Photography store manager celebrates 30 years

Baxter and Maree manager Tracy Hallett has worked at the Dempster Street storefront for 30 years. Photo: Sarah Makse.
Baxter and Maree manager Tracy Hallett has worked at the Dempster Street storefront for 30 years. Photo: Sarah Makse.

Plenty has changed in the world of photography over the last three decades and one hard working local has had a front row seat to the action.

This year, Baxter and Maree shop manager Tracy Hallett celebrated 30 years of work at the same Dempster Street storefront.

Despite changes to the business name and ownership, Ms Hallett has remained a familiar face providing renowned customer service to her community.

Ms Hallett said a lot has changed since she stepped foot in Professional Photographics for her first day of work as a junior sales associate in 1989.

"I started when I was 15-years-old and I was absolutely scared out of my brain - it was a new job and new experience," she said.

Ms Hallett has worked full time ever since, carefully printing the memories of visitors and locals and evolving her skills to keep up with changes in technology.

She began processing 35mm film, eventually learning digital printing until shifting to specialty photography and framing services when the store launched as Baxter and Maree three years ago.

"On a daily basis I mainly work with photos, processing, checking photos, cameras, accessories and I've also started to learn the framing side of things," she said.

"It was amazing when digital cameras first came out, but it was only one megabyte and I thought 'oh this is not going to take'.

"The cameras were big and clunky and I remember seeing a photo come out of it and thinking 'I'm going to stick to film there's no way I'm switching to digital'.

"Now film is coming back, all the young ones are getting into the 35mm again."

Ms Hallett moved to Esperance from South Australia when she was six-years-old and said she loved getting to know the community through her work.

"We get a lot of regulars and a lot of people that need help, I just love interacting with people," she said.

"It's really strange because some customers have come in and they've had babies and now their babies have had babies and they've all come into the shop."

Baxter and Maree owner Warren Andrews said Ms Hallett's wealth of experience makes her an invaluable asset.

"She goes way beyond what the customers need, her customer relations are perfect, I hope she sticks around for a little bit longer," he said.

Ms Hallett said the friendly workplace kept her coming back and she didn't predict her time on Dempster Street would come to an end anytime soon.

"I look forward to coming to work everyday, I really enjoy working with Tammy and Warren, I feel very comfortable with them and we tend to have a good laugh," she said.