A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Another victim of technology

Written February 18th, 2014 by Hasso Hering


Here’s another casualty of the digital age. For more than 30 years, this little storefront on Albany’s Ellsworth Street had been the home of Shutterbug, a camera and photo processing business. A generation of family photos got developed and printed here, and the prints remain crammed in albums that provide a look back — and a good deal of entertainment — on holidays when the next generation gathers. “You looked like that in the seventies?” “That’s you, really?” “You had hair?”

In recent years the shop provided excellent digital service as well, including the copying of aging prints so that they might survive for another century, or as long as digital devices last. It was also a great place to get a couple of decent passport photos taken and finished in just a few minutes.

But time and technology, alas, march on, and people now longer have need of some of the photographic services that this shop provided. What we can’t do ourselves is fill a shop with machines, merchandise, friendly help and good advice where pictures are concerned. And now we have the unhappy result: another empty storefront in a downtown district that already has far too many.

A sign on the door says the place closed on Jan. 30 and Linda, the manager, has moved to a Shutterbug outlet in Salem, Her remaining customers are sorry to see her go, and we wish her luck. (hh)

3 responses to “Another victim of technology”

  1. Craig Ziegenhagel says:

    May not be the digital age that killed her business. The Shutterbug in S. Salem just finished a major remodel and expansion. As a business person in this area and in discussions with numerous business operators…it is tough out here. The economy, despite what is in the media is terrible for smaller businesses. Unemployment is very high and the lack of cash flow in a household limits an individuals purchasing decisions. Every purchase in scrutinized. Many businesses have had hugh reductions in gross sales and sales being virtually flat the last 4 years and there is no forseen solution. Everything is costing more, wages stagnant and more small business…well, they just cant hold on anymore. It is a sad sign of our times. Too many taxes, too much regulation, Affordable Care Act demands, not enough customers, not enough sales.

  2. Bill Kapaun says:

    I don’t know how they couldn’t have stayed in business. They charged me $30 for a camera battery that only had 60% of the capacity of the $5 one I bought online.

  3. Ken self says:

    I’m going to miss Shutterbug. It was my favorite place to print my photos, and Linda could always provide expert advice and a great hands on experience with the newest products.


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