ABC's of Camera Repair
- Know how to repair cameras
- Know the business
Students in our program come from a range of backgrounds looking to make a change in their lives. They may be mid-career professionals looking for a new direction, people looking to expand their current business, people interested in creating their own business or switch to a home business, or people looking for a part-time or retirement income. Our aim is to help you reach your goals whatever they are. Our students are seeking to jump start themselves into a new field. They want to get into a field that they will enjoy, a field that goes along with their interests, a field that will give them the freedom and independence they crave with a commensurate income. They want a decent life with some freedom ... and we take our responsibility seriously!
Our students have a variety of backgrounds; business, education and work experiences. They range from photographers to engineers, high school graduates to those with masters degrees. Your background can be applied directly or indirectly to the camera repair field. It's not about starting over but in using what you already have to move into the camera repair field.
Your success is grounded in you, your habits and drive. What we do is educate and support you so that you get a good shot at success in the camera repair field. We personalizing our course and by give you outstanding support during and after graduation.
The Camera Repair Field
The camera repair field has always been a nitch field. In the early days getting into the camera repair field was through apprenticeships with closely guarded secrets, that changed over time to include a few correspondence and residency programs taught by insiders.
The best-known and most successful camera repair course was a college accredited two-year residency program known as The Photographic Technology Program at SFCC. Chuck Bertone, instructor for C&C Associates, developed and instructed that program. During it's 25 year run his program achieved international acclaim in the camera repair field and with camera manufactures.
Being a small nitch field, the camera repair field doesn't score well in searches. But the successful people in the camera repair field make professional incomes, develop significant businesses from scratch, send their kids through college, establish multi-generational businesses and some of us even buy toys like airplanes and race cars .. All thanks to camera repair.
Date: September 17, 2011 8:07:49 AM PDT
Hi Chuck- Renewed today. Got your letter.... I noticed the classification dollar amounts are kinda.... stuck in 1985.
May I suggest:
Class A: under $150K
Class B: 150k-300k
Class C: 300k-1mil
Sustaining: over 1mil
I'm a one man shop and I do more than 150k a year gross. I don't know if that's normal or not, but I'd find it hard to believe a 3-man shop wouldn't be bringing in at least $400k a year.
Matt / Authorized Camera Repair
339 York Road (Rt 263)
Willow Grove, PA 19090
Tues-Fri 10am-6pm, Sat 10am-5pm EST
Nobody can guarantee your level of success but if you like the work and you like the business, you will love the life. The successful people in this field love the life and the independence it gives them!
We love the Life!
(unsolicited conversations on sptnet)
- My older brother, who has an MBA from a prestigious university, has been unemployed many times in the past 20 years because he is in "middle management" and his job has been phased out as the companies he worked for were purchased by larger companies. June 2nd is his last day at a major auto industry parts supplier. Unemployed again. I, on the other hand, even with the ups and downs in the economy, have never experienced a day without work since I started repairing cameras for a local shop back in 1973 and on my own since 1977. My success (or failure) depends solely upon the work that I do with my own two hands, not the whims of some corporate bigwig that decides that my job is expendable.
At the end of the day, being a "camera repairman" or even a "photographic equipment technician" as some would prefer, doesn't sound nearly as glamorous as "regional manager" or "VP of marketing" for some big well-known company, but being in charge of my own destiny and actually loving my job means a lot more to me.
Bob Kilbourn / CamerRepairs
- Hello, I am one of the second generation camera repairmen. My father John O. Fortin started our business in 1979. He has passed away , and my brother and I have run it for over twenty years. I have also thought about my decision I made so long ago. Was it the right decision ? I am the type of man who always considers the pro and cons to everything.
Working for myself has been, for the most part a wonderful experience. I LOVE cameras and the photographic business. I cannot say for sure if I would feel the same if I had worked for someone . However I have been able to change my hours over the years when my children were young. I have developed some great relationships in the business.
I have never really run out of work, I have even been able to start a small side business. I have been able to provide my wife extra time for her to finish her BS & MS. Spend time watching my two children grow up. The down side has really been medical benefits. I am one of the lucky ones however, my wife Sandy has always worked in the medical field and provided me and the kids with medical insurance. I worked my ass off at times , but it goes in my pocket , not some "$%&#" who could give a crap about me, only how much goes into his Bonus. My father put 30 years in United Camera Providence RI, and didn't get so much as a cheap watch when they decided to change business models. That really why my father started my business, to have his sons make their own living. Anyway enough rambling from me. 25 years and counting.
Mark / Midstate Camera Repair
- Good points. I have sometimes regretted my decisions, thought I should have applied my self better in school. But here, I am my own boss. I have my niche and it won't be outsourced. 34 years repairing, 22 of those on my own.
John Hermanson, CPS Inc.
What this Field can Offer
An independent business, a business that can be home based or storefront.
A startup business. Most camera repair business are boot-strapped. Pay as you go. You can even start part time and take your time working into it.
A field in flux. Of course cameras and technology has changed but underneath the technology the business itself has changed. Flux creates new opportunities and pitfalls. Those who adapt to the new networking and business atmosphere are those that will succeed and stay successful.
Independence. A trait common in this field is our independent nature. Whether we work for others, or ourselves we all share an independent streak. Successful camera repair techs have the ability to control their time, economics and working conditions.
Income. Income range between $35,000 - $80,000 or more (based on 40% - 50% of gross billing). Incomes for technicians who own their business can be higher or lower depending on individual ability. Lead technicians working for large shops in this field can make over $100,000 per year. If you look at real incomes in other fields and see their direction, you'll find the camera repair field has a lot to offer.
Nikon 1DX. "I just had my first one that needed a new shutter. Using the SPT guide, which Chuck Bertone wrote this turned out to be a very nice repair for $550.00 The shutter cost about $120.00 and the job took about 1 hour. Not to bad for my 1st one. Sometimes these look more intimidating than they really are. Just one curious thing. It will not work with the customer's battery, which is a "Polaroid" brand. It does work with the Nikon battery. Of course I tried to recharge it with a Nikon charger but the camera only shows normal display with low battery indicator and no release or A/F." Mike
Security. This is a skilled field and technicians have always been in short supply. Most camera technicians find that they are the only ones in their area. Even in large cities there is little competition. Your job or business starts with a high wall and as your skill and experience grow so does that wall. You won't be put out of business by a chain store moving next door or find your job sent out of country. You can make your own economic security.
Home or Retail Business. For many a real home business is the goal. In this field a home business is not only possible but it's the most common start-up type of business. Whether a home business is your goal or a stepping-stone; the low overhead, flextime and minimum space requirements make this field ideal.
Rick Green started Green's Camera Repair as a home business over twenty years ago. In just a few short years, it grew into a retail business. Several years ago he sent me pictures of his location, a new million dollar multi-technician shop. The most inspiring part of this story is that Rick is a disabled person who overcame obstacles and achieved his goals. His business is now under second-generation management.
Equal Opportunity. Everybody has an equal opportunity, men and women, engineer or high school graduate, people just starting out or those getting ready for retirement. People enter this field from all walks of life seeking an independent lifestyle with a good income that relates to their interests and hobbies. Both business and technology are going through major changes. Change can mean opportunity if you are prepared. This field needs technicians who have the skills and ability to meet the digital age!
THIS FIELD CAN BE A GREAT OPPORTUNITY FOR YOU!