A digital imaging company staying true to its photographic roots, leading the way to on-demand photo book printing and a full array of digital printing services.
In March, 2015, A&I was acquired by The Harman Press. Both companies, family-owned, had been Hollywood neighbors, but each had recently relocated to the San Fernando Valley. Led by Harman Press president Phillip Goldner, the combined companies–while maintaining separate indentities–are now consolidated at the same location in North Hollywood. Like The Harman Press, A&I has is its roots in an era when quality printing mattered.
When photographer David Alexander (the “A”) joined forces with photo lab manager/master technician James Ishihara (the “I”) in the late 1960s to create a photographic lab in Los Angeles, no one could have predicted that from humble beginnings, their collaboration would result in a famous destination for the world’s top photographers. David recalls, “I suggested we go into business and do it the right way – which was to get the highest quality lab going, first for myself and then later, as we grew, for clients. So we built a lab in a room the size of a broom closet and went from there.”
Across town, Isgo and Anoush Lepejian started Isgo Lepejian Custom Photo Lab in 1971. The business began in a 500 sq. foot location on Hollywood Way in Burbank. Isgo’s amazing talent for black and white fine art prints soon gave him a large and loyal following among the most important photographers in Los Angeles. A trademark signature to his pioneering work was his use of diffusion filters, which “softened” skin and gave portraits a “glowing” effect. Within just a few years, the Lepejians made the first of many moves to a larger location, this time onto Magnolia Blvd.
Baret Lepejian, the older of two sons, followed in his father’s footsteps with a love of photography, working in the lab from the age of fourteen. In 1978, Baret began printing in his own style while being constantly inspired and carefully taught by Isgo. Father and son would eventually be the most successful black and white printers on the West Coast.
Younger brother Vic Lepejian came into the business in 1988. A computer specialist, his vision of a digital future was a decade before it’s time. Vic brought the digital world into his family’s business and kept Isgo’s Lab ahead of the technology curve. Their first contact printer for black and white custom multiples was installed in 1990. Shooting copy negatives of their own beautiful fiber prints quickly made Isgo’s the busiest reproduction lab in the Los Angeles area.
In 1996, Isgo Lepejian was the first pro lab to install digital photo printers, allowing them to print color multiples and to be the first in the US to offer “color for the price of black and white.” Four years later they invested in a printing press, offering their clients the choice of photographic or lithographic prints. They upgraded to a digital press in 2005, giving clients the ability to order as few as 50 prints with a quality that is unsurpassed to this day. Mid-2006, one year after the launch of the digital press, the first Actor’s Headshot Kiosk was introduced. The kiosk allows clients to design their headshots and promotional pieces from the comfort of their own home, with options to ship the job to their door or to pick up at either of two locations.
In July of 2004, Baret and Vic Lepejian acquired ownership of A&I, at that point rated as one the top professional photo labs in the world. But turbulent times were upon the industry; digital photography was overtaking film and local labs were struggling with finding digital solutions. In 2005 and 2006 the world lost both Anoush and Isgo Lepejian respectively. Baret and Vic continued to fulfill the legacy their parents started, serving a client base that included renowned celebrity, fashion, stock, editorial, advertising, nature, portrait, wedding and fine art photographers, as well as students and photographic hobbyists. Their committment to quality remains a guiding light for A&I today.
THE A&I DIFFERENCE
A&I serves professionals and industry leaders, consulting with photographers and a range of businesses and institutions. We meet the particular needs of our clients by assuring efficient and cost-effective services. We pride ourselves in the range and quality of our digital services and the expertise of our team, with a commitment to the highest quality printing at the most reasonable prices in the industry.