BOHNE PORTRAIT GALLERIES, INC. - which included Bohne Portrait Galleries of Jackson, Inc.; Bohne Portrait Galleries of Adrian, Inc.;
Pro2000 Studios, and a minority interest in Morton's Studio of Jackson - ceased operations in June of 2006. The Jackson, Michigan
studio had a long history of operation.
Bohne Portrait Gallery originated as FIELD'S PORTRAIT GALLERY in 1944. Originally opened
in Field's Department Store (part of Allied Stores) as a leased department the portrait studio operated in less than 700 square feet.
Its first operator was the American Photograph Company (APC). In 1976, APC ceased operations; the majority of their portrait locations
were taken over by Portrait Corporation of America (PCA) which was founded in 1976. PCA closed all Allied Stores portrait locations
in 1979. PCA filed for bankruptcy in 2006 and was purchased by CPI in 2007.
Steve Bohne was working from a home studio when he
made an offer to operate Field's Portrait Gallery when APC went bankrupt, but store management informed him that they had already
accepted the PCA offer, as they would take over all of the Allied Store photography locations. Steve did, however, purchase all
of the equipment and fixtures. PCA lasted less than two years, and closed all of their Allied Stores locations. In January of 1980,
Steve made an offer to the management of Field's Department store to operate the location, which Allied Stores accepted. For the first
time in Allied Stores' history, the photography studio was operated by an individual owner.
Together with his wife, Joyce (Greening)
Bohne, they built the small studio into the 4th highest grossing department per square foot in the store; only Candy, Jewelry/Cosmetics,
and Shoes grossed more per square foot. This was in a department store that had 3 floors of merchandise. In 1983 they were given more
room for a sales room and a black and white darkroom, but they were still under 900 square feet of operating space. Even so, Steve
was winning awards for his portraiture. The studio became the highest volume studio in Jackson County.
In 1982, they became limited
partners with Morton's Studio which closed in 1985 when the majority owner moved out of Jackson. In 1985, the Adrian, Michigan location
was opened. Things were going great...until Christmas of 1986. That's when Allied Stores was purchased by a Canadian arbitrageur.
Even though the store was profitable, the new buyer was closing it. Steve found a location that formerly housed a portrait photographer,
and in March of 1987 he opened at 803 Brown Street as Bohne Portrait Galleries of Jackson, Inc. Things went very well and the studio
expanded to nearly double the size in 1990, adding a portrait finishing area for lacquering, mounting, and assembly of portraits
and a new 20 x 24 foot camera room with backgrounds on all of the walls.
In 1991, the Adrian store was sold to an employee
on contract, who left left the area abruptly for family reasons in 1992. Steve tried to keep the location open, but he was
working nearly 7 days a week at the Jackson location. He decided to close the studio in the fall of 1992. In the summer of 1992,
Pro2000 (a budget priced studio) was opened on Wildwood Avenue in Jackson at the Shaw's Furniture building. After the Pro2000
studio's photographer became disabled with a back injury, the decision was made to close that studio.
Unfortunately in 1997
Steve's father suffered a stroke. His parents could not afford private nursing care, so the decision was made to close the studio,
sell their home, and reopen in a new location in Spring Arbor, Michigan. This way, Steve and his daughter Angie could care for Steve's
father and still operate the studio. Their new home had two addresses, two driveways, and separate entrances so the studio was
completely separate from the living quarters. Located on 2.5 acres, it provided many beautiful outdoor portrait areas.
was perfect for a home business. Angie finished college and had ideas of taking over the business. The family enjoyed their life in
this location: working from home was much less stressful. However, a heart attack slowed Steve down: he could no longer easily handle
the strenuous lifting involved for doing location photography, which was a big part of the business. About the same time, Angie wanted
to think about moving to a location outside of Jackson. Steve took some time and studied the direction the photography industry was
headed, and he felt the future trend for businesses like his was not favorable. Digital cameras made everyone a photographer...well,
at least in their minds. The decision was made to close the studio.
The Bohne family would like to thank our thousands and thousands
of customers who supported us over the years. We had great customers and many of them became our friends.
easy making a photography business profitable. CPI tried to stay afloat
, but in April of 2014 the company shut its doors...bankrupt...closing
2700 studio locations and putting nearly 12,000 people out of work. If you live in Jackson, Michigan you know that CPI at one time
operated a one-hour film processing lab inside the Westwood Mall.