Peacock Photo: A Snapshot of 17 Years of Business
Now located at 231 Jubilee Street, Peacock Photo has been capturing moments in time for almost 20 years for customers of all ages, at multiple locations in Duncan.
As many new businesses open in downtown Duncan, one shop has remained a fixture for some time: Peacock Photo and Restoration, a photoshop which specializes in taking passport, business, and other licensing images, as well as in the restoration of old photos, film development, and more.
Owned by Renee Cann, this mom and pop photoshop is named for a grandparent. The entrance is lined with unusual vintage cameras, including brownies from the Forties.
Surprisingly, these old cameras are largely used by youth nowadays.
"The majority of people we sell film to are younger people, like the 20ish crowd," Renee says. " Our local high school has a two-year film photography course. That’s where I think a lot of them picked it up. They think it is retro."
On the other hand, customers of all ages are always digging through closets and coming in with old black and white photos to restore, or VHS movies to be converted into DVDs.
"Grandmas come in to get photos of their grandkids printed, and bring old 8mm movies to us to put on DVDs to give to their children," according to Renee.
The photos Peacock restores are not just for personal use.
"Museums bring us old logging photos, beautiful black and white photos taken on large format films," she says. "Those are amazing."
When asked what she has learned in 17 years of business working with such a range of customers, Renee emphasizes how much she loves her clients.
"In general, people are very nice and like dealing with me one on one. People want to talk to me. We have a good base of customers who come back again and again because of that."
It is good that Renee connects so well with her customers since some people come in during their most difficult moments.
"We do lots of work for funerals -- people bring in pictures of their deceased loved one, and we put them into a slideshow to put on DVD. Once we make the first copy, after the fact the family will come back wanting six more of them to give out to people," she says.
9/11, a tragedy that touched people around the world, also brought in an influx of business.
"We did 66 passport photos in a day on 9/11. You used to be able to get away with flying into the States with just a photo id like a driver’s license. Once 9/11 happened, everyone needed a photo to fly," Renee explains.
While customers remain constant, technology has evolved fast in the film business.
"We used to develop lots of film. When we first started, we did thirty rolls of film a day! Now we barely do 30 a month. It has really switched to digital," Renee acknowledges.
Although she describes herself as a "computer geek" who loves playing on Photoshop, Renee continues to sell vintage cameras out of love.
"They take better photos. If you know what you’re doing, you can use different lenses, and produce a better quality photo. Some of them are larger format, like these old brownies. These negatives are big and because of that there is so much more information, and you can blow them up really large."
In 17 years, Renee has seen more than just the film industry evolve.
"I grew up in Duncan and see so many changes," she observes. " I remember as a small child, where Winners is now, there used to be a golf course, and then an overgrown field… Changes downtown have been big."
Even though big chains like Walmart have moved in and offer passport photos, too, Peacock Photo and Restoration stays in the game with better deals, charging only $10 instead of $13 for a passport photo.
It is due to this support that Renee's love of the City of Duncan remains constant despite some of the changes she has seen around town.
"It’s a really unique little community, and there’s good support," she explains, saying she recommends other businesses open here.
"I really enjoy that family feeling you get everywhere you go, whether it’s the Wine Bar or the Tin Cup. It’s a friendly, happy, laid back atmosphere," she says.
If you are opening a business downtown, Renee has a word of advice to share on what has worked for her. "You need to make sure you’re filling a niche, and not just opening a business because it is doing something you love. Make sure there is a need for your shop. We are a big niche market, we specialize in what we do, and nobody else really does it."
For all your photography needs, visit Peacock Photo and Restoration - and be sure to check out their Facebook page for a special deal before you do!