Here’s a sad truth: as much as Filipinos love photos, many have become content with just seeing them on computer and phone screens.
Takuya Maeda, Fujifilm Philippines’ division head for electronic imaging and photo imaging, said, “Filipinos love taking photos but surprisingly, the ratio of keeping the photo is very low. Why? We realized that the printing process is very boring, and going into the photo shop is not so interesting.”
Fujifilm wants to change that. They partnered with Fuji distributor YKL Colors Inc. in bringing Wonder Photo Shop to the Philippines. The store, which officially opened in UP Town Center recently, is the first Wonder Photo Shop outside of Japan. (A couple of days later, a store in China opened, as well.)
“We thought if we make the printing process more enjoyable, people will print more. We created an interesting printing shop so many people can come here and enjoy.”
The location was strategic, too—they want to be close to students. “Our main target is the younger generation, the smart phone users.”
For Maeda, Wonder Photo Shop is much more than just a business, it’s rooted in sentiment. “I had my own photo album and every time I looked through it, I could feel my parents’ love; I appreciate them and I feel love for my family. I’m really concerned—now, the younger generation, when they grow up, will they have pictures to look at? I’m not sure they can look through Facebook pictures in the future. That’s why I want them to make albums, for the memories and also because it’s interesting and fun.”
Wonder Photo Shop can fulfill your usual photo printing needs, but there are many other things you can do. “Why should they go? Because it’s fun, more fun,” said Maeda.
Here are 10 things you can do:
Take your selfie game to the next level. Wonder Photo Shop Manila has a Pro Selfie Studio where you and your friends can take fun self-portraits with props. “We use a special camera and we have a green background so they can create a complex photo and change the background,” said Maeda.
Print photos directly from your phone. The Wonder Print Station lets you hook up your phone (or pop in a memory card) so you can print photos instantly using different templates . “People can enjoy the editing software, the collage prints,” said Maeda. Printing is quick, but if you get bored, you can even play games. The Wonder Print Station gives you several options: Memory, Escape, Four in a Line, Peg Solitaire, Sliding Puzzle and Chat Noir.
Print photos using an app. If you hate cables and wires, you can also print photos by installing an app in your iPhone or your Android phone.
Buy photo albums and frames. Maeda said, “One thing I was really surprised about the Philippine market is we have printing shops but only a few places sell albums. In Japan, we have so many albums so after they print, they can enjoy creating albums. Here at Wonder Photo Shop, we are introducing interesting photo albums from Japan and other countries.”
Love scrapbooking? Shop for stickers and accessories. Wonder Photo Shop sells washi tape, stickers and accessories for sprucing up your scrapbooks. We love the travel stickers from Tokyo Edge and the 3D stickers.
Get your hands on the coolest Instax cameras. Whether you want the candy-colored Instax Mini 8, the versatile Mini 90 or the adorable limited edition Hello Kitty camera, Wonder Photo Shop has them. The Fuji Instax Share smartphone printer is available there too.
Stock up on Instax film. They have Instax film with fun designs: Monsters Inc., Little Twin Stars, Hello Kitty, Rainbow, Stripe, Airmail and Comic, which is a Filipino favorite.
Get your dose of kawaii. There is no shortage of cuteness at Wonder Photo Shop. And we think the Instax USB flash drives might just be the cutest thing in the store. They come in different colors.
Unleash your creativity. You can actually start working on your scrapbooks and albums right there in the shop. They have a table with supplies that you can use.
Get photo books printed. They’re a great gift to give and a lovely way to remember special moments and, if you’re lucky, you can get yours in just an hour.
Wonder Photo Shop is at the third floor of UP Town Center. It’s open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Mondays to Fridays and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Wonder Photo Shop is run by YKL Colors, Inc., a FujiFilm distributor.