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  Bill Porter  
 

Photography has always been my greatest interest and passion. At the age of ten I became the proud owner of my first 35mm camera, the Miranda “G”. A couple of years later, at age twelve, I began helping out my Dad during the summer in the warehouse of Interstate Photo Supply. At that time my father, Harry Porter, was the branch manager for Interstate’s southwest region. By the time I was seventeen I was working as a repairman on electronic flashes for Interstate and later learned how to repair the new Miranda DX-3 camera. I continued to work for Interstate after graduating from high school as well as doing custom B&W developing and printing for a local photographer and photo lab.

In 1975, I began my career as a Sales Representative for Interstate Photo working the West Texas and Oklahoma territories. Two short years later I advanced to also serve as a Rep for New Mexico, East Texas, Louisiana, and eventually the Dallas/Ft. Worth metropolitan area. During this time the oil business was literally fueling the economy of this region. West Texas intermediate grade oil, which was selling for around $4 per barrel in 1970, had skyrocketed to nearly $50 per barrel by 1980. As a result, there were camera stores everywhere! It seemed as if anyone with oil money that had an interest in photography had decided to open up a shop. So needless to say, I was kept very busy during the oil boom times and also had an invaluable “on the job” opportunity to learn even more about the camera business.

But by 1983 the “boom” had turned to a “bust” and the economy was changing. Interstate Photo Supply was struggling, and so were many of the nouveau riche camera store owners. It was about this time that I decided to switch gears. There was a great little camera store located in Arlington, Texas called Craig’s Cameras. It was owned and operated by Craig Brackeen, who was a long time photo enthusiast and had been in the camera business for many years. Craig and I set up an arrangement where I would work for him on Saturdays and still keep my job during the week with Interstate. The purpose of working at Craig’s was for me to gain any knowledge I could about operating the camera store since he was ready to retire and sell the store to my Dad and me. In 1987, I officially left Interstate Photo to work full time at our “new” store, Arlington Camera!

Arlington Camera is a family owned and operated business in every sense. While I worked many years with my Mom and Dad as well as my older brother, Jim, some family aspects of the business have changed. Unfortunately, both of my parents passed away a few years ago. And my brother has since retired. Yet my wife and daughter work at the store now, so it does remain a family business. In addition, our staff is regarded as “family”. We employ a friendly and knowledgeable group of men and women who are quite loyal and dedicated to the store as well as their careers in the photo industry.

I strongly feel that the eleven years that I worked on the road as a Camera Rep have aided me immensely in the day to day operation of Arlington Camera. I have been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to learn the camera business from several different perspectives. And I personally find a great deal of satisfaction in the fact that my life experiences have enabled me to become a knowledgeable and understanding buyer as well as a more capable and compassionate employer. I still have a passion for photography after all these years, and in addition I am happy and quite pleased to be the owner of Arlington Camera.

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Arlington Camera © 2018. All rights reserved.

Arlington Camera, Inc.    544 W. Randol Mill Road    Arlington, Texas 76011
Metro 817.261.8131    Toll Free 800.313.6748
www.arlingtoncamera.com