Last one standing.
I remember first starting out 34 years ago and hoping that I could someday produce professional photographs like what Moderne Studios showed in their display windows. Fortunately that goal was met and I kept moving forward, learning and growing.
After 67 years of being in business, Moderne Studio in downtown Springfield has closed their doors. Sad to see them come to the end. I’ve got just 36 years now of professional photography portrait work, pales in comparison to a studio that supported two generations of photographers.
But the closing? Unfortunately, I’ve seen it before. Too many times. As the trend towards all natural outdoor portraits and digital images without a finished product dominates our culture (which I understand mind you), not only has the golden age of photography long passed, so too has the Silver Age and Copper Age. I think we are on the Soil Age now.
The market is flooded with so many photographers (Some are even photographing just with their smart phones. Sigh.), that my craft has lost not just its magic (of film) but it’s shine and more poignantly, its meaning and impact in the lives of most folks.
Having a picture on your phone or computer is not the same thing as a beautiful album or wall piece that decorates your home. You can drink emotion from art on a wall. It has more depth, more texture, more REAL. I may be impressed with an image I see on a screen, but if I see it as a print-my heart swoons.
With today’s myriad of photographers, I see some great images, with truly creative minds behind the shutter, but often I also see poor lighting and posing, skills that are honed and takes practice and time to learn really well. You can’t fix lighting in Photoshop or posing either.
20 Years ago there were 25+ portrait studios in Lane County.
Kennell-Ellis, North Light studio, Flint-Mellor, Richard May, Creative Endeavor, Clearlight, Lauren J, Dan’s, Walts, David Lovell, Gemini, Heritage, Studio Coburg, Primrose Photography, Perfect Image, DNA photographic, Urich Photography, Aperature Photographics, Artlight, Curtis Reed, Special Touch, 24 Media, the list goes on. Many more photographers of course, but these were businesses that could photograph a head shot or families or high school seniors inside with professional quality lighting. Who is left from that group now? Just me. Kinda a weird feeling.
Besides myself, maybe two or three other photographers have their own personal studios, but none of them that I’m aware of was in business in the Eugene-Springfield area 10 years ago.
Definitely the end of an era. But hey, if you are needing studio work? I’m still here. :-)