services department):A photo lab is an integral part of the services we provide. But aside from the lab, we offer a whole package of different services including the sale of new and used photo equipment, repair services, and educational photographic courses. We offer everything for photographers and videographers under one roof.
Zdeněk Jarolím (expert salesman, camera department): What I like about the Babylon is its hard transition between light and shadow and the fine grain.
Jakub Lojda (expert salesman, camera department): I like the soft gradation between shadow and light of the Fantome.
Which film worked better in your opinion?
Zdeněk Jarolím: It's the Babylon 13 for me.
Jakub Lojda: Fantome 8 for me.
Can you share some tips for shooting with these films?
Zdeněk Jarolím: Be precise with your exposure.
Jakub Lojda: Bring a tripod with you.
Want to see your favorite store featured in our magazine? Please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will check them out!