Tight economy shutters 13 Photography

Staff members of 13 Photography announced Thursday that the gallery will close next month, citing economic conditions.

“Current economic conditions are obviously volatile and had a major influence on this decision,” owner Rich Humphrey said in an e-mail to customers.

“Many Americans are being forced to pull in the reins on their spending, so in turn we had to make a decision as to the future of the gallery. Ultimately, the timeline to profitability was interrupted by the decline in the economy.”

The shop at 354 Main St. will close Nov. 22. Existing classes will go on as scheduled. Closeout prices will be offered on merchandise and gallery-owned art.

“The community response has been inspiring, and I hope that we made a difference to the photographic community in the time we’ve been here,” Humphrey wrote. “While we worked very hard to get this store self-sufficient, we just ran out of time.”

Chuck Cooper, of Davis Photography, said economic conditions are a factor likened to others such as the digital revolution.

“There is a difference with a professional studio — that’s our job, is to keep reminding people that when they come to a studio, it’s going to look different than what they do with their digital camera no matter how many pixels it has,” Cooper said.

“I think we all see that business is down from a year ago, and everybody’s just working a little bit harder. I think some of the prices have come down a little bit as incentives to bring people in.”

Chad Mahlum, a commercial photographer, said he thinks it is a nationwide challenge for photographers to sell photography as art, even in the larger cities.

“I wish they would stay around,” he said. “I like what they have, and I think they’re an asset to the community. If it’s hard to sell traditional photography, then photography as art, which is what they sold, is going to be a lot harder to do. I think they had a good reputation.”


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