Remembering Camera & Craft: Pioneer Chattanooga Photo Store

( – The digital era obliterated the photography speciality store. Most people today own no camera other than their smart phone. If they want a dedicated one, they buy it at a “big box” retailer, or order it online, and learn how to operate it watching YouTube.

Yet even as the internet boom lit up the dawn of the 21st century against a twilight of film photography, in 2000 Chattanooga still had a few “brick and mortar” retailers selling nothing but cameras and film, and staffed by clerks who knew how to operate the equipment, and teach customers how. Regional chains like Wolf Camera,¬†with suburban mall stores in Northgate and Hamilton Place, still offered classes to budding photographers about the photographic craft. In the last 16 years, every one of them closed. Superior Camera Service was the last, in 2015, and when it did, the era of the full service photography speciality shop ended in Chattanooga, probably forever.

Superior Camera may have been the last, but Camera & Craft was one of the first stores opened in Chattanooga with a business model, from the beginning, to sell both camera equipment and offer photographic instruction to it’s customers. READ MORE

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