Every professional print lab has its own hero, this hero ensures the highest possible quality to be delivered to the customer. They are photo enthusiasts and experts in their field. In our opinion these heroes deserve a spotlight, therefore each month we will ask one of these heroes to tell their story. This time we have interviewed Fernando Martin, responsible for the production lab, sales and management of the Barcelona lab.

Who is … Kitoli, Professional Photo Lab Company?
dedicated to the world of photography since 1981, at first as a photo studio dedicated to social and industrial photography, located in Villa Del Río (Córdoba), Southern Spain, in Andalucía region. Over the years, the local growing furniture industry developed much more the business dedicated to advertising and industrial photography. Thereafter, with the acquisition of new premises , the business in Córdoba developed around photographic printing being one of the main Spanish laboratories, serving nationwide. Since the business kept growing, Kitoli decided to open labs in Málaga and Barcelona along with the Villa del Río in Córdoba specialized in digital albums, photographic printing, large format direct printing, offset, analogue development, etc.

Who is … Fernando Martín?
Luque Fernando Martín is in charge of the Barcelona Laboratory. Fernando started at the production lab and kept his career growing within the company and is now responsible for the production lab, sales and management of the Barcelona lab.

Fernando, 43, with family and 3 children, studied image and sound and started as a freelance photographer who worked for the Newspaper El Punt.

Fernando: “As I liked photography, on a personal level I used to go to develop my black and white pictures always at the same photo lab, I was a regular customer and when the newspaper closed down, the lab asked me to join them”.

I’ve been always fond of photography and I keep taking pictures with my analogue camera. Among my personal hobby, the photography, I also enjoy running on the mountains, it makes me feel free and happy and I have a good mark in competitions.

What kind of jobs do they print at Kitoli?
All types of works that need to be printed in high photographic quality, from photo prints for exhibitions to social photography and using any of the printing techniques that exist these days.

The largest production of wedding albums is made in Villa del Río, Córdoba, 60% is album and the rest are other photo elements.

A product that we produce and which is still very popular are the academic borders for schools and universities, also photos for schools that we produce for Christmas and at the end of the academic year.

Photographic film is still a big claim and we continue to develop a lot of photo film daily and scan professional film. We are one of the few laboratories that still have a photographic film processor that allows us to develop and after scan digitally.

Could you tell us about your professional career Fernando?
After finishing my studies, I dedicated myself for a few years to press photography, at that time, working in analogue I spent many hours in the laboratory and over time I began to spend more and more hours producing my work and for my colleagues. Later, I joined a small laboratory that ended up being a national reference, where I learned a lot from my actual profession.

What inspired you to enter the photographic printing business?
The laboratory and printing business really found me, being my work a real hobby, since I enjoy my work more every day.

What do you love most about your job?
I love my work and the relationship with the client, helping to give them the best possible result.

How do you think digitalization has influenced the business of photo printing?
Digitization is allowing us to go one step further in terms of printing, it has allowed us to be able to experiment in different media and materials, be much more creative and provide a faster and more personalized service. For example, in Córdoba, more UV digital finishes are also covered.

What do you like most about Fujifilm’s Original photo papers?
The quality are excellent. You can work with them with maximum precision and reliability.

Do you have any favourite type of Fujifilm photo paper?
Personally, Lustre DPII is Fujifilm’s best, for quality, colour range and versatility. Now we are working sometimes with the Maxima paper with incredible results for photographic exhibitions.

How do you see the future of the professional printing business?
The future of printing leads us to work with different techniques and materials, to be able to offer more creative options to professionals quickly and economically.

Also, online printing services are growing and we need to compete with the big ones. We already have a website for online development services https://shootersfilmlab.com/ that works very well, we are working to improve it every day with additional products and services.

What advice would you give the next photographers?
Please print, print a lot. There is nothing like a well printed photo. It is the healthiest habit for any good photographer.