Mike Rice is the owner of Fullerton Cameras, a small business off Harbor Blvd. Fullerton Cameras like many small businesses has been hit hard by the pandemic but is looking to bounce back strong.
Rice said that the store was closed for two and a half months during the pandemic, but when they reopened the main source of their business was schools and it is gone now. Along with school’s sports photography was a huge part of their business before the pandemic.
Rice also said business-wise they are doing about 1/3 of the business of what they were doing pre-pandemic, so they are surviving, and they must be happy about that. With events coming back, they are seeing more photographers coming in and renting equipment to shoot for events.
With the store being fully open, they have implemented safety protocols to ensure the safety of their staff and their customers. While the store was closed for 2 months, they began installing plastic shields and remodeling for the new way retail is supposed to look. Hand sanitizer and social distancing signs were put up as well.
Along with a store remodel, all surfaces get cleaned and wiped down every day. All rental gear as it comes in and comes out gets a full wipe down.
Luckily, no employee or customer has gotten COVID-19 from rented out equipment.
Rice did mention that Walid Azami, a photographer, mentions Fullerton Cameras on Instagram and he appreciates his sharing. But he is not too sure if it has helped with the business. People do not really mention why they came in.
A lot of people are coming in to do wedding photos and portraits. With the holidays coming just around the corner, people want to get their Holiday cards and family portraits ready.
Other than renting the equipment they are also a retail front store. With old film cameras coming back, they are doing a lot of film sales and a lot of camera film sales. Disposable cameras, old point, and shoot cameras are some of the cameras people under 30 are looking for currently.
They went for about 10 years not taking any film in at all, to now taking 10-15 rolls of film in a day for processing.
Films come back and have given some consistent business to Fullerton Cameras, along with tape conversions.
Rice also included he gives tips to all photographers who come in, young or old. That is the advantage side of a small business, teaching people about functions and how to get the shot they’re looking for.
“If we get shut down again then we get shut down again and we’ll just have to roll with the punches,” said Rice.
Fullerton Camera is located at 809 N. Harbor Blvd in Fullerton and their hours are Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 10 am to 6 pm.