PARSONS, Ks. — International attention and success was nothing new to Dwayne Steinle – the longtime Parsons businessman who started his own photo company, Dwayne’s Photo, in 1956 and ran it for decades.
His field of expertise – processing and developing film. What many of us used in cameras to take pictures with back in the day. Steinle’s craft stood the test of time.
Somehow – in a world of change – it continued to be relevant. It also drew the attention of people all over the world.
It also drew the attention of Netflix – Kodachrome – it dropped back in 2018. Dwayne Steinle died in February of last year. Dwayne’s photo closed.
Then came May of 2020 – when it reopened under the ownership of Steinle’s grandsons. And somehow, since that time – in a world of more change – the pandemic – it continues to be relevant.
Josh Carter, Dwayne’s Photo President, said, “It’s just been booming, we have more film than we know what to do with.”
While we’re living in a digital world, print film has been gaining popularity in recent years. This grew exponentially since the pandemic started.
“People are finding film in their closets, stuff like that and sending them in, or finding more time to go out and shoot things and get a new hobby.”
Brothers Derek and Josh Carter took over Dwayne’s Photo from their late grandfather in May. Now being one of the few development labs left, they’re seeing business soar.
“We are one of the largest labs in the country if not the world and so we get shipments in from all over. We also have folks from Europe and Asia sending us films, kept us very busy.”
They’ve had to start hiring to meet this demand.
Nathan George, Staff Chemist, said, “Oh it’s absolutely crazy, there’s more and more people being hired every month.”
“We started off with 22 employees and now we’re over 70 and we’re still growing,” said Carter.
Some former employees of their grandfather have returned, even bringing some of their kids.
“My mom started working here in 1989. I grew up you know with my mom coming home every day and hearing stories about how her day went. To know I’m doing the same things that she did when she was my age. I’m following in her footsteps, it’s just incredibly humbling,” said George.
Working together and harnessing this success into something great.
“It’s been fun to see how our home area is growing with this, so it’s been fun to grow something new here,” said Carter.