Dominion Photo commemorates 50 years as DC-area camera destination

In a time when camera-store closings are commonplace, we’re happy to report on the 50th anniversary of Falls Church, Va- based brick-and-mortar camera store Dominion Camera. To commemorate the event, Dominion Camera is having a sale July 20, 2019, with reps from Nikon, Canon, Panasonic, Olympus, and Sony, and more.

The camera store, Clarendon Photo Studio and Camera was founded in 1944 and was originally located at 2925 Wilson Blvd in Arlington, VA. Tony Socarras bought the store from the original owner and renamed it Dominion Camera on March 24, 1969. In July of 1971 Dominion camera moved to its current location at 112 West Broad Street in the City of Falls Church, replacing Porter Photography and Studio in the same location. In October 2014 at the age of 85, Socarras retired, and Mohsen “Moe” Jalali and Gary Henry purchased Dominion Camera, combining it with the 12,000 square foot megastore Ace Photo located in Ashburn, Via, making it the largest, oldest and best camera store team in the Washington, DC metro area.

According to Henry, Jalali built Ace Photo into a large-scale camera hardware powerhouse. Henry, who started at age 16 working at Robert Bruce House of Cameras in Connecticut, has a background in professional photography and IT. In 2014, after acquiring Dominion Camera, the two stores cameras and accessories for all segments of the photography and the video business, for the professional and amateur. Dominion Camera and Ace Photo still have a complete film and processing lab onsite, and can print banners up to 64-inches wide. They are members of PRO and IPI, which he adds has been important for learning new ideas and for growth strategies.

Initially hardware-focused, Henry says the plan is to continue to add to the service-side business. Most of the printing is consumer work, though, with their large-format Epson printer, the company does do some large banners for area hotels. Film processing is still alive and well, with about 150 rolls a week coming in.