about snapshot

We are passionate about helping you capture and share the best memories you can!

Family History

Our specialist camera store has been supplying amateur and professional photographers in the Waikato with outstanding service and selection since 1928 and we are proud to have been owned and operated by the same family since 1946.

In 1946 Maurice Boswell bought the 18 year old photographic business of Bells Photography in Hamilton and changed the name to Snapshot. The business operated from Victoria St. opposite Wesley Chambers (now Le Grand Hotel) until moving in 1958 when Maurice purchased the neighbouring building.

In 1952 he married Yvonne Blinkhorne (one of the employees of Bell Bros when he purchased the business). Their son Graham helped in the business as a student then made it his full-time career after leaving school.

Graham and his wife Jill bought the business in 1992, when Maurice retired due to ill health. Their two sons spent some of their childhood helping in the store at various times but decided to pursue careers in unrelated industries. Sam was drawn back to the business and  was a vital part of the team between 2009 and 2018 until leaving to pursue a career as an Architectural Designer.

Since the 1990s the store has been an active member of various buying/marketing groups of independent photo retailers.  In 1990 Snapshot became a founding member of the 20/20 group  and was an active member until 1996 when the store left 20/20 to become a member of the Kodak Express Wizard group. In 2006 we left Kodak Express when we installed the HP Creative Photo Printing system and in 2012 we became a founding member of the Photo Specialty Group of which Graham Boswell is an active committee member.

Over the years there have been enormous changes within the photographic industry as film made way for digital and on-line shopping took off. Before video hire Snapshot was even in the movie hire business! The Boswells have kept pace with all the changes and challenges by continually reinventing their business.

The most recent reinvention was in 2015 when the decision was made to relocate to larger premises closer to Hamilton's central business district. This provided room for an espresso bar, a photo studio/classroom/museum, more retail space for wall decor as well as space behind the scenes for custom framing. The store was designed by Sam Boswell and is very light and modern.

We've had a long relationship with famous brands like Canon, Nikon, Leica, Pentax, Olympus, Kodak, Fujifilm, Ilford, Manfrotto, Lowepro, Sigma, Tamron, Benro, Panasonic and Sony.

The business today bears little resemblance to the business Maurice purchased in 1946. It has survived because of its willingness to change with the times, because of its specialist nature, and because of the wealth of experience that comes with being in the business for so long.

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