Eagle Eye Photo closes its doors after 10 years in business | VailDaily.com

Eagle Eye Photo closes its doors after 10 years in business

Kathy Heicher

After 10 years in the retail photo shop business in Eagle, Wendy Griffith’s Eagle Eye Photo is shutting its doors.Griffith, however, will continue her work as a professional photographer, operating out of her studio in Brush Creek. She’ll focus on weddings, high school graduations and family portraits.Attribute the change to an exciting, but challenging time in the business of photography. Photo technology is changing rapidly. Many amateur photographers are experimenting with digital cameras and dabbling with printing their own photos from a home computer. In order to upgrade her film processing equipment to compete with the services being offered by big box stores, and via the Internet, Griffith would have had to spend tens of thousands of dollars.Also, she found herself being spread too thin by the demands of both the retail business and her custom photography business. Forced to choose between the two, Griffith chose the latter.”Photography is what I’m about. It’s what I want to do. That was an easy choice for me,” says Griffith. Griffith came to the valley in 1973, and worked at the Camera Shop in Vail for 20 years. She shot her first wedding at the Vail Chapel in 1978. During the 1980s, she taught photography classes at Colorado Mountain College. That’s when she fell in love with Eagle, and decided she wanted to live, and do business in that community. She doesn’t regret that decision.”I think a photo lab will find a fit in Eagle again. It is still a viable business … but it’s just not me, not now,” she added.While Griffith is keeping up with the digital photography trend, she has concerns about its long-rage implications.”I’m worried that we will lose a lot of treasured photos. Gone are the days of a shoe box full of grandma’s photos,” she said. Computers crash and hard drives fail and people who haven’t learned to preserve photos properly outside of the computers will lose a bit of their history, she said. Regarding the competition from the Internet and big box stores, Griffith said it’s a national trend that could well be leading to a “crisis.” Small shops can pay more attention to each customer’s photos.”I think we will lose a lot more than we ever dreamed when we lose the little guy,” she said, “In the long run, we hurt ourselves as a community.”From her Brush Creek studio, Griffith will continue to offer photo restoration services, and custom photography, as well as on-location work. Wendy Griffith Photography can be reached at 328-7399.

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