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Film Photo Processors Strive to Adapt to Digital

Despite the fiercely competitive environment, independents like Totora are still doing business. He, like the others, have evolved with the changing technology.

And he has formed a business relationship with another photo shop owner, Mohammad Raja, who runs 30 Minute Photo in nearby Fort Salonga. If a machine is broken in Totora's shop, Raja will handle his orders. Raja will do some film processing for Totora and, in turn, sends his black-and-white developing and restoration work to L&L Camera.

Totora has a drive-through window for his customers - a feature he started 49 years ago, he said. But in the end, he believes the quality of his product is what will entice his customers to return.

One customer, Barbara Porpora, 60, said she agrees. But Totora's involvement in the community and the fact that the store is a family business are draws for her as well.

"I've bought cameras here and I think his prices are good, but it goes beyond that," Porpora said. "He does a lot for the community and I like that it's a family business."

Year Home Retail Online

2000 400 million * *

2006 (estimated) 4.9 billion 4.6 billion 2.4 billion

2007 (projected) 5.5 billion 6.1 billion 3.7 billion