Contacts: Pete Witcosky, Manager/Owner of Photolounge (Philadelphia, PA)
The easiest way for Pete Witcosky to explain what he does for a living would be to say he runs a camera store in Philadelphia. It would make a lot of sense, as Witcosky spends his days working with photogs and selling camera bags, frames, prints, and a huge variety of new digital imaging products. But the one thing you won’t find for sale at Witcosky’s store, called Photolounge, is a camera.
“We got rid of them three months ago,” he explains. “It was just becoming too tough to maintain a full inventory and there was very little profit...we’d spend an hour an a half with somebody [showing them cameras] and then we’d never see them again. It just wasn’t worth it.”
The shutter-free photography shop still gets heaps of foot traffic, though, says Witcosky, in part because it’s on a busy center-city street in Philadelphia and in part because the Photolounge staff has worked hard over the years to make the store a lively destination. They host “Photocoach” days, offering free photography lessons, and throw “Print Your World” festivals, e-mailing customers all sorts of incentives to try new imaging products like stretch canvases, coasters and accordion brag-books.