What has happened to the camera shop of our world? Video rental stores are practically extinct thanks to online rentals and video rental vending machines. Right behind them is the disappearance of photographic stores. I remember when I got my first camera and would run to the photograph store to develop film, but now there are no photography studios and stores left.
Photos are now just about all digital photography, coming from digital SLR and digital cameras and put directly onto digital frames. If you’d like to print a photo you’ve got to go to a chemist or have them sent from a web source. I recently sold my SLR digital camera and purchased a digital SLR camera from an online digital camera sale. I was left with only a film camera just as I was starting on a cross-country road trip that was supposed to last about a month.
It was such a unbelievable surprise to see how much camera accessories had simply gone away. I could not find film to insert into the camera not to mention a shop that would actually develop it. With all of the technology advances in SLR digital cameras and other accessories like digital camera batteries and camera bags I’d have thought camera storefronts would still be left but the only stores that still sell DSLR cameras are now corporate electronic stores or online sites.
Unlike the disappearance of video stores, I suspect there is still a real need for camera stores and well informed sales staff that can help me compare digital cameras. I desperately hope there will be an emergence of camera stores as customers realize they want additional information about cameras than an underpaid sales clerk at a major electronic chain can offer.
There is still a chance! I recently stumbled upon a camera store that managed to survive amongst the major electronic chain stores because of the owner’s ability to explore his experience as a camera(s). By selling the wedding photos thru the storefront he was able to offer rebates on frames, albums and physical prints for wedding packages. By using the product he had in his store and the reputation he had as a wedding ceremony cameraman he was able to boost both companies and make a healthy living. Maybe there is still hope for the camera shop.
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