One Hour Photo offers more than meets the eye
“I’m dealing with pictures, which are memories.”
— Robert Libbee, owner of Quality Plus One Hour Photo in Craig
Quality Plus One Hour Photo in Craig may deceive passersby.
With One Hour in the name and a sign proclaiming, “We still do film,” it may seem an antiquated business considering the advances made in the field of digital photography.
But chatting with owner Robert Libbee and wife Tina, they said customers will find the business is up to date in terms of technology but also aims to keep the small town friendly atmosphere that brings customers back.
“Trying to get the word out on everything we do is hard,” Robert said.
“A lot of people think we don’t do digital, but we do.” Tina said. “We are very current and are always looking to do new things to stay up to date.”
Digital prints, wide formats, posters, custom sizes and panoramic prints are just some of the print options available to the Libbees' customers.
“And we still do film,” Robert added.
As far as what Robert considers service related, he does photo manipulation, photo restoration, photo colorization, collages, memory recovery, scanning and what he calls all that other fun stuff.
Robert can create photos slides, announcements, brochures and even work with old time negatives. He offers customized photo gifts that he can print on almost anything imaginable, including slate.
“You name it and we can come up with it,” He said.
And as for competing with places such as Wal-Mart, Robert said there is no comparison to his knowledge and experience in the field.
“I can pretty much say Wal-Mart hasn’t hurt much. So much work has come back my way from Wal-Mart,” he said. “I print it and it looks a lot better.”
Robert, who has operated the business for 16 years, purchased it from his father seven years ago and introduced a whole new world of photography to the business.
“There used to be two machines in here. When my dad owned the shop it was mostly film,” He said. “Since I took over, I brought in a wide format machine, a digital kiosk, a high end laser printer to do photo calendars, post cards. I can even do personalized candy wrappers.”
And aside from offering the latest technology, Robert said he cares about his customers, adding working with customers is his favorite thing about owning the business.
“After awhile they’re no longer customers, they’re friends,” He said.
Robrt said he also likes watching customers develop their photography skills over time and assisting them in learning about their new cameras.
He said customers open and check their printed photos in shop and usually tell him all about their photos, whether it be pictures of a trip, family or new puppy.
“I’m dealing with pictures, which are memories,” He said.
As for learning about digital photo technology, Robert said it was a lot of hard work and required much reading, talking and attending seminars and conventions. However, he said trial and error was the best way for him to learn.
“Not everyone will tell ya their secrets,” He said.
Aside from work in the shop, Robert is a photographer who does senior and outdoor portraits, along with photographing the Ride the Divide event, the Bear River Young Life car show, and Mud Runs. This was his first year as photographer for the Relay for Life, and he said events such as those are a great way to give back to the community.
“We have fun in here. We try to do some different things,” he said.
Darian Warden can be reached at 875-1793 or firstname.lastname@example.org