Concord Photo Services will shut as owner retires after 52 years on N. Main Street

  • Michael St. Germain, who has worked in the Main Street business for 52 years, 42 of them as owner. “If the business is going to grow, it needs to do this, and this and this – but I’m tapped out. … I don’t want to be standing behind the counter when I fall over dead!” GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Concord Camera Store will be closing in July. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Concord Camera Store will be closing in July. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Michael St. Germain, who has worked in the Main Street business for 52 years, 42 of them as owner. “If the business is going to grow, it needs to do this, and this and this – but I’m tapped out. … I don’t want to be standing behind the counter when I fall over dead!” GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • WKXL has a radio booth right on Main Street in the Concord Camera storefront. Every now and then, political candidates will stop by for a chat. Caitlin Andrews

Monitor staff
Published: 5/23/2022 2:33:46 PM

Having survived the almost-death of film, the switch from cameras to smartphones and the turmoil of the pandemic, Concord Photo Service on North Main Street, a business still known as Concord Camera to many people, is surrendering to Father Time.

“It’s not because business is bad. I’m 72 years old, it’s time to think about retirement,” said Michael St. Germain, who has worked in the Main Street business for 52 years, 42 of them as owner. “If the business is going to grow, it needs to do this, and this and this – but I’m tapped out. … I don’t want to be standing behind the counter when I fall over dead!”

St. Germain said he has talked to a few people about buying the business but found no takers. He told the staff at the start of the month and announced it over the weekend online, drawing a flood of memories from customers.

Concord Photo Service dates back to Manchester optometrists that obtained a Kodak franchise in 1904 and expanded into cameras. The business grew to Concord and in 1954 sold to Whitman Levensaler. St. Germain arrived as an employee in 1970 and bought Concord Camera from Levensaler in 1980.

The name was changed after digital cameras took over and killed off the business of developing film, and then smartphone cameras and apps took over and killed off digital cameras. Now most of its business involves turning digital pictures into high-end versions printed on everything from posters to pillows to COVID-defying face masks, as well as giving classes.

“We’ve managed to make tremendous changes in the business,” St. Germain said. “It’s all about what to do with your pictures after you take them,”

All that was difficult enough – and then the pandemic came. 

“I worked by myself at the store for 14 or 16 weeks,” he said. “It was a factor in terms of stressing the already stressful business.”

Concord Photo Services will accept new orders through June 30, giving it two weeks to get them all done before shutting for good July 16.


David Brooks bio photo

David Brooks is a reporter and the writer of the sci/tech column Granite Geek and blog granitegeek.org, as well as moderator of Science Cafe Concord events. After obtaining a bachelor’s degree in mathematics he became a newspaperman, working in Virginia and Tennessee before spending 28 years at the Nashua Telegraph . He joined the Monitor in 2015.



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