A landmark of Prince Rupert’s photography scene is closing its doors after more than 40 years in business.
Shutter Shack will close its doors next year as owner, John Rogers, has decided to go into retirement. Rogers said he has been contemplating the move for the past five years and has been in several talks to sell the business. However, as none of those deals materialized, Rogers said he was ready to walk away from the business.
“We’ve had a lot of good years and certainly technology and the economy has played a role in this decision,” Roger said. “Eventually it has to come to an end. I’ve always enjoyed the work and for the most part, the customers.”
Roger’s retirement will close the chapter on more than four decades of service to the photographers in the community. Shutter Shack originally opened in the Rupert Square Mall in 1975, where they operated until 2006.
At its peak in the film camera era, Shutter Shack’s business was based on selling camera hardware in addition to developing prints for customers.
Rogers said the transition from analog to digital formats and the rise of the internet both had a big impact on the camera business.
“Eventually, hardware started to dry up,” he said. “So we had to stark looking at other avenues to make money.”
The store moved to its current location on First Avenue West to take advantage of tourist traffic coming off the ferries.
“We were able to develop some good business selling tourism items and doing custom framing,” Rogers said.
In addition to the tourism business, Rogers credits his longevity in a rapidly changing environment to quality service and a loyal customer base. He said the ability to help people who may have struggled with modern print technology was something he found rewarding.
“A lot of our customers are older, loyal people who need a lot of help and a lot of time for what might be a smaller sale,” Rogers said. “But we did as much of that for them as we could because they’re the reason we’re still in business.”