About Us, School Photos, Portrait Photography - Strawbridge Studios

History of Strawbridge Studios

Strawbridge Studios, Inc. is a 4th generation, family owned, American school portrait and yearbook company located in Durham, N.C.

Founder J.E. Strawbridge became a school photographer in 1921. After two years of learning and practicing the photography trade, he decided to open Strawbridge Studios in 1923.  After 28 years of hard work of launching and developing his business, J.E. retired and passed the business onto his son, Harold, in 1951.

Harold Strawbridge, a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army and a graduate of North Carolina State University, successfully ran the company and continued the growth set in motion by his father for over 30 years. He was instrumental in the implementation of package printing, and transitioned the company from black and white photography into color. Harold pioneered bringing yearbooks under the Strawbridge umbrella, expanding the products available to current and potential customers. This development allowed Strawbridge to serve customers in new territories outside of North Carolina.  The business practices and standards implemented by Harold Strawbridge are still upheld as core foundations of the company today. 

Harold Strawbridge then passed down the family business to his son, Ken Strawbridge. Ken followed in the footsteps of his father and also graduated from North Carolina State University before entering the family business. Throughout his career, he has expanded the business that his grandfather and father worked so diligently to build. He has managed a successful sales force and has automated the production facility to bring it into the 21st century. Ken and his wife Robin have three sons, Mike, David and Kevin. Mike Strawbridge currently serves as the President of Strawbridge Studios. Like his father and grandfather, Mike is a graduate of NC State University. He has learned a great deal from the generations before him and looks forward to leading the company into the future.

The Strawbridge family values the rich tradition of the school portrait industry. They are deeply concerned with the satisfaction of the schools they work with, the customers who purchase their products and the employees who support their business. The Strawbridges stress three main rules when running their operation: Do what is right, do what is best and treat others the way you want to be treated. With those rules guiding thought and action, Strawbridge Studios, Inc. has grown from a local portrait studio to an interstate photography operation servicing 18 states and Washington, D.C. Strawbridge Studios is a true example of an American, family-owned business.


Experience a company that does the right thing, does their best, and treats you the way you want to be treated.