Capital Photo Studio – Keeping the Memories of Generations, and Telling the Story of Time

2022-May-6 17:35 By:

Cang Guanglie, photographer of the Capital Photo Studio

Show your smile with the eyes, yes, that’s right, great. Turn your head a bit, yes, good! A little more, yes, really good! It's perfect, awesome!

Inside the Capital Photo Studio located on the Hufang Road, photography master Cang Guanglie is shooting individual shots for a lady in cheongsam. The nostalgic setting, the finely tuned lights, and the traditional cheongsam costume are jointly creating a retro style of the old days.

Ms. Wang:I feel more than lucky today. I did not expect to be served by a photography master today at this photo studio. He’s very meticulous in telling me the poses I should give and the feel I can expect.

Founded in 1952, the studio’s main business was graduation photos, family photos and portrait photos, and in the early 1990s, there was a craze for children’s photos and each day there were people queueing just to take a shot here.

Cang Guanglie, photographer of the Capital Photo Studio

Within three years we took 100,000 shots for the children. At the time, there were 100,000 newborns each year in Beijing. Because of our shooting effort in this segment alone, we won the Labor Day Award in 1996, the award is hung right at the entrance, and we are very proud of it.

Cang Guanglie, photographer of the Capital Photo Studio

This is the earliest camera we used. It has a shutter, right here, purely manual control and it lasted for more than 20 years. The most classic shot taken with this device was the nine athletes from the Chinese Climbing Team at Mount Everest.

Nowadays, photography has entered the digital era, and old cameras have become an item of collection for photography enthusiasts.

Cang Guanglie, photographer of the Capital Photo Studio

Mamiya rb67, this was top of the line at the time.

Mr. Tan: Does it still work today?

Cang Guanglie: Absolutely

Mr. Tan: One, two, three.

Cang Guanglie: Awesome, great shot!

Mr. Tan: Thank you!

Cang Guanglie: It’s a good one.

Mr. Tan: Looks pretty formal.

Mr. Tan:

With the old camera comes a special sense of seriousness, and you can expect a sense of fulfillment as if you’ve just finished a piece of art work.

The old photos in the window of the Capital Photo Studio tell the most beautiful story of time in people’s hearts.

Li Zhenmin

The best memories of my family, all the big moments, are kept by the Capital Photo Studio. The wedding photos, family photos of my family and my father’s family, the pop-star-styled photos from childhood, all were taken in the studio. It feels quite sentimental because the studio is right next door.

Photographer: Cang Guanglie

I started my career in December 1971 and worked 50 years until 2021. I’ve gone through the film era, cartridge era, and now to the digital era. The gears are constantly evolving, you’d be left behind if you don’t keep abreast of the times and improve your artistic taste.

Apart from photo taking, the Capital Photo Studio also provides photo restoration services which bring worn-out photos back to life and renew the good memories for its customers.

Capital Photo Studio Photographer Restorer: Wu Wencheng

This photo is very special. A married couple brought an old photo to us in pieces. They tore it apart after an argument, but they came here to take a new one in the old style. I hope the photo helped them build a stronger bond.

Chen Liansheng:

In 1956, I was manager of the Zhushikou Restaurant, my mother came to see me, so we took a picture at a studio on Qianmen Street. Later, I lost the photo but one day I found the film of the photo. I just took the film to the Capital Photo Studio and they printed a new one for me. I was 20 years old in 1956 and now I’m 86 years old. How time flies!

With the change of the times, the Capital Photo Studio has been constantly exploring and innovating, and in 2021, it was recognized as a “Time-honored Enterprise in Beijing”.

Manager of Capital Photo Studio: Liu Zixun

I hope that the customers who come to the Capital Photo Studio will not only get a beautiful shot, but also feel the historical and cultural atmosphere of the studio.

Editor: Zhang Zhou
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