Fotoprint Service (浮圖攝影)

York Lo: Fotoprint Service (浮圖攝影)

Fotoprint Service Image 1 York Lo

Fotoprint on Stanley Street in 1959 on the right next to Mow Kie Ladies Tailor (ABC); Right: Fotoprint on D’Aguilar Street in 1965. (Gwulo) 

Fotoprint Service was a prominent distributor of photo supplies and provider of photofinishing service from the 1940s to the 1980s alongside several of the firms covered earlier such as Asia Photo Supply, A.Sek & Co and Stereo Ltd. 

The proprietor of Fotoprint was Lo Tai-tak (羅大德) and the firm’s address was listed as 7 D’Aguilar Street in Central in the late 1940s (Telephone Directory of HK and Kowloon, 1948; Directory of HK, Macao and Canton, 1949)

In the mid-1950s, John and Veronica Stericker produced two books about Hong Kong – Hong Kong Gift Book and Hong Kong in Picture and Story and in both books, the authors made mentions of Lo Tai Tak and Fotoprint, thanking him and the firm for having “supplied every piece of photographic equipment associated with the book” and also acknowledged that “his advice has been most useful”. 

Fotoprint Service Image 2 York Lo

Lo Tai-tak of Fotoprint with fellow colleagues from the photography circle at the Chinese New Year gathering of the HK & Kowloon Photographic Merchant Association in 1962. Left to right: Choi Tak-kwong, Ko Lau-tong, Yuen Kang-chuen, Robert Tsui, Auyeung Waiman, Lo Tai-tak, Kan Chi-luek, Kwok Lai-yuen. (WKYP, 1962-1-17)

An issue of Popular Photography in 1964 suggested the readers to go to Fotoprint for “black and white or custom printing”. In 1965, Fodor’s Guide to Japan and East Asia described Fotoprint as “a small firm which does fine printing” and “occasionally offers used cameras, along with a stock of new ones”

Fotoprint Service Image 3 York Lo

Mr. & Mrs. Lo Tai-tak and guests at the opening ceremony of Fotoprint on Stanley Street in 1964 (WKYP)  

In June 1964, Fotoprint relocated to 28B Stanley Street. The opening ceremony kicked off with prayers by Reverend Chan Yik-yin of the Chinese Rhenish Church HK Synod followed by a cocktail reception which was attended by the Who’s Who in HK beyond the photographic circle including S.N. Chau and his son Kai-yin, Lamson Kwok of Wing On, Loke Yung-cheong, S.W. Lee, Ho Chi-wong of Chun Hing Bakery (see article) and Au Ping-kwong (歐炳光) of Sincere. (WKYP, 1964-6-12) 

In 1977, the Hong Kong $ Directory listed Fotoprint as a supplier of photo supplies, sound movie camera and projectors, prism binoculars, color and black and white photofinishing with head office at 28B Stanley Street and branch office at the mezzanine level of the Mandarin Hotel. Lo Tai-tak was listed as managing director, Cheng Yee-Ha as director while Lo’s daughter Yeung Lo Kam-mee (羅錦薇) was listed as secretary. Kam-mee married Yeung Siu-yum (楊紹欽), the son of Yeung Yat-sing (楊日) of leading tobacco distributor Hing Lan Tobacco Co (馨蘭煙行, which sold RJ Reynolds products such as Winston, Salem and Camel brands of cigarettes) in 1965. 

In Fielding’s Far East guidebook in 1989, the author Antoinette Deland stated that her “husband and other friends have found the best prices and services for Nikon equipment at Fotoprint Service Ltd on the mezzanine level of the Mandarin Hotel. Ask for Mr. Fong”. 

As a firm, Fotoprint Service Ltd was incorporated in 1976 and dissolved in 1990. 

This article was first posted on 23rd March 2020.

Related Indhhk articles:

  1. Lai Afong 赖阿芳 and Afong Studio, early HK photographic studio
  2. Stereo(天然): Photofinishing Pioneer
  3. Ho Fan’s Hong Kong street photography 1950s and 1960s
  4. Fei Fei Photo Engravers, advert 1940
  5. Chak Wai Leung – HK photographer of the “common people”

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