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The Mall Studio marks 30 years in business

From passport photos to family and school portraits, right through to the digital age, The Mall Studio has thrived.

The landmark photography studio in the Washington Mall celebrates 30 years in business this week.

Owners David and Lucy DeSilva recalled buying the business from previous owners Ken and Roz Hubbard back in 1993.

The two couples have remained good friends to this day.

The Hubbards opened the studio in 1981 after coming across a similar type of business in England and thinking it would do well in Bermuda.

“It was a eureka moment,” Mrs. Hubbard said. They gathered as much information about the business and practised on children in the neighbourhood, before moving into the current space in the Washington Mall.

The first day did not go that well, after their Polaroid camera malfunctioned, Mr Hubbard remembered.

But thereafter, the business took off, Mrs Hubbard added. And he eventually left his job as a physics professor at the Bermuda College to help run it.

Mrs Hubbard said one of the best things they did was hire Mrs DeSilva the year after starting the business.

Mrs DeSilva had always been keen on photography and the Hubbards sent her away on photography courses to hone her skills even more.

“She is just a great people person, she and her David,” Mrs Hubbard said.

The Hubbards built a loyal customer base of parents and schools and eventually sold the business to the DeSilvas to focus on their other business, Bermuda Art & frame Company, which became Bermuda Galleries.

Despite Mrs DeSilva’s initial nervousness in taking over the business, Mr DeSilva said it has grown every year to 2008, when the recession began to take a bite.

And he said despite the age of digital cameras, the studio has done well and branched out into doing weddings and other special events.

The studio went totally digital in 2002.

“We are now photographing the babies of the people who came to us as babies for portraits,” Mrs DeSilva laughed.

Mr DeSilva, who had a 40-year career in the hospitality industry, also eventually left his job as manager at the Waterlot Inn restaurant, to help run the business.

He said he was extremely grateful to the Hubbards for guiding them in taking over the business and to Mr Hubbard for taking the time to teach him how to do the accounting and understand the business software.

To help celebrate their milestone, the DeSilvas are offering 30 percent off portraits for the months of October.

“We also really want to thank all our customers for their loyalty over the years,” Mrs DeSilva said.

Photo by Tamell Simons Happy 30th: The Mall Studio celebrated 30 years in business yesterday. Pictured (from left) are assistant photographer Damika Swan, former owners and founders Ken and Roz Hubbard, and current owners David and Lucy DeSilva.

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Published September 28, 2011 at 8:59 am (Updated September 28, 2011 at 8:59 am)

The Mall Studio marks 30 years in business

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