Tim Hall with Robert Cameron - 2006

About Tim Hall


PrincipalRobert Cameron Gallery

Founder:  Color3LAB 1987-2015

What:  Founder/Artist/GM of S.F.'s last full service  photographic color lab offered drum scanning, C-Prints, frame, mount, lamination along with custom finishing service.

Source of start-up capital: Personal funds put up by myself and two brothers. The three in Color3Lab has a dual meaning: three brothers and also the three primary additive colors (RGB) used in photographic print process. 
​​​Background: S.F.S.U. graduate with BA in Music. Artistically I'm very fortunate to have both good ears and good eyes. In my career the eyes won as I moved toward photographic printing. I registered for and was put on the waiting list to study under Ansel Adams. In the meantime, I self studied his program and took a print production position at an established S.F. Photo Lab. The spot did open in Ansel's class and I received the invitation to attend. Since I was already working full time as the Lab Production Manager and guaranteed that there would be a space for me in the next  class, I passed on that opportunity. Very unfortunately for him (and for me too) Ansel passed away that next year.

Big picture Reason for starting business: Wanting to do things my way       Most difficult part of decision: Borrowing money    

Biggest plus of ownership: Doing things my own way, we built the lab with many production efficiencies. For instance the enlarging rooms were constructed purposefully to limit the amount of walking distance between printing, processing and finishing. The process has changed so much over the years that these efficiencies no longer matter, however back in the 80's and 90's it gave us a distinct advantage.    

Biggest drawback: There are just so many hours in every day, and often to get projects completed to my satisfaction, I have to do them myself 

Biggest misconception: Assuming there were enough people (similar to myself) that would be available to work for the lab    

Biggest business strength: I am very good at seeing what does and doesn't work in a photograph 

Biggest business weakness: Handling money         Biggest risk: Borrowing $750,000 to go digital

Biggest mistake:  Putting trust in some individuals that proved to be untrustworthy      

Smartest move: Downsizing when necessary and not giving up. A lot of our old business has been lost due to: the current economy, changing technology and the desire by many customers that cheaper price is more important then quality of product.  These changes have pretty much eliminated all of our former worthy competitors.

Most challenging task: Running the business differently then every other business that I've worked at

Favorite task: Making wonderful photographs     Least favorite task: Managing salespeople       Favorite film: The Matrix

Biggest frustration: Dealing honestly with dishonest people     Source of support in a business crisis: Focus and perseverance

Key goal yet to achieve: Peace of mind      First move with capital windfall: TBD       Stress Reducers: Good Music

Five year plan: Getting to make photographs that matter       Personal Most admired entrepreneur: Paul Newman   

Most interested in meeting: Franz Schubert      Favorite pastimes: Anything with my kids      Automobile: Datsun 510 (1st car)

Favorite book: "Tao Te Ching", Lau Tzu       Favorite restaurant: Jyun Kang Vegetarian Restaurant at the City of 10,000 Buddhas

What is on your iPod: I don’t listen to iPods      Favorite destination: City of 10,000 Buddhas (Talmage/Ukiah, CA)

CameronFolio  AND  GreatKolor