H&H began in the basement of Wayne and Shirley Haub’s residence in a sleepy suburb of Kansas City, Missouri, in 1970. Wayne and his brother, Ted Haub, owned a portrait studio that had just landed its first high school senior contract. With a background in and love for color printing, Wayne chose to install his own color processing equipment in the basement of his home to process film and to print the black and white and color photographs that were demanded by the senior market of that generation.
Other photographers began asking Wayne to print their work; business increased; and so did the need for additional employees. What began with one person (Wayne) doing all the processing, printing, invoicing, telephone, purchasing, maintenance, etc., now took five people! The small-home business no longer encompassed the basement level, but now engulfed the garage, extra bedroom, and kitchen areas. And with a growing family, it was time to move! So, in 1974 a small 1,200 square-foot home at 8906 East 67th Street, our present location, was purchased and renovated. In 2020, this complex now encompasses over 5 acres of property, including 60,000 square feet under one roof, and an additional 7 free-standing homes that were purchased for parking and the needed property expansion projects over the years.
Over time, the process of making photographs began to change dramatically. To keep up with business, the lab had to stay current with equipment and trends in the photographic world. Digital cameras were sending images directly to computers. Darkrooms and film were becoming a thing of the past. Our customers were trying to sort out what kind of equipment to invest in. They were trying to understand how this digital space would change how they did business. This was a tough thing to do, while still balancing running a business. H&H knew that education in this new space was very important. From the very beginning, H&H realized that teaching customers better ways to do business, or simply sharing newer digital technologies would only help the industry thrive as a whole.
In 2002, H&H University was established with the simple motto “Keeping you in touch with changing technology.” Digital technology had all of us scrambling for the right answers to our countless questions. H&H University became a respected source of truth and a place where photographers knew that the only agenda was helping them succeed. Today we continue this tradition with world-class training where the focus goes way beyond just digital printing. Our continuing education focuses on helping independent photographers build successful businesses, competing with large national companies in volume school, sports, events. For the portrait/wedding photographer we conduct classes for photographic and sales techniques and the technology of online sales tools for galleries, IPS (both remote and in studio); mobile apps, and much more.
Digital was just the beginning of change for the independent professional photographer, and H&H has never stopped our mission of support. In 2002, we had a building full of film processors and optical printing equipment that soon had to be retired. We had to refurbish our building with the latest computers, digital printers and all the extra equipment that follows. We continued to embrace technology as it changed and moved our industry; investing millions of dollars in technology, our own IT department and turnkey integrated programs to help the independent professional photographer diversify, grow and prosper their businesses. With our expert understanding of the photographic demands of data, images and automation, HH has built software and manufacturing systems for both the volume and portrait/wedding photographer that delivers astounding product personalization, add-on sale delivery, packing and multiple-sale delivery that’s easy on the studio workload.
From our Total Schools Programs, Total Sports Programs, hhimagehost software, hhschools software, hhsports software, hhstudio software, in-house image background extraction technology, Velocity album design software, N-Vu’s online app for galleries, in-person sales, and mobile apps, we have come a long way, weathered the storm, and developed solutions that work.
Throughout these changes, one thing has remained constant…the H&H culture shaped by a serious commitment to our core values and customer focus. Just ask anyone who has visited H&H about our commitment and about our team members. This attitude becomes a shared value with customer service employees, production employees as well as front staff. There is a feeling of mutual shared passion towards our customer. There is a constant desire to get it right, whatever that looks like on a given day. This can mean changing how we do something as a lab in terms of processes, utilizing lean principles, introducing different workflow solutions for our customers, or by changing the structure of work schedules. We don’t take chances or risks with our customers. At the same time, we are aggressive, constant, dedicated and focused in developing leading products and technology to help our customers succeed in each changing market.
At H&H Color Lab, customer satisfaction is not an unrealistic goal, but a principle of our business. Our strongest interest and focus is the customer. Customer satisfaction is our strong suit, our forte, and our customers realize this. The virtues of honesty and integrity are important to us. We strive to make our relationship with our customers one built on respect, satisfaction, and trust.
H&H now celebrates its 50th year in business and continues to set the industry standard in color, quality and customer service.
And after 50 years, our mission continues!