Above: View of gallery and client service desk.
Right: Kornelius Schorle in the company gallery.
In 1987, Kornelius Schorle and his wife, Janet, parlayed their home-based mail order photo supply business into what is now a 20,000-square-foot camera store and service bureau. Located in Irvine, California, Pro Photo Connection, better known as Pro Photo, offers digital services, a processing lab, and the sale and rental of cameras and other photographic equipment. Clients are comprised primarily of professional photographers and students, and they have a significant customer base of consumers interested in digital imaging and photography.
THEY'VE GOT THE GOODS
Pro Photo offers a full line of photo and darkroom supplies, cameras, and accessorieseverything you need under one roof. As a prominent panoramic photographer himself, Kornelius Schorle not only sells panoramic cameras, he designs them, too. One of his creations, the Schorlex, is a medium-format panoramic camera manufactured in Germany . "Our customers have access to Kornelius' expertise and knowledge in many subjects," Janet points out. "This also sets us apart from many of our competitors."Pro Photo Connection's retail store and rental counter.
SCOPE OF SERVICES
You want it? It's likely Pro Photo's got it. Many processing services are available, including E6 (slides/transparencies) and C41 (color negatives), black-and-white services, premium enlargements (sepia, art, black and white), Type-C enlargements (color negative printing), dupes, negs, lamination, and a myriad of digital services.DIGITAL DIVERSITY
"Our renowned digital department uses the best available hardware and software to produce the finest output for photography professionals around the country," Kornelius states. Digital services span high-end scans to high-end digital C-print imaging on multiple machines, including the LightJet 5000 (50" wide) and Durst Theta 50 (20" wide), using Fuji Crystal Archive and Kodak's Metallic paper, as well as Duratrans for backlit images.
Pro Photo also prints Giclees on watercolor paper and canvas using Epson and other large-format devices. "We are also a showplace for new emerging software technologies, like Frontline from Sweden ," Kornelius notes. "It's a communication link between customers and lab owners that use the Fuji Frontier C-print output device to process digital files and convert them into various services, such as black-and-white or sepia prints, digital proof sheets, CDs, and posting on a customer's Web site for the review of their pictures. This system makes the Frontier 75% more efficient." Noritsu will also be installing their new high-speed 3213 printer processor by May.
"Our customers can FTP files 24 hours a day for output on all of our digital devices," he continues. "Soon, we'll also have a totally equipped digital shooting facility available for rental called 'live to print.' Files that customers create will be able to be printed quickly, put on CD or DVD, or sent high-speed to any ad agency for soft proofing or final delivery. We also offer consultation services on photographic business management and digital and analog photography."
Pro Photo also teaches photographers how to make the transition from analog to digital photography, and it covers printmaking, scanning, profiling, color management, and many aspects of Photoshop. A different topic is addressed every Wednesday from 6:30pm to 8:00pm, and the cost is minimal. "By educating our customers, they're more likely to not only use our services, but also deliver files of higher quality with far fewer problems," Kornelius states.
WHEN IT'S NOT FOR KEEPS
Pro Photo rents specialty panoramic cameras, digital cameras, and studio equipment. Flash generator offerings include Norman, Speedotron, Pro Photo, Lumedyne, and JTL. They also repair pro and specialty equipment. For more information, visit www.prophotoconnection.com.