Flashback Friday – The late great Olan Mills building on Shallowford Road in Chattanooga. I worked in this building on a couple occasions. Olan Mills was once America’s Portrait Studio. Generations had high quality personal and family portraits made through this company. This building no longer exists as it was torn down to make way for a Coca Cola distribution center.


The End Of An Era – The Olan Mills Building

For eight years I worked in the Church Directory division of Olan Mills. Many of you are familiar with the name because they were the nation’s best photography studio. You knew you had quality portraits when you saw the gold embossed logo in the corner of your pictures. They also did membership directories for places of worship too. In November of 2011 they were bought out by Lifetouch studios and in 2012 they began the process of merging operations with Olan Mills which meant that name would soon become a memory.

This past week they started the demolition of their iconic building off Shallowford Road in Chattanooga. This was the work home for hundreds of people over the years. I worked there off and on during my time with the company. Coca Cola will now call this property their distribution center in Chattanooga. We will have great memories of this building but its going to have life and new jobs there soon.

Thanks to former co-worker Fred Friday for these pictures.

Portrait Studios in Walmart and Sears Closing


I workded for Olan Mills a national photography company that had portrait studios in K-Marts and other places around the country. Lifetouch bought them in November 2011 and from what I understand they have closed a bunch of the Olan Mills branded studios around the country.

A report on CNN I saw today reports that portrait studios in Walmart and Sears are closing too. Personal digital photography has impacted the business of studios around the country. I think that lack of disposable income has hurt business in the portrait business.

Its sad to see this happen because the photographer in a studio can provide a great portrait that will last a lifetime and create many memories. It will be interesting to see how small, independent studios fare down the road.

FIRST ON 3: Olan Mills sold to Lifetouch – | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports


Friends, I work for Olan Mills Church Directories and this is a interesting time for me and my coworkers as Lifetouch acquires Olan Mills Portrait Studios. This is a positive situation I believe. Lifetouch has an amazing company with a strong legacy of service in the photographic industry. They are in the school, church, yearbook and family portrait business and together both companies will be a strong force to contend with. Prayers are requested during this transition. 

FIRST ON 3: Olan Mills sold to Lifetouch – | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports