The Story of Underdog Film Lab


When photo labs across the country began to close, a group of stubborn analog loyalists refused to consign their beloved gear to the dumpster. They waited until the day when they could utilize their high-quality film processing equipment in the service of the Bay Area photography community.

Despite the outrageous local rents, these photographers have managed to create a place where like-minded artists, professionals, students, and hobbyists can get high-quality photo processing and finishing services at affordable prices. Located in the heart of West Oakland in a space that once housed a saloon, they now strive to be an essential local resource for anybody with a camera.


The Underdog Film Lab team is a diverse group of film-loving folks boasting a combined 60+ years of professional experience in the photography field. We have deep and practical knowledge about every detail of the shooting, developing, and printing processes, and can help you better understand each of these steps, from the moment you load the film in your camera to the time when you hold the final print in your hand. We’re the best because we truly care about every aspect of photography.


We believe that photography should be fun. It shouldn’t be an intimidating experience to go to a photo lab just because you don’t know the lingo, and are still learning the tools and techniques of photography. We’re here to guide you, regardless of your skills or experience, and we feel that the best possible outcome is if we can put you on a path toward becoming a better and more confident photographer. Your satisfaction is very important to us, because we know that good results encourage you to continue taking pictures.


If you live in the East Bay, then having your film processed is as simple as dropping it off at our Oakland lab.

If you live or work in San Francisco, our exclusive partnership with Glass Key Photo on Sutter Street means that all of your photography needs are now under a single roof. Glass Key is a one-stop shop where you can purchase an analog camera and its required film stock, and bring your finished film right back to their storefront. There we’ll pick it up for developing and printing, before returning it to Glass Key for you to retrieve at your convenience. 

If you live outside of the Bay Area we offer mail services for all the onsite film and print processes. 

We’re happy to incorporate digital tools into our workflow, and we can make hard copies of phone snapshots, digitally retouch a moldy old family photo you dug out of the attic, or enlarge and print your digital artwork.

If you’re unsure about a specific service not listed on our site, please ask; we’ll do our best to accommodate you.

Underdog Film Lab
1624 Peralta Street
Oakland, CA 94607

Sat 10AM-4PM*
Sun Closed
*Summer hours