End of an Era? Sears Portrait Studio Closes Chain might try to find a new photographer By John Johnson, Newser Staff Posted Apr 5, 2013 6:32 PM CDT 14 comments Comments Stock image of a photo studio. (Shutterstock) (Newser) – The digital age might have another victim: Sears has shut down its portrait studio, at least for now, after the photography company that has been snapping family portraits for the chain since 1959 abruptly closed up shop, reports the Wall Street Journal. CPI Corp. also ran studios at Walmart and Babies "R" Us, and all three retailers are scrambling to figure out next steps. Sears is "exploring all options" to resume portrait services, says the company. It was just a matter of time, writes Chris Gampat at the Phoblographer blog. People are taking their own photos with their own digital cameras, and they care less about prints. "This trend started in the wedding industry and it was only a matter of time until it hit retailers." Adds Stan Horaczek at PopPhoto: "The world doesn't necessarily need any more photos of awkward families plunked in front of fireplaces. But, it does say something about how willing people are to pay for photography in general."