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Scranton's Powell Studio marks 75 years

Scranton's Powell Studio marks 75 years


SCRANTON (WOLF) -- As the saying goes: a picture is worth a thousand words.

But what about 75 years of pictures?

"I just see people at the happiest times of their lives, and you can't put a price on that," said Powell Studio Owner Gigi Holmes.

She been with Powell Studio for 35 of its now 75 years.

"When you see them coming back with their first child, that's priceless," said Holmes.

She's snapped quite a few faces, including some familiar ones: Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, and Ryan Gosling

"He was very nice," Holmes recalls.

But faces aren't the only things that change.

The first photo Gigi ever took was on a 1917 Kodak Century Camera, but in 2007 she transitioned Powell Studio over to fully digital.

"The transition to digital for me was very difficult," she said. "But I'm glad I did. The business has evolved into that."

Cara Gowden came on board five years ago and handles that side of the business.

"Years ago on film, you took 10 or 15 pictures of a family, you had to hope for the best. Now, I can do head swaps, i can scooch people in a little bit closer," said Gowden.

But nowadays most people have a camera in their pocket... so how does a formal portrait studio still thrive?

"Anybody can take a picture. But it's the fact of taking a good picture, and a picture that you wanna hang on your wall for a long time," said Holmes.

"I have four kids, plus my husband and myself, so six of us trying to get us all to look at the camera at the same time, decent pictures, is next to impossible. But somehow we always walk out of here where everybody looks great," said longtime customer Danielle Pensack.

They say just because you have a camera, doesn't mean you're a photographer.

"In the age with Instagram filters, where it's just like a click, people expect like 'oh just click it and just show me what it looks like', and sometimes, it's not that simple," said Gowden.

Powell feels their recipe is more detailed than that - one passed down for generations.

"The grandmother and all the aunts wore the same bridal gown," Gowden showed, several portraits they've done.

Powell has quite the loyal following. They tell us some people still get their photos done with them.. even when they move away.

The busiest times of year are Mother's Day and the holidays.

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