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Photo Essay

When Their Local Film Developing Lab Closed, These Three Photography-Loving Homies Stepped Up to Open Their Own in DTLA

[dropcap size=big]M[/dropcap]atthew Nordman, Raymond Delgado & Josh Zamudio are three Los Angeles-based photographers that turned a corner during the pandemic and opened a film photography lab in downtown Los Angeles, One Stop Film Lab. Constructed from their personal passions of photography, this boutique photo lab is servicing a niche artistic medium for a new generation to embrace.

One Stop is located near 4th and Los Angeles Streets across from the Wholesale Mart & Skid Row, respectively. Nordman, photographer and part owner of One Stop Film Lab, tells L.A. Taco that this lab was created after his local film lab closing during the pandemic. With rolls of film sitting to be developed, Matthew decided to research home developing as a personal project. He tapped into his science and engineering background from Loyola Marymount University and learned the scientific process of developing film. From knowing the exact chemicals needed to sourcing and operating the Filmomat, a German-made fully automatic table-top film processor that can develop color along with black and white, and E-6 slide film.

In the beginning, Nordman offered his DIY film lab to his friends to use. Soon enough, Delgado, one of these friends, invested in this photo service by adding a scanning service to this project. Among those friends using their service was Zamudio, founder and EIC of These Streets Magazine, a quarterly magazine dedicated to visual storytellers in Los Angeles. Collectively, the three friends used Theses Streets headquarters as the official location for their emerging film lab.

Photo by Erwin Recinos for L.A. TACO.

The film photography shop officially opened on July 28, 2020, with an Instagram post demonstrating the Filmomat being used with the caption, "One Stop is the only place in Downtown Los Angeles for a quick stop on camera stocks, film developing services and to pick up a copy or our magazine."

Due to the pandemic that IG post was their inaugural grand opening. No cutting of the ribbon. No opening ceremony with friends or family. With that initial post and word of mouth marketing from the film photography community has brought new customers through those doors. Once COVID restrictions start to loosen, the team at One Stop has plans for the coming year as they patiently plot their next big moves. Matthew tells L.A. TACO, “Right now our main goals are to grow the business so that we can give back to the community by creating jobs. Grow into a bigger space to offer developing on-site and provide quicker turnaround times for our customers."

One Stop Film lab is located at 341 S. Los Angeles St. Unit 8006.

Photo by Erwin Recinos for L.A. TACO.
Photo by Erwin Recinos for L.A. TACO.
Photo by Erwin Recinos for L.A. TACO.

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