Longtime Local Business Develops at New Location

By David Rolland

Delray Camera Shop has been in three locations over decades. Most recently, two locations at once as they maneuvered a transition from an old to a new location while keeping both open. Their newest location, which opened in November 2020, came filled with challenges. “To move a business that was in one location for 53 years took a lot of work. We had to renovate the current location, which was formerly a warehouse. We stripped it back and built a bigger more accessible studio,” said owner James Greene.

James went from a longtime employee to the owner of Delray Camera Shop at the most difficult possible time, January 2020, right before the pandemic shut everything down. “We were officially closed for one day. Then they had it where I could sell to customers, but they weren’t allowed inside the store. At the old location we had a drive-thru window,” James said.

The solo time gave him the chance to refurbish the new location into the photography store of his dreams, offering just about any merchandise and service you can imagine related to the art of photography.

Delray Camera ShopDelray Camera Shop

“We carry Leica, Sony, Nikon, Fujifilm, Canon. We carry Sigma lenses, Godox flashes, strobes, video lights, background paper, recording equipment, and tripods. We process and print anything from four by six inches to 40 by 60 inches,” James said. “We scan, digitize, and transfer VHS or 8 mm film to DVDs or USB drives. We do passports for 17 countries, and we rent studio space to photographers.”

Beyond working at Delray Camera Shop since 1987, James has worked as a professional photographer at all kinds of events in 22 states across the country. “My background is with people. Headshots, bar mitzvahs, weddings,” said James, who always advises anyone hoping to capture a big event to always be ready. “Live behind the lens. Pay attention to the bride or the bar mitzvah boy because timing is everything.”

His personal photos that he has on display in the shop deal with cities and nature, to protect the privacy of people. “I have an image I took during an ad for KFC from Brickell Island looking at Brickell Avenue in downtown Miami at midnight. I have a couple from the Keys. One is of a sunrise another is a picture of seagulls,” James said.

When newbies ask his great local spots to take pictures, he recommends places where birds congregate like Wakodahatchee Wetlands in Delray or Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge in Boynton Beach. “If you want to capture nightlife you can go to Atlantic Avenue in Delray. South Beach also has good nightlife pics,” James said.

Delray Camera Shop
Left to right: Tom Craig and James Greene.

Though asking a photographer what his favorite camera is might be like asking a parent which is their favorite child, James shared which brands are in his personal collection. “I originally started with a Nikon back in 1984. Now I shoot with Sony and Leica. I have a Fuji GFX digital camera, which is a 102-megapixel camera giving it the most definition.”

As grateful as James is for the technological advances in photography, he has even more gratitude for the employees and customers who enter Delray Camera Shop. “Tom Craig works here, and he helped lay out the store so it looks presentable when he’s not photographing bands at Hard Rock Casino. We really enjoy our customers. They keep returning and help make this store what it is,” James said. “I’m grateful for all these talented photographers.”

217 NE 4th Ave., Delray Beach

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