It all started with a decision.

Our company started in 1955 when Calvin Sr. made the decision to work in photography full time. Janet, his wife, found out about the decision while at work with a simple phone call stating "I quit my job today". Her response was "You did what?"

Calvin Harrell Photography. Oakland, CA "1955"

Calvin Harrell Photography. Oakland, CA "1955"

Old Office & Lab 1955.

Old Office & Lab 1955.

Humble beginnings

Photographing church events, political events, fraternity/sorority events, weddings and any type of work he could get, and processing the pictures in a make shift darkroom housed in the family bathroom, his small business began to grow.


In 1960’s, Calvin Sr. and Janet began the process of expanding their home and adding a studio and lab to the original home on 66th Street in North Oakland, CA.


In 1998, after 43 years in business, Calvin Sr. and Janet decided to retire and relinquished the enterprise to the next generation. A new location in downtown Oakland was acquired. During the next five years, a special effort was made to contract with schools throughout the Bay Area.

The Move to Benicia

In 2006 the business relocated to its current location in Benicia, California. The plant houses all production and administrative offices and is the launching point for photographers serving schools throughout Northern California.