We had the opportunity to speak with Jayesunn Krump, Owner of Portland Camera Service. Southwest Portland's newest business isn't just a camera shop, it is a community hub focused on helping both professional and amateur photographers learn and develop their passion.
Phil: What a wild time to open a business! What were you doing before opening Portland Camera Service?
Jayesunn: Haha yeah it is! I have been working as a photographer and instructor for the last 20 years. I was working at another camera shop that had to lay off workers because of COVID this year. So I thought this is the time to do it!
Phil: One of the things that really sets your business apart from other camera retailers I have seen is that you offer classes, right?
Jayesunn: Yes I really love everything about photography and the tools of the trade. I started teaching in addition to shooting photos several years ago, and enjoy helping photographers of all levels learn to use their equipment to the best of their abilities. We have a large studio and event space where we will be offering different classes. Until we can meet in person we'll be offering virtual classes.
Phil: So what's it like to open a business in a year that will go down in history as economically, emotionally, and politically...chaotic?
Jayesunn: It has been a challenge but one that has turned out amazing for us. I had a few months to get my vendors together but I found many vendors and suppliers were either shutdown or had slowed production, and a lot of products were hard to get. Then when we were in the middle of the renovation of our space, the wildfires happened and my home was on the tier-two evacuation list. So we have overcome several challenges getting here, but we made it, and we're getting word of mouth business which is great!
Phil: What about cameras and equipment? How do you compete with Amazon these days?
Jayesunn: We offer a lot that Amazon and other large retailers can't offer, besides the support and instruction in how to use the equipment. These include the ability to buy, sell, and trade equipment. If you want to get into photography for less, we have certified used equipment that is like new. We offer first-hand experiences using all of the equipment. Every one of my employees are photography die-hards. We geek out about this stuff all day long, and love helping people of all levels take better photos. We also offer community and a place to go when someone has questions, like what to buy. Our pricing is competitive too. Supporting us as a local business helps us support our community as well.
Phil: How are you supporting the community?
Jayesunn: First, by keeping customers safe during this time. We offer curbside service and we have installed high capacity air filters with UV scrubbers to keep the air clean for customers choosing to come in. As for the community at large, I am developing a good relationship with the schools to promote the next generation of photographers. Often, people will donate cameras and equipment that is too outdated to sell, but I can get it in the hands of a student to start their journey. I want the business to succeed, but for me, it's about helping people find their passion to express themselves.
Portland Camera Service is located at 6356 SW Capital Hwy, Portland. More info at PDXCamera.com Phone: 971-202-7568