History Timeline

Although the Henley’s Photo name has been around since 1948, the business has been serving Bakersfield for over 100 years.

1900 – 1920


1904 – Chas Dorman, a photographer from The Denver Post, and his younger brother Claude began working at Marrow & Hussey; a shop specializing in clothing, hats, and shoes.

1904 – The Beale Memorial Clock Tower was built.

1907 – Dorman brothers partner with John B. James and they form James & Dorman, a portrait studio at 1677 Chester Ave.

1911 – The partnership dissolves and the name is then changes to Dorman Brothers, which remained at 1677 Chester Ave. Meanwhile, James opens the James Studio at 1923 I St.

1915 – The Hollywood cowboys, Gladys Dobbins and Skeeter Bill Robbison, are photographed in the Dorman’s studio.


1920 – 1947


1921 – Dorman’s buy their first car; a Stephens Salient 6.

1928 – The brothers part ways and Chas opens a studio at 1724 Truxton Ave. Claude stays at the same location on Chester Ave, but changed the name from Dorman Bros. to Dorman’s Photo Shop.

1935 – Kodak releases their Kodachrome film to the public.

1935 – Charles F. Dorman passes away on September 23rd.

1945 – Dorman’s is purchased by AE and Everett T. Hamilton.

1946 – Dorman’s is purchased by Robert C. Brown

1947 – Dorman’s is purchased by Owen Daily and R.S. Walsh


1948 – 1952


1948 – Dorman’s Photo Shop is purchased by Joe and Ann Henley.

1949 – The same year the Bakersfield sign was built which spanned Union Ave, Joe hangs the Henley Photo Shop sign on Chester Ave.

1950 – Claude P. Dorman dies on September 19th.

1952 – Bakersfield suffered the greatest earthquake in it’s history. Due to building damage, the store temporarily opens in a tent across the street. Joe, not slowing down, purchases Sorenson Camera Shop.


1953 – 1960


1954 – Joe officially changes the name from Dorman’s Photo Shop to Henley’s Photo Shop.

1959 – A Hasselblad exposition brings the work of Ansel Adams to be displayed at Henley’s Photo.

1960 – Joe employs Celine Elliot.


1960 – 1976


1961 – Buck Owens released his first album.

1962 – Henley’s Photo opened a new location at the Hillcrest
Shopping center.

1964 – Beale Memorial Clock Tower moved to the Kern County
History Museum.

1973 – Henley’s is commissioned to photograph the West branch construction of the California aqueduct.

1975 – Kodak builds the first digital camera prototype.


1977 – 1984


1977 – Henley’s moved from it’s location on Chester Ave. to our current location on H St.


1985 – 2010


1985 – Former managers, Tom Burch and Paul Cooper, purchase the business from Barbara Henley.

1991 – Joe Henley passes away on June 11th, 1991.

1995 – Paul Cooper sells his share of the company to Tom, who continued to run Henley’s with his family.

1999 – The Bakersfield sign is rebuilt on Buck Owens Blvd.
Nikon releases the D1; the first DSLR.

2010 – Tom Burch retires and sells the business to the Neville family. After 50 years of service, Celine Elliot also retires. Craig Neville continued to employ many of the previous staff and hired several additional team members, including the Bunting brothers.


2010 – 2013


2011 – The building goes through a remodel and new cabinets, windows, and an LED sign.

2011 – Mayor Harvey Hall declares July 13th, 2011 to be “Henley’s Photo Day”.

2012 – Henley’s Builds a Public Darkroom.

2012 – Jimmy Bunting volunteers to be the Chairman of Photography
for the Kern County Fair.

2013 – The Neville family arranged the sale of Henley’s Photo to their former sales manager, Jimmy Bunting and his family. The Bunting family carries on the Henley legacy.


2014 – 2015


2014 – The building goes through another make over and Henley’s remodels to accommodate for its changing needs.

2014 – A state of the art kiosk is installed in the showroom and the entrance is spruced up with the addition of potted plants.

2015 – Friend and Colleague Brian Wolfe, owner of Classic Cameras in Tehachapi, passes away.

2015 – Henley’s Photo builds a fully functional website which includes the ability to order online prints, online store, and an eBay store.