Photolab moved to west Berkeley in 1991 and the
was born. Since then we have exhibited over 120 photographers, each for
5 to 6 weeks. Many of these photographers have gone on to professional
representation, to publish books or to continue exhibiting. The exhibits
reveal the depth of variation in the world of photography, from stereo
photography, pinhole photography, traditional color photography,
traditional and modern black and white silver photography and now digital
Exhibitors get a steady stream of viewers from Photolab customers. The
Gallery has a mailing list of over 1200 subscribers who get announcement
cards for each show. Located in the growing West Berkeley Arts District,
the Photolab Gallery has two gallery neighbors, Barbara Anderson Framing
and Gallery, and the Lightroom Gallery - all three just steps from each
other. Local media reviews, and press releases draw more visitors and
If you would like to receive email or regular mail
For more information about the Gallery or to request a portfolio review
and the Gallery prospectus,
Since 2003 each photographer also gets a custom made web page. All
exhibit web pages are located in the Photolab Gallery Exhibit Archive.
photo above: charles reilly
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Photography + Gallery
Photolab started out in the 1970s as
a rental darkroom space located on Alcatraz Avenue in South Berkeley.
Current owner, Andrea McLaughlin purchased the business in a leveraged
buyout from John Clements and Karen Kerschen in 1981, after Andrea
successfully managed the company for about a year.
Photolab started out as a strictly black and white lab that specialized
in fine art and commercial lab services for professionals and advanced
hobbyists. At first, Andrea continued her work as one the the early
documentary style wedding photographers in the Bay Area. But soon
Photolab began to grow and attract other wedding photographers who were
also shooting in black and white.
developed a niche market combining fine art sensibilities, commercial
photo lab equipment and detail oriented customer service. This special
combination drew the attention of wedding and portrait photographers and
other fine art photographers, including Andre Kertez.
In 1989 we ( which actually means, Photolab owner, Andrea
McLaughlin) started studying Photoshop at PhotoMetro, in San
Francisco. That was back when Photoshop had
no version number and there was no really good way to get images out of
the computer! Andrea still has her first print made on a computer with
In 1991 Photolab moved into a new facility that is now
its current location on 5th Street, in West Berkeley.
Andrea bought her first custom made computer for Photolab in 1993. It
was a PC with 64 MB of RAM. At the time we were told that there was
absolutely no reason to put that vast amount of RAM into a computer. Andrea
remembers with delight telling the Silicon Valley computer tech who
didn't want to install the RAM, "Just
wait and see...you have no idea what's coming!"