Camera shops are a rare species on Long Island, and they are one step closer to becoming extinct with the closing of Split Image Photography on Main Street.
“Photography just grew so much that everyone has cameras and the only people buying cameras are those that never had a camera in the first place,” said Doug Crown, owner of Split Image. “That’s not enough to sustain the whole market.”
Split Image has been open since 1984 on Main Street, first occupying the now home to Tropical Smoothie Café until 2008, then from 2008 until October in its 6 East Main Street location, next to Uncle Louie G’s Italian Ices.
Crown said he knew camera shops were on their way out when he saw a change in business roughly eight years ago with the release of Nikon’s D200 and D300 cameras.
“The quality of the pictures got so good that people didn’t have to upgrade anymore,” he said. “A lot of people who bought cameras back then are using the same cameras.”
While the storefront has closed, Crown still operates Split Image but now from home, keeping in touch with his clients through his website, splitimage.com. The scope of the business has changed as well as he no longer sells equipment but specializes in photo restoration and video transfers.
Though Crown said he has not been in the location since October, Realty Connect USA agent Sahra Mansouri Afati said the storefront has only been vacant for two weeks. Afati was putting signs in the windows Tuesday afternoon and said no potential tenants have come forth yet.
The store is roughly 1,800 square feet and Afati said the landlord is looking to bring in $2,700 in monthly rent with the next tenant.