By Joe Crews
For Hometown News
It's the end of an era: A longtime fixture in downtown DeLand, Terry Fogleman has shuttered Fogleman Studio after more than 45 years.
"I wanted to retire while I was still young enough to enjoy life and my grandchildren," Terry Fogleman, 62, said in a recent interview.
It was a long run for the studio that was anchored to the heart of downtown for so many years.
Mr. Fogleman bought the business at 224 N. Woodland Blvd. from his father, Owen Fogleman, on Jan. 1, 1967; he moved a few blocks south about 10 years later to 143 N. Woodland where it remained until his retirement.
He sold the building in December to a businessman who is going to run a sports apparel store there.)
"My father bought the business from Fred Kent, who was active in the chamber of commerce and big on public relations," Mr. Fogleman said. "He ran more of a camera store, and Tommy Taylor was his photographer . . . (My dad and I) sold off the camera store and devoted ourselves to just a studio."
Mr. Fogleman believes Mr. Kent bought the business from another photographer, who in turn bought it from another photographer. The chain of companies may stretch back to the late 1800s, Mr. Fogleman believes, although he has no proof of that.
However, a quick check of old city directories at the West Volusia Historical Society shows a nearly continuous run of photography businesses in DeLand stretching back to at least 1950, although they were in various locations around the downtown area.
Bill Dreggors, executive director of the historical society, recalled sitting for a portrait when he was very young, but couldn't remember who took his photo.
On the other hand, the book "Images of America: DeLand" (published with numerous photos supplied by the historical society), has a reference to Cole's Studio, "a thriving photographic shop in downtown DeLand" that opened in 1884.
At its peak, Fogleman Studio was well equipped to handle portraits in almost any setting a customer desired. The ground floor studio was complemented by studios on the second floor that offered different settings, such as barns and business offices and the like.
"It was quite handy to be able to move around and get to all those different settings," Mr. Fogleman said.
Now, those studio backdrops have been exchanged for the natural rural settings around his home north of DeLand. There are many reasons for his retirement, he said.
Photographic studios today face stiff competition from shooters who operate from their homes and undercut the studios' prices. Also, because of technological advances, cell phones and digital consumer cameras have gotten to the point where they are much simpler to operate and offer quality that's adequate for most people, Mr. Fogleman said.
"The cost of the equipment these days is now affordable. There are no regulations on photographers, such as testing or certification requirements to practice," he said. "People are more willing to settle for lesser quality."
But there are more personal reasons for retiring, too.
"My mother-in-law needed constant care and I wanted to be a full-time caregiver," he said. "Finally, my wife was retiring and I wanted us to spend time together. ... Church is a big part of our lives."
His parents, who started Fogleman Studio in the early 1960s, also need more attention, he added. The Foglemans' two daughters both live out of state, but are in contact daily. Between them, there is one grandson so far with another on the way.
Since permanently closing his doors just after Thanksgiving, Terry Fogleman said it has been easy to slide into retirement.
"The transition was easy. I still take photographs around the house, such as wildlife moving through the property or spider webs glistening with dew, and I'm taking them just for myself and not having to impress anyone," he said.
Mr. Fogleman said he didn't want to distress any clients who might have work outstanding, so he put the numbers of another photographer on the door of his former studio. The numbers belong to Jackie Zlatos, who owns Jackie Z Photography in Deltona.
Ms. Zlatos said she embraces the responsibility to offer the services with the same attention the Foglemans gave it.
"My wish is to preserve the memory of the Fogleman Studio as a respected name and one of the foundational businesses in the heart of Deland," she said, adding that she has known the family for about 20 years. "I recognize their establishment as a part of DeLand's history. ... I'm trying to make it a smooth transition."
Mr. Fogleman is fine with his decision to retire.
"My wife and I are content to enjoy our home," he said. "There is plenty to keep me busy. At 62, and acres of trees and pasture, my wife can write a to-do list faster than I can complete it."
And he has a message for his former clients: "We're very grateful for all the customers over the years who have supported us."