Our Legacy

Robert and Edith Garrett

Robert Garrett was born and raised during the Great Depression and left the home of his abusive stepfather at the young age of 15. There was no work to be found for him, so he joined a community of traveling photographers who took him under their wing. He moved around the country with them, taking pictures from town to town, sending the film to be developed, and delivering the prints to the general store two weeks later. He was able to use these skills to eventually gain employment with the original Olan Mills studio in 1938. Olan Mills sent him and a teammate to set up small, temporary studios all over the southeast.

On one assignment, Robert was in Ariton Alabama when a young woman, Edith, and her brother came into his studio to be photographed. He took the photos, then asked her to get a soda with him. Though she was engaged at the time, she agreed, and brought a friend along to meet up with Robert and his coworker after work. They fell quickly and greatly in love and within three weeks of first meeting the two lovebirds eloped.

Bob, Edith and little Georgia while living in Springfield, Ohio.
Edith Garrett on the PPA circuit speaking about sales and business development in the photography industry
Bob and Edith outside Garrett’s Home of Photography in Columbus Georgia

Robert and Edith traveled and worked together for a little bit with Olan Mills, but the nomadic lifestyle was not suitable for the family that was soon to grow, so they settled down in Springfield Ohio, and had their first daughter, Georgia. Over the next decade, this husband-wife team worked tirelessly in sawmills, rented photography studios, and the home while raising their now four daughters, until they saved up enough money to purchase a historic home in Columbus, Georgia. This home became both residence and business for the family. 

During this era, Garrett’s Home of Photography specialized in weddings and portraits and grew to include many photographic, lab, and support staff. Robert was in charge of capturing images and processing in the lab, while Edith worked full time in the offices, overseeing accounting and sales. In this time women did not typically work outside the home, but Edith began the legacy of Garrett women in photography raising children around the business. 

By the time of their retirement, Edith was a published author and recognized speaker in the realm of business development and was recognized by the Professional Photographers of America (PPofA) as a Photographic Craftsman. Robert eventually became the president of the Professional Photographers of Georgia and was recognized by the PPofA as a Master of Photography and Photographic Craftsman. The business they built together was featured in the Time Life book on photography. In his lifetime, Robert Garrett went from runaway to millionaire, husband of 64 years, and father to four daughters

Garrett and Lane

Georgia Garrett met Jim Lane at Columbus State University where they both studied. She the head cheerleader and he a basketball stud, they hit it off, began dating, and got married in 1960. Through Georgia, Jim got a job photographing weddings at Garrett’s Home of Photography. Though he had a great work ethic, Jim was not a fan of the schedule or stuffy uniform of a wedding photographer and came up with a new business venture to bring to Columbus: color film processing.

At the time, color film was on the cutting edge of the industry, and the only places east of the Mississippi river that were equipped to process color film were in New York and associated with Eastman-Kodak. With the investment of Jim & Georgia and Robert & Edith Garrett, the four photographers founded Garrett and Lane Color Labs, the first independent color processing lab east of the Mississippi. They processed their own images and took mail orders from all over the country. 

Georgia and Jim worked tirelessly selling for the lab on a national level by going to trade shows and vising with photographers.  The business thrived through the 1960s and 70s, so much so that they had to move out of the original home and into a larger business space. In order for Georgia to better relate to the photographers she was connecting with, she cultivated her own skills in fine art photography.  Through these years, Georgia and Jim had three children, two sons, and a daughter, Lesle. Though the business was thriving, the marriage between Jim and Georgia was failing and they split by 1975.

Georgia Garrett at the Professional Photographers of American convention promoting the business
Jim Lane capturing weddings in the 60’s while working for Edith and Bob.
Georgia Garrett and Jim Lane in the lobby of Garrett & Lane Color Lab
Joe McGuire

What seemed like halfway across the world, Joe McGuire was born in Warren Ohio, the son of a lab technician in a local pharmacy. Joe got his photographic start in the basement where they processed film. He eventually went to Miami of Ohio on a football scholarship but was injured early on and became a sports photographer with the university.  With those skills, he was drafted for the Korean war. Joe was an army photographer deployed to capture the reality of the front lines. After he developed the film in rice patties, couriers would take the film in a confidential envelope to the generals at headquarters. Although grazed by a bullet while photographing with his 4×5 camera, he continued serving his country until the war was over. 

Upon returning home from the war, he worked for the photographer Robert Young and eventually bought that business from him. He became more specialized in advertising photography and successfully shot for many global companies. He was a charismatic speaker, and his technical knowledge of the industry was unparalleled, so the PPofA brought him onto the national lecture circuit to educate others.

Joe McGuire and unknown soldier outside their processing tent during the Korean War.
Joe McGuire working on the Uniroyal account with a local ad agency.
Georgia Garrett

Through the years, Georgia had been honing her craft as a photographer in her own right, while managing quality control, overseeing customer service, and using the sales skills she learned in her parents’ business for the benefit of her own organization.  Her passion was still found in fine art photography and she worked for years documenting the lives of the Appalachian people. She worked hard to earn their trust and eventually captured volumes of photographs of a people group who have since dwindled to nearly nothing. All with a small daughter, Lesle, by her side. This work with the Appalachian people made her so well known that she was asked to give a lecture at a 1976 PPofA State convention in Denver Colorado.

Georgia Garrett and Frank Rickman with local mountain people
McGuire Studio Inc.

While they were both lecturing at the same convention in Denver, Joe McGuire met Ms. Georgia Garrett. Their connection was instant and electric. The week of the convention was spent pursuing professional growth and personal chemistry. Not long after the convention, Joe asked Georgia to marry him, and Georgia said yes. So, in 1977 they married, and Georgia moved with Lesle to Indianapolis.

The professional teamwork of Joe and Georgia only made both professionals stronger. Joe’s technical knowledge made her great images soar and his specialty in commercial photography made for a sustainable business that was successful for decades in the Indy area. Joe spent years photographing in the pits at the Indy 500, eventually opening the door for Georgia to be the first female photographer allowed to photograph in the pits in 1977; she had the honor of photographing the first woman IndyCar racer both in the pits and journalistically capturing her life for a month-long assignment.

Together, alongside other photographers and staff, they operated the business until Joe could not continue working due to a stroke in 1992. Joe was recognized by the PPofA as a Master of Photography and Photographic Craftsman and was the President of Professional Photographers of Indiana. He loved Lesle as his own and passed down to her wisdom, business sense, and a love for commercial photography.

Georgia achieved the rank of Master of Photography and Photographic Craftsman from the PPofA. Georgia is still capturing the beauty of nature through the lens of a camera in St. Augustine Florida, and along with her three kids now has seven grandchildren and twelve great grandchildren.

Georgia and Joe working in the pits of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Joe working with Lesle using her first camera
Lesle Lane

The most recent in a long line of photographers, Lesle took over the business from her mother and stepfather in 1992, as a new graduate from Butler University. With the suddenness of Joe’s illness, he was unable to complete the practical training he had planned for Lesle. So, with a fire in her belly, she, alongside a dear friend and lab technician, Tena, worked nights and weekends honing her skills. Lesle would shoot, Tena would process the film, Lesle would make small corrections, and so on until the images turned out right. Many days and nights Georgia would review the film that Lesle and Tena created together and further critique the images with her incredible design eye.  This is how Lesle taught herself the finer points of her craft.

Lesle was the on the forefront of the digital photography movement in the 90s and made McGuire Studio one of the first Indianapolis studios to use a digital camera. For years, the business was run by Lesle with Tena at her side until Tena passed from a battle with breast cancer in 2022.

Now after nearly 30 years of experience in the commercial photography industry, Lesle has been awarded national recognition for her images and worked alongside national and international companies to bring their businesses to life. She has expanded her business to include a team of majority female photographers and staff behind her brand.

The image on the left is Lesle and Tena after their first industrial shoot in Bluffton, Indiana. The image on the right is when Lesle received her very first Merit Award from the PPA.
So this is our legacy:

Like her grandmother before her, Lesle is pioneering a woman-empowering business in a male-dominated industry.

Like her mother before her, Lesle embraced cutting edge technology when all others were unsure.

And setting an example for her children, Lesle has persevered through economic ups and downs.

She is not only third-generation photographer in her family, but the third generation of female entrepreneurs.  It is a legacy to be proud of.

Privacy Settings
We use cookies to enhance your experience while using our website. If you are using our Services via a browser you can restrict, block or remove cookies through your web browser settings. We also use content and scripts from third parties that may use tracking technologies. You can selectively provide your consent below to allow such third party embeds. For complete information about the cookies we use, data we collect and how we process them, please check our Privacy Policy
Consent to display content from - Youtube
Consent to display content from - Vimeo
Google Maps
Consent to display content from - Google