After nearly 15 years, Howard Studios is closing its Lebanon storefront at 738 Cumberland Street.
Lebanon Daily News reporter Daniel Walmer broke the news in an article published late last week.
Owner Robert Howard confirmed the story on Facebook, along with sharing some stats from his more than 40 years spent as a professional photographer in Lebanon.
- 1,271 weddings (averaging 200 frames per wedding)
- 34,525 graduation portraits (averaging 24 frames per shoot)
- 1,573 family portrait sessions (averaging 43 frames per session)
- 3,570 sporting events (averaging 150 frames per event)
- Total frames: 1,745,475 (that’s more than 40,000 frames per year!)
Howard has also helped numerous local schools with their yearbooks, including Lebanon for 25 years and counting.
We stopped by today to learn more.
Howard recalls starting out when there were dozens of photographers listed in the phone book in Lebanon. Over time the former photojournalist gained a business insight that he had to sell an experience more than just skills and equipment. He attributes at least some of his success over the years to reading President Donald J. Trump’s The Art of the Deal, which gave him the insight that, “marketing my name to the public was just as important as getting my work shown to the public.”
A signed copy of The Art of the Deal isn’t the only connection Howard has to the President, either. He also captured a photo of an April 2017 visit to Harrisburg by President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence. This unique shot captured both Air Force One and Air Force Two, and Howard received a note of thanks from the President acknowledging a print he sent to the White House. Here’s what the scene looked like, courtesy of Darrel Moyer who accompanied the Howard’s to the landing(s):
The Daily News’ reporting pinpoints the iPhone introduction as the death kneel for Howard’s business. But as former Daily News/current Reading Eagle journalist Jeremy Long noted in a tweet to Walmer, “The irony is not lost on me that you in fact took the photo of Bob with an iPhone.” (Mea culpa: Our photo was also taken with an iPhone.) Howard attributed a precipitous drop in school photos as one example of how the Instagram era has disrupted professional photographers.
There is a silver lining to the storefront closing, though: Not only will Howard continue offering all his services (excluding in-studio shoots), he is also considering future office and gallery space. In the meantime, if you were ever featured in one of his display prints, you can stop by in the next few days to purchase it with substantial savings off the typical price.
Howard will also be keeping his frames and other material from 1981 onward in a climate-controlled storage unit with 200SF and room for an archivist to work. This means that Howard will be able to fill replacement orders, should you need reprints of your wedding, for instance.