Three key seniors in the Photo Lab, Karen, Michelle and Leanne (L–R), take pride in helping their customers get the best results from all their archiving projects.
A by–product of the lockdowns has been a greater focus on archiving family history in preparation for down sizing as Baby Boomers approach retirement. Camera House has responded by increasing their range of services.
The generations born in late 1940’s and the 1950’s have seen family history go from Brownie Box cameras to 35mm cameras with slides, then prints, and now to digital. In those years, films have also changed from early 8mm, Super 8 to various forms of tape and now to hard drives and removable media.
Each of these older forms of recording has rapidly evolved into the next leaving the family with boxes of slides, tapes, prints, negatives and older media cards. These generally take up space around the house and are in danger of being lost, particularly on the Coast, as mould eats its way through these precious records.
Camera House owner, John Ralph, has experienced this problem himself with damaged slides and tapes. This has motivated him to expand the services of the Fountain Plaza store, to provide increased archiving services with lower prices for bulk orders.
Slides are prepared in a carousel and then copied using modern digital equipment, sourced from overseas, giving higher resolution than previously commonly available. By customers filling the carousels themselves, the price is kept to a minimum.
Greatest popularity has been for transferring tapes to DVD and once digitized, conversion to files that can be stored on USB or computer and viewed on current Smart TVs. Tape conversion was so popular, during and after lockdown, that the store now has quadrupled the number of transfer stations to keep waiting times down.
People are finding that many older photos have been damaged through the years. Either damp and mould have allowed fungus to grow or exposure to light has caused the colours to fade. This has created demand for local restoration services. Pictures of all sizes can be improved. They are scanned or re–photographed and then digitally enhanced to fix colours, physical damage and even add or remove people and items from the final picture. The new picture can be enlarged from the original to produce wall art and canvases.
Frequent questions asked of the store involve film. “Do you sell film?” – Yes. “Do you develop film?” – also Yes. “Do you scan film to digital?” – Yes. Whilst film is harder to get nowadays the store searches far and wide to keep stocks up. Also the in–store film developing is very popular especially with young people wishing to try out “Grandpas Camera”. The film can be developed and either printed or scanned to USB or Dropbox. And now with travel staring up again, the number one question that is asked –“Do you do Passport Photos?” – Yes. They are done in the in–store studio, from baby to adult, including all overseas passports and are generally ready in about 10 minutes.