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View Full Version : Sears and other consumer studios done.



ToddB
04-09-2013, 10:34 AM
Hey guys,

Heard on the news the other day in regard of Sears and other consumer studios calling it quits. What a shame. I wonder why?

ToddB

Ian C
04-09-2013, 10:43 AM
Here is a related article with comments about the reasons.

http://money.msn.com/now/post.aspx?post=d3302eed-8211-4eae-bfce-fd8e0f84ff0a

lightwisps
04-09-2013, 10:48 AM
My guess is that the digital age has turned everyone into "photographers" and the little studios could not make enough sales to stay in business. Don

mrred
04-09-2013, 11:03 AM
30-40 years (and more) ago, the only qualification to be a pro photographer was to be able to afford the gear. At least now it can be in the hands of the truly talented. Unfortunately it can also in the hands of the far less than talented.

There is a lot of junk out there but I am liking some of the 'photo real' that emerges. It's nice to see some of those stars shine. Now if we can only get rid of the over use of photoshop. My incentive to shoot better was I was (am) a dufus for print.

ToddB
04-09-2013, 11:06 AM
My guess is that the digital age has turned everyone into "photographers"

So true.. A bunch of wanna be's.

ToddB

ajmiller
04-09-2013, 12:40 PM
In the UK, in my experience working in rental and equipment repairs to these type of studios, the owners started employing people who couldn't operate lights, meters or even cameras outside of 'auto' - consequently the quality of the portraits went downhill. Often the camera and lights were pre-setup and the operator only had to press the shutter. As one of the comments on the above article says - one day we may want better photographs rather than more.

MattKing
04-09-2013, 12:46 PM
It is a shame in one way. The "portrait mills" were a reasonably good place to develop a photographer's ability to work with people, and they did help reinforce the idea that paying for a photograph was a good thing.

By the way, this thread is in the wrong sub-forum. Feedback and Discussion is intended to refer to "Site Feedback and Discussion about APUG"

Maybe the name of the sub-forum should be changed to help those who are new here?

ToddB
04-09-2013, 01:58 PM
Sorry Matt.. Maybe Admin can put it where it blongs. My Bad.

ToddB

mgb74
04-09-2013, 02:58 PM
I think it's as much about how people share photos as it is about how they take them. So much is now shared online.

To be honest, I don't think the loss of the formulaic, mass market "studio" photos is all that great. In fact, I think the spontaneous cell phone photo beats their posed photos 99% of the time. But the loss of an actual print (vs. screen display) is a shame.

SuzanneR
04-09-2013, 07:07 PM
Thread moved to "Industry News".

DWThomas
04-09-2013, 08:01 PM
The last few years suggest Sears has problems with way more than their photo studios. But yes, I suspect studios are a victim of everybody's a photographer syndrome.

OzJohn
04-09-2013, 08:20 PM
It is a shame in one way. The "portrait mills" were a reasonably good place to develop a photographer's ability to work with people, and they did help reinforce the idea that paying for a photograph was a good thing.

Yes they are/were of definite value on several levels. As a photographer with a shopfront studio I have always viewed all types of shopping mall studios, whether permanent or pop-up as being useful in terms of getting people to think about family photography. Most of these operators overcharge for what is often a very ordinary product and many also employ dubious sales tactics but a significant number of their customers, having been educated to get family photos regularly, graduate to "real studios" seeking a better product. I also have a custom framing business and have generated a lot of revenue over the years framing the output of mall photographers. OzJohn

Truzi
04-09-2013, 09:23 PM
Sears has been having difficulty in general lately. However, I think the posts about the mediocre quality hit it on the mark.

I had a coworker that went with his family to a Sears studio a few years ago. He was quite annoyed that they used a "typical" (consumer grade) digital camera and Photoshop. I believe his comment was something along the lines of "I could do this myself."
He wasn't against digital, but had expected something a bit more professional for the money he was paying.

As a kid we had gone to Kmart a few times for family photographs, but these were special events - not permanent fixtures. Other than that, our church seemed to bring in a photographer yearly. Those pictures we always good.

Dismayed
04-10-2013, 05:42 AM
Lots of people re content to snap pics with their phones. They then print on an office color laser printer and pin up their creations on their cubicle walls.

R Paul
04-10-2013, 09:38 PM
When we went to Sears with my second child,it was pretty much an assembly line operation. Plop the child down,try and get him/her to smile take maybe 5 shots and done. Waiting a couple hours with a hundred other kids(and parents) in their Sunday best running around with candy and open containers was nerve racking ( I knew it would be my kid catching it on the dress) I can't recall why we started going to Sears, probably because of the ads for "picture day" they sent out, and the "cheaper" prices . After the second time we gave that up ,too much stress . Went to a studio afterwards
rob