Flexer Photography closes after 40 years in the business – Times News Online

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Flexer Photography in Hometown started 40 years ago with a dream, a love between two people and the desire to capture memories that will last a lifetime.

Located on 4 acres of land near Marian High School, the studio has been a premier destination for seniors and families from all parts of Carbon and Schuylkill when quality photographs were desired.

“It was Neal’s dream,” Barbara Flexer said recently as she sat in the waiting room of the company that has hosted thousands of students over the past four decades.

The walls are filled with photos of smiling faces, generations of families and athletic poses; while the studio itself is a collection of props and backgrounds drawn from decades of experience.

“But it’s time to move on.”

Barbara, Neal’s widow and owner of the business, has decided to close the studio’s doors in the coming months as she prepares to retire.

“I’ve been doing this for 40 years,” she says. “I’ve seen a lot of things in my life, but I’m at a point in my life where I just want to make the most of the time I have left. My husband died at 51, my father died at 59. No one was able to retire. I want to enjoy my granddaughter while I can and also my mate, Rick. I haven’t had a real vacation in 20 years and can’t wait for my next chapter.

A dream and a camera

The couple started to set up a business in 1981, two years after they got married.

“(Neal) has always loved photography,” Barbara said. “I bought him his first professional camera for Christmas.”

Neal began filming weddings and Barbara began to learn how to run a business.

In 1985, Neal expands his activities and decides to try his hand at senior photography.

“Her brother was actually a graduate in 1985 and a cousin so we did these photos,” Barbara said. “They brought in some friends and that’s how it turned out.”

From there, the company started running special deals for kids during the holidays, which became such a hit that Barbara remembers that the studio was only standing room.

Flexer Photography flourished over the following years, to the point that the Flexers photographed over 600 seniors during the summer months, continued to photograph weddings and children, while also expanding into school event photography. .

“There have been a lot of memories created here over the years,” said Barbara.

In addition to photography, the couple welcomed and raised two sons, Neal III and Jordon.

But life changed very quickly.

In 2003, Neal began to have back pain and night sweats and was quickly diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

That didn’t stop him though.

“It’s a one-man show,” Barbara said in a 2006 Times News article.

The couple continued to run the business while Neal battled his illness, but in September 2006 he lost his battle.

Neal’s legacy continues

The family has not been missing a beat after Neal’s passing, with Barbara and her sons, Neal III and Jordon stepping in to keep Neal’s dream alive.

Barbara became the owner of the business, while Jordon, who was 19 when his father died, picked up the camera, and Neal III graduated from Lock Haven University and then worked as a family IT service for business.

“I knew enough to make it work,” Barbara said. “Jordon knew photography and we kind of did our thing. Neal III did the touch-ups for us.

Four years ago, Neal III left the company and joined Geisinger in Danville, while Barbara and Jordon continued their activities as normal.

Closing a chapter

Last year, as the pandemic wreaked havoc around the world, Barbara realized it was time to say goodbye to a chapter in her life that she had nurtured for so long.

The detail-oriented business owner set dates for herself as she planned to shut down the business.

“I need some time,” she said.

The first deadline, which is much earlier than what Barbara initially expected, is the end of July, as Jordon has found a job with UPS.

The family will accept studio sessions until July.

“People who have not yet placed orders from their sessions or need more revamp photos should contact the studio as soon as possible so those orders can be filled,” said Barbara. “While I am able to take and pack orders, I cannot do Jordon’s job which includes touching up and sending orders to the lab.

“I urge you not to wait and to contact me now for your needs.”

In addition, Barbara will also start selling some of the props the company has available, including two sets of risers that can be used for team photos.

“If any photographers are interested in props, backdrops and gear, contact me at 570-467-3125 in early August,” she said. “I have a lot to do and decide, but you can look at what’s here and see if anything interests you.”

Internet orders will continue until September 10, when Barbara will cease the company’s website.

Her last day will then be September 24 when she will officially retire and close this chapter of her life.

“I went there, I did so much. It’s about time, ”she said, noting that after that date the work phone and email will be disconnected.

Looking back on her career, Barbara said it wouldn’t have been possible without her family and the communities that have supported them.

“I want to thank all of the clients we have served over the years for portraits, baby shoots, pet photos, weddings and most importantly, repeat ones,” she said. declared. “One customer in particular stands out, Tammy Rusnock Kline, who has been a constant customer since graduating from high school.

“I also want to thank the school districts who have allowed us to serve them from head photos, sports photos, prom and graduation for the past 40 years.

“It was a real pleasure. “

A photo of Neal Flexer at the Great Wall of China hangs in Flexer Photography’s office in Hometown. Neal’s widow Barbara, who currently owns the business, is retiring after 40 years. AMY MILLER / NEWS TIMES

Flexer Photography will close after 40 years later this year. Owner Barbara Flexer decided it was time to retire.

Flexer Photography will close after 40 years later this year. Owner Barbara Flexer decided it was time to retire.

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