Updated: Aug 23, 2021
The Shutterbug Camera stores have finally reached the big 5-0! This blog post will include a list of events, specific sales and merch you can pick up to celebrate with us.
Before we start with the festivities, we would love to share The Shutterbug's story with you!
Parviz's own photo of The Shutterbug's First Store | August 1971
How the Shutterbug Came to Be...
Just a few years after immigrating to the United States, 31 year-old Parviz Samiee received the
opportunity of a lifetime - a loan from the Small Business Administration. With these funds, in
addition to what he and his wife Maudie had saved, he was able to leave his position of
managing a Payless camera counter to start his own store. In August of 1971, the doors of the
very first Shutterbug opened in Salem’s Lancaster Mall. Complete with orange shag carpeting
and a photo studio with mushroom-shaped stools, the store was eye-catching and inviting.
Customers were treated with kindness, pro service and enjoyed a curated offering of the latest
cameras, film and photo finishing.
Vintage The Shutterbug 1970s Film Processing Folder
After two years of initial success, a perfect second location became available in Beaverton's
brand new Washington Square! Right next to Meier and Frank, this store also attracted
“shutterbugs” with it’s incredible customer service. Soon, The Shutterbug stores were
established around the state as far south as Medford, east to Bend, west to Lincoln City, and
north to Portland. One of the first in the nation to offer same day film developing, The
Shutterbug’s famous service, “In by 11, out by 5” kept their in-store labs busy all day long.
Looking back, Parviz and Maudie feel that the Shutterbug’s staff and devoted patrons are truly
what made their stores so special. Their team of camera-loving men and women created a
community for photo enthusiasts to shop, talk and share beautiful imagery. Celebrating 50
years of capturing memories August 2021, Samiee’s The Shutterbug success is truly a story of
The American dream, right here in Oregon.
Just a sample of how many business card styles we've gone through over the years.
The Oregonian Article
"Built on a dream, family-owned The Shutterbug celebrates 50 years of preserving memories"
By Lee Ann Moyer
"Oregon’s iconic camera store, The Shutterbug, has launched a month-long event featuring sales, limited edition merchandise, and giveaways in honor of its 50th anniversary. Rooted in the American dream, The Shutterbug’s story celebrates its employees, the community they serve, and a shared passion for the art of preserving memories.
Born in Iran, The Shutterbug’s founder, Parviz Samiee, grew up knowing he wanted to attend college in the United States. He saved up funds by taking photos of professional soccer players, which he developed at home and had the players sign. At the age of 17, he moved to New York and made his way to Oregon State University, where he met his wife, Maudie.
With big dreams and an undying love of cameras, Samiee became the manager of the camera counter at Payless Drug Store. At the time, Payless was one of the largest photo finishing providers and camera retailers on the west coast. A mentor encouraged Samiee to open his own storefront, and, with the help of a Small Business Administration loan, The Shutterbug established its first brick and mortar in 1971 in Salem.
From there, the empire grew, and so did the Samiee family. With a total of ten children, everyone played a role in the company, which now has four locations throughout Oregon.
“I started working in the store when I was a little kid, dusting the shelves,” said Chris Samiee, the oldest of the ten siblings and now general manager, “That was my first job.”
Extended family also joined in: Samiee’s uncle started part-time in the 1970’s and worked for the company for 43 years as a store manager; his cousin manages the flagship store in Salem today. And, carrying on the tradition, Samiee’s teenage daughter sometimes helps her father in the corporate office.
Many others have become part of The Shutterbug family. The company currently employs 30 people, with an average tenure of 8-9 years. Some have been with the company longer than Chris Samiee, himself.
“One person who comes to mind is Linda Stephens,” said Samiee, “I think she has been here 34 years. She is awesome. She knows massive amounts of customers and has worked at multiple stores. She knows everyone -- and knows cameras.”
The Shutterbug’s approach to service makes their customers a part of the family, as well.
“Our first thing is knowing our customers,” said Samiee, “Being a family-owned business, we want to know our customers’ families. We know their kids’ names, their dogs’ names. We don’t want people to come in and out; we really want to get to know them.”
Samiee added that The Shutterbug is fortunate to be located in Oregon, where shoppers are enthusiastic about spending their dollars locally.
“Shopping local helps not just the people who shop at The Shutterbug, but the whole community,” he said, “We are big enough to give the lowest prices available, but we’re small enough to give them the best customer service.”
Over the years, The Shutterbug has swiftly adapted to the ever-changing photography landscape, continuously bringing in new faces interested in the art. When mobile phones began including high-resolution cameras, there was initially concern that development might affect camera sales. However, Samiee found that it did just the opposite: those who might have otherwise not been exposed to photography discovered a new interest through their phone cameras, and they would come to The Shutterbug to take it to the next level.
Likewise, Samiee said that film photography is experiencing a renaissance, originally unanticipated with the rise in digital photos.
“We started noticing about eight years ago that people were asking about film photography and getting into it,” said Samiee, “Younger photographers had been raised on digital, and they have discovered that film is cool, analog is cool. They find out about film - whether they are using a disposable camera, if they got a hand-me-down, or they literally found one at Goodwill - they have the passion.”
Today, The Shutterbug sells more film than it did 20 years ago.
Steep discounts and limited-edition merchandise awaited photographers of all levels as part of the company’s tent sale, which featured an amped up version of the annual event in to mark the 50th anniversary. The Shutterbug hosted outdoor workshops in wildlife, portrait, action, and macro photography. For those who missed the tent sale, giveaways continue until August 31 on their Instagram account, @shutterbugoregon.
Learn more about cameras, film processing, store locations, and workshops by visiting The Shutterbug’s website, www.theshutterbug.com."
Events to Attend
In celebration of this momentous milestone, we have prepared a few events for you to check out!
July 24th | 50th Anniversary Salem Tent Sale Event
Salem's Annual Tent Sale is going to be a blast this year! We will have workshops, vendors on-site and exclusive events to fill your day from start to finish!
Exclusive Deals taking Place at the Tent Sale
These deals are only for the day of the event, and may not be redeemed after the event has completed.
FREE Sensor Cleanings to the first 50 attendees (limit 1 Free Sensor Cleaning per Person)! All other sensor cleanings will only be $25!
50% OFF All Print Enlargements (3.5x5 prints to 42" wide poster sized prints)
$10 Upload Orders (C-41, Color 35mm -- Normally $14.99)
10% OFF ALL Tripods at the Event
10% OFF ALL Camera Bags
10% OFF ALL Camera Straps (Including Peak Design)
15% OFF ALL Extension Tubes
20% OFF ALL Photo Frames
50$ OFF ALL Close-Up Filter Sets
These Vendors Who Will Be On-Site to Answer Questions & Show Off the Latest Products Available
Try Before You Buy FREE Workshop Schedule
These workshops are all outdoors, please be sure to dress accordingly to the weather.
10:30 - 11:30am Wildlife Photography Workshop Sponsored by Canon
12:00 - 1:00pm Macro Photography Workshop
2:15pm - 3:15pm Action Photography Workshop (Live Models)
3:30pm - 4:30pm Portrait Photography Workshop
KEH Camera Buy Back / Nikon Bonus Trade In Event!
Friday from 11am - 5pm, Saturday from 9am - 5pm
Bring your old gear in for purchase! Normally, we only offer trade-in credit towards your gear, but with the help with KEH -- we will be able to offer you a whole check! It is recommended that you have the following with your trade ins:
Camera body or lens caps
Battery chargers with camera
Nikon is proud to offer an additional trade in bonus with purchases made after trading in your gear with KEH. This offer is exclusive to the following conditions:
Spend $1,000 towards a Nikon Z series (excluding Z6ii/Z7ii) -- receive $50 bonus trade in value off of your purchase!
Spend $2,000 towards a Nikon Z series (excluding Z6ii/Z7ii) -- receive $100 bonus trade in value off of your purchase!
Need Directions? Find us here!
Check Out our Photos from our 2019 Tent Sale!
Limited Edition Merchandise!
Commemorate this milestone with a shirt or sticker!
Purchase a Shutterbug 50th Anniversary T-shirt online or at our Salem tent sale!
All shirts are only $20 each, and will will only have a limited run!
The shirt design is based off of a little piece of Shutterbug history -- The Shutterbug film canister!
Purchase a t-shirt in your size here.
Sticker Design for Our 50th Anniversary
Love, love, love film? We do too! Film is still a huge staple of The Shutterbug, and we decided to flaunt it for our 50th Anniversary with a FREE commemorative sticker.
These stickers are only available in-store, however if you request it -- we may even include it in an online order for you!
The Shutterbug 'bug' character is near and dear to Parviz Samiee as the bug was a hand-drawn figure made by a long-time supporter of The Shutterbug. Did you know that the bug's skin was once yellow, and at another point, green?
50th Anniversary Giveaways!
The Shutterbug's 50th Anniversary Film Processing Giveaway!
Begins August 2021, ends September 12th, 2021. Winners will be announced on the closest Monday to the post!
Contest Style: Giveaway
Prize: 9 Winners in total, 8 will win 5 C-41 35mm FREE Upload Certificates, 1 will win 10 C-41 35mm FREE Upload Certificates.
How to enter: We will post 9 total Instagram posts regarding this giveaway between August-September. Upload certificates must be picked up in-store and used in-store. All you need to do is:
Follow @shutterbugoregon on Instagram
Like the post
Tag two or more friends in the comments, the more tags, the higher your chances are to win!
Share for an extra bonus point!