They're in their third location and now owned and operated by the third generation of the Wells family.
Wells Camera & Sound Fotosource has been Moose Jaw's one-stop-shop for cameras and all things related to photography for decades and these days it's Chad Wells running the operation.
"My grandfather originally started the business. We started life as Excello Photo, and we were located in downtown Moose Jaw. It was after the war he started Excello Photo as a photo studio and supply company," Chad explained.
It was almost 30 years later when the decision was made to move to the brand-new Town 'n Country Mall.
"That was 1973 when the Town 'n Country Mall first opened their doors, my dad opened Wells Camera & Sound. We actually operated both stores for a time but then they shut down Excello and operated as Wells Camera & Sound in the mall."
Chad says his family's new store was one of the first to commit to the new mall.
"We had no windows when we first opened - they hadn't even installed the glass yet," Chad laughed. "They were still putting finishing touches on the building."
In fact, Wells Camera & Sound called the mall home from '73 through 2001 so Chad not only remembers those days well, but he also spent a number of years working for his dad in that shop.
"I worked there from 1993 until 2001 and then we moved downtown again. We're currently at 1102 Main Street and you know, third generation, third location!"
Many longtime Moose Javians will remember Chad's dad, Bob, playing for the Moose Jaw Canucks in his younger days. Bob played two years of junior hockey with the Canucks in 1968-69 and 1969-70 before going to St. Lawrence University to play hockey for a couple of seasons.
"And he still loves his hockey," Chad chuckled.
These days Chad stays busy running the shop and raising his own family.
"My wife and I are running the company and she works for a software company in Regina as well. We have two little ones, we had twins this year, twin boys, so that keeps us on our toes!"
And Bob keeps Chad on his toes too.
"Bob's doing well. He still comes in to drive us crazy once in a while," Chad said with a smile.
Chad also leans on the expertise of a number of employees including Mac Anderson.
"Yes, Mr. Anderson is still with us. He's a longtime, loyal employee of ours. He's a good man."
Chad says staying on top of constantly changing technology is a challenge he has enjoyed over the years and the shop reflects it. And he pointed out, the fact local people have embraced the changes over the years is something he's most grateful for.
"We need to thank the community for all the support. It's the attitude of shopping and supporting local that keeps people like ourselves and others in business. We just couldn't do it without the support of the community."
Wells Camera & Sound Fotosource is, perhaps, a more streamlined store than it was in years gone by and that was by design, Chad explained.
"Yes, actually, we've got three areas of focus that we've stuck with over the years - a mix my dad came up with starting in 1976 and they are television, camera and photo lab. And we've really branched out into flat-panel TVs, Samsung flat panel TVs have been a big part of the business for us."
If you go to https://wellscamera.ca/ you'll find out all about Wells Camera & Sound and all the gear they have including the cameras and all the accessories.
"We work closely with a number of professional photographers and advanced amateurs and with people who just want to take better pictures. You know, we love doing it - working with people. That's one of the great things about a local business as opposed to a big box store, it's much more personal. We get to know people by their first names and it's really quite a joy, it makes going to work nice."
Wells Camera & Sound has a number of services to offer from photo printing to photos on canvas, photo mounts, aluminum prints, photo albums and books and, like Chad said, the best of the best when it comes to televisions.
"Television has really changed a lot over the past five years. A TV is much more than just a television nowadays. It has become a media centre. A smart TV has weather and news, it can connect to your phone for pictures. It's so much more than a television now."
And while they've sold a number of top-quality products from a variety of manufacturers, the focus is on Samsung TVs these days at Wells Camera & Sound.
"What we've tried to do is stay focused on whoever is making the best product. We've always had our best success with carrying good products - not necessarily the cheapest...we want to carry the high-end products - we want to carry the best. We do a lot of research into that, and you know, it changes...and we just want to stay on top of that and whoever is making the best quality product is what we want to carry," Chad explained.
And when it comes to photography, Wells Camera & Sound delivers the top-name brands.
"Our key brands for camera gear are Nikon, Canon and Panasonic. Canon is really the leader. They're our number one."
It's true these days that everyone has a camera because everyone has a smartphone, but Chad is pleased to report that hasn't really hurt his business.
"The trend is actually going the other way and what we're seeing is the manufacturers like Canon and Nikon are doing a lot of research and development into new and exciting products that a cell phone camera just can't compete with. Nikon is a good example of that, they have one with a 3000-millimetre zoom that can photograph something from more than a mile away. It's absolutely amazing."
Chad also wants the community to know they offer photo restoration at Wells Camera & Sound. We all have those old photos of grandma and grandpa or mom and dad that maybe don't look so good anymore but if you take those photos to Wells, chances are they can save them for you.
"That's Steph Stephens' specialty. Steph is another longtime employee of ours. She does a fantastic job with restoration. That would be a torn photo, a photo with water damage or maybe you want somebody removed from a photo (Chad laughed) she's done it all!"
The folks at Wells can also help you out with any scanning or archiving projects you might have. They can digitize your photographs or negatives and they'll save your CDs to DVDs or flash drives.
"One of the archiving products work with these days are slide film. A lot of people shot a lot of images on slides from the mid-70s to the mid-80s and you can now digitize those and put them in a modern album," Chad said.
The best way to check out the variety of products and services at Wells Camera & Sound is to drop into the shop at 1102 Main Street North. And you can check out the website before you go.