This dude right here Is Phong. Phong is the fucking man! Why you ask? Because without this dude, I don't even think Raw & Instant would be running right now. How so? Well let me explain...
Years ago, when Raw & Instant was first starting up, I would always go to camera swap meets and stuff to try to come up on some new cameras and gear. Along the way, I met some cool people and became friends with a couple of vendors. One guy I met was a dude named Richard, and he would always stop me in the hall whenever he saw me, telling me what new Polaroid stuff he had for me (since he knew my whole thing). One day, I came up on one of my holy grail cameras from him, The Polaroid 600 SE aka "The Goose," it was all but perfect condition except the rangefinder was foggy, and due to that, I couldn't see a thing through that camera. So I asked him where to go to repair a Polaroid, I mean because c'mon, who would be able to repair a Polaroid these days? So Richard referred me to Phong.
Phong runs his own teeny tiny Camera Repair shop called Canada Camera in Montebello, CA, not too far from where I live. I went over there, and right as I stepped in, he welcomed me with his upbeat, energetic personality. When he saw what camera I had in my hands, he was ecstatic. He couldn't believe that someone would actually bring something like that into him, let alone be using it haha. I didn't have to tell him a thing, he took a look at the camera, and already knew the problem. So what makes this dude so special?
Turns out, Phong used to work for Polaroid 40+ years ago. So I instantly bonded with him. He has so much stories about him and the company, and how it was one of the greatest jobs he has ever had. He got to experience the magic of Polaroid first hand. I'm writing about Phong now because he just repaired my other holy grail camera, my SLR 680. When I took it in not too long ago, he remembered me from those few years back, and he said, "I'm the only one who knows how to fix your cameras."
So anyways, thanks Phong. Without you, I would be without my 2 best cameras. Raw & Instant would not be running without you man!