4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Tijuana's Fotocolor, digital and Covid victim

Since the public events like weddings are forbidden, we’d struggle a lot

Francisco Garcia, since 1989 in the Zona Rio. - Image by Luis Gutierrez
Francisco Garcia, since 1989 in the Zona Rio.

Francisco Garcia, 63 years, owns the last analogic photo lab in Tijuana. His business had been offering its services since 1989 on the same spot; La Plaza del Zapato in the Zona Rio Tijuana. But this year he couldn’t keep the business open any longer due to Covid.

After finishing his studies in Guadalajara as electronics engineer, he moved to Ciudad Obregon in Sonora where he got a job as maintenance assistant he found advertised in the newspaper. .

“They told me I got the job, so when I showed up to work the first day, I realized that my job was in a photography lab. I was 28 years old, but since 14 I was a big fan of photography.

He learned the entire printing process and got specialized fixing bulb machines. His bosses sent him to study in Mexico City.

He ended up in Tijuana because a company from Guadalajara hired him to set up a photo lab. “I had it to go to Los Angeles to buy the machines, hire employees, train them, make the bureaucracy and permissions with the municipality,” Francisco said. “But I just spent a couple of years there because they told me I couldn’t have a higher position.”

"I can survive with 3,000 pesos because I have my own house."

He decided to begin his own photo lab, FotoColor. He got to 10 employees a couple of months after he opened the shop. The biggest Tijuana newspapers used to go there to develop their photos. “Newspapers as El Heraldo, Zeta, and Notimex, the federal news agency.

Throughout 32 years he managed to survive the arrival of Costco and Kodak in the digital photo era. “The transition period to the digital era in Tijuana was mainly in 2007/2008. We managed to purchase digital equipment and survived. But with the pandemic and all the public events like weddings etc., forbidden, we’d struggle a lot."

He held on one year paying the rent, but at the beginning of 2021, he got behind two months on his payments; 12,500 pesos ($600 USD) a month. And after 32 years in the same spot, the landlord required him to vacate the place in 14 days.

“I used to pay $3,000 USD on private school tuition when two of my sons were in CETYs University. Now I can survive with 3,000 pesos because I have my own house.... My idea now is to open a photographic development workshop open for the public. Analogic photography is bouncing back up with the youth...."

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Smokey’s Lake Wohlford Cafe: old-school country diner

“I always sit here,” Neil says. “Been coming for 40 years.”
Next Article

Smokey’s Lake Wohlford Cafe: old-school country diner

“I always sit here,” Neil says. “Been coming for 40 years.”
Francisco Garcia, since 1989 in the Zona Rio. - Image by Luis Gutierrez
Francisco Garcia, since 1989 in the Zona Rio.

Francisco Garcia, 63 years, owns the last analogic photo lab in Tijuana. His business had been offering its services since 1989 on the same spot; La Plaza del Zapato in the Zona Rio Tijuana. But this year he couldn’t keep the business open any longer due to Covid.

After finishing his studies in Guadalajara as electronics engineer, he moved to Ciudad Obregon in Sonora where he got a job as maintenance assistant he found advertised in the newspaper. .

“They told me I got the job, so when I showed up to work the first day, I realized that my job was in a photography lab. I was 28 years old, but since 14 I was a big fan of photography.

He learned the entire printing process and got specialized fixing bulb machines. His bosses sent him to study in Mexico City.

He ended up in Tijuana because a company from Guadalajara hired him to set up a photo lab. “I had it to go to Los Angeles to buy the machines, hire employees, train them, make the bureaucracy and permissions with the municipality,” Francisco said. “But I just spent a couple of years there because they told me I couldn’t have a higher position.”

"I can survive with 3,000 pesos because I have my own house."

He decided to begin his own photo lab, FotoColor. He got to 10 employees a couple of months after he opened the shop. The biggest Tijuana newspapers used to go there to develop their photos. “Newspapers as El Heraldo, Zeta, and Notimex, the federal news agency.

Throughout 32 years he managed to survive the arrival of Costco and Kodak in the digital photo era. “The transition period to the digital era in Tijuana was mainly in 2007/2008. We managed to purchase digital equipment and survived. But with the pandemic and all the public events like weddings etc., forbidden, we’d struggle a lot."

He held on one year paying the rent, but at the beginning of 2021, he got behind two months on his payments; 12,500 pesos ($600 USD) a month. And after 32 years in the same spot, the landlord required him to vacate the place in 14 days.

“I used to pay $3,000 USD on private school tuition when two of my sons were in CETYs University. Now I can survive with 3,000 pesos because I have my own house.... My idea now is to open a photographic development workshop open for the public. Analogic photography is bouncing back up with the youth...."

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Almost lost an ear in Carlsbad

"My mom took me to the hospital”
Next Article

The Golden Age of something

A direct correlation to the boringness of life
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close