Alton E. Bowers Photo Service was established in 1916 on Windsor Street by Mr. Alton E. Bowers, a photographer and processor for the Reading area. The business was relocated to 416 North Fifth Street in 1928. Mr. Vincent K. Bellman purchased the building and the business from Mr. Bowers in 1956. Mr. Bellman, and his daughter Lori, are still the owners of Bowers Photo. With the support of family and dedicated, caring employees, the Bellman family has guided Bowers Photo through many turbulent changes in the photo industry for the past 54 years. In November of 2002, Bowers Photo opened its second location in Sinking Spring, now serving as the business???s sole retail location. As consumer and professional clients look to digital technology for better pictures, they are also rapidly discovering that the best prints from any camera, film or digital, still come from an experienced, quality photofinisher like Bowers Photo.
Vincent K. Bellman
Born in 1922, Mr. Bellman has always loved photography and all the technology and gadgets that go with it. He worked for Mr. Bowers as a 14-year-old boy just so he could learn the ???magic??? of printing a photographic image on paper. Vince pursued other interests and occupations before and after the war, but always remained a customer of Bowers Photo. In 1956 when Mr. Bowers was ready to retire, Vince took everything he had , which he says was just $400.00 and borrowed the rest, to buy the business from Alton. He immediately set out to automate a very labor intensive printing process. Then updated the lab in the 60???s to print color photos. Later, in 1975, Bowers Photo was the first lab in the country to introduce the one-hour lab concept. Vince has always appreciated quality and it is reflected in the way he runs the business; by always offering the finest quality camera equipment (his personal Leica collection is extensive), investing in the highest quality photofinishing equipment and supplies, and always maintaining and adhering to the best quality-control standards in the industry. Vince is semi-retired now but can often be found hanging around and giving us valuable advise on how to run the business.
Lori M. Bellman
Lori has literally grown up behind the counter at Bowers Photo and has worked for the family full-time for the past 30 years. Digital technology has kept Lori busy and she continually attends educational and informational seminars and conventions for the latest ideas and information. She is proud of the business she has guided through the ???digital evolution??? of photography and the team of employees she has chosen and trained through the years (although most of the time, they are training her on new techniques and technology.) Although the business has changed dramatically, Lori still enjoys what she says is at the root of her business; memories, and the people that capture, preserve and share them everyday.
Our Professional Staff
We are not big on titles in our small operation, everyone should be able to do just about everything you may want us to do. Each employee, however, does have his or her area of specialization or talent that they bring to our organization. I am so proud of our employees and I trust their skills and compassion for what they do, and know that every customer will get the best possible service every time they walk through our door.