Jody Grober of Roberts Camera Is Retiring

Jody Grober King of the barbeque
Jody Grober King of the barbeque

If you have watched any of the “On The Rocks” videos produced by this site, then Jody Grober will be someone you are familiar with. Jody has a quick wit, an unusual sense of humor (to say the least!), and a giant heart. When it comes to the things Jody says, he doesn’t have the best filter in town. At least you always know where you stand with him!

Jody has decided it is time for him to quit or, shall we say, retire. Through some magical algorithm, he has concluded that he may die early, and thus he thinks it is time to stop and enjoy life. Frankly, I hope he has done some bad math, as I would like to see him hang around for a while.  

Kevin Raber, Jody Grober and Phil Gibson on our trip to photograph eagles
Kevin Raber, Jody Grober, and Phil Gibson on our trip to photograph eagles

The Video (36:00)

I sat down with Jody and talked to him about his adventures in photography, his future plans, and stories from his store days.

Jody Grober
Jody Grober

Jody has a big plan that he will retire and just do things around the house and take pictures. Maybe he will even get in a little travel. I know that I will miss him at Roberts Camera, as it feels like I have known him forever. I have come to rely on him a lot.

Would you buy a camera from this guy?
Would you buy a camera from this guy?

So, you may be asking, what’s so special about Jody? He is genuine and doesn’t bullshit you. I have watched him go to the ends of the earth to find products and help clients out. Many of you may have had that same experience. He has thousands of customers that he is turning over to his well-trained crew. They will take just as good of care of you when it comes to your needs at Roberts, but it is not going to be like it was when Jody was here.

Since 2002, when I moved to Indianapolis, I have purchased a ton of gear from Jody. He has some very big clients. But whether you are big or small, you always get the same dedication from him in fulfilling your needs, which everyone appreciates.  

I’m sure you all have a local store where—no matter what the business is, or how busy they are—when you come in, the salespeople find time to talk with you. Mixing in fun stories, or even odd jokes and stories. You could always count on Jody to make you laugh and smile. Going to Roberts Camera is the kind of place that offers so much more than just buying a camera.  Jody and all the people there have set the bar high when it comes to customer satisfaction.

He knows how to drive snowmobiles
He knows how to drive snowmobiles

Jody wouldn’t be Jody without his wife Mary Jane. They have been together for too many years to count, and they are perfectly made for each other. They have the best kind of relationship, as they treat each other as respected friends. They go out and take pictures together. Jody admits that she is a better photographer than he is. I think he knows how to play that card right. And, I have to say, her photos are pretty impressive. She’s a sweet and loving woman and a lot of fun to hang around with.

I think they will have a lot of fun over the coming years. Jody and Mary Jane have a backyard that is all garden. It’s one of kind, and with warmer weather coming in, they’re going to have lots of garden projects to do together.

Jody's invention for carrying gear (never made it to market)
Jody’s invention for carrying gear (never made it to market)

Every summer, Jody plays host to a giant garden party. They invite hundreds of people to visit, and everyone brings food. In fact, I don’t remember ever seeing so much food! Jody is the chef, and he spends days prepping and barbecuing some of the most delicious treats you can imagine. Jody, by the time I get there, is usually a bit toasted himself, and it isn’t from being too close to the grill. All in all, it makes for an afternoon and evening you won’t forget. Hopefully, we will be past COVID-19 enough to enjoy the event this year, since last year’s party was canceled.

A very happy chef
A very happy chef

I could go on and on about Jody and the great times I had with him. I did sit him down and we chatted for a while, and you can enjoy that talk on the video above.  

I’m looking forward to Jody retiring, as I may get a chance to play with him more. He is considering doing some writing for photoPXL, and we will certainly do some photo excursions together.  I’m confident that you will see a few adventures that we may have.

Jody in Yellowstone, notice the well practiced squat and shoot technique.
Jody in Yellowstone, notice the well-practiced squat and shoot technique.

Jody will be missed by many. He was an integral part of Roberts. However, I know that he leaves Roberts in good hands, and his team as well as all of the staff are ready to make sure you and all the customers are taken care of. Roberts is a one-of-a-kind operation. So many camera stores have closed, and Roberts manages to always reinvent themselves to stay relevant and needed.  

If you are ever in Indianapolis, you have to do two things. One is to make a visit to Roberts. Their used department is unbelievable, and the new camera and retail side are a lot of fun to explore. Plan on sticking around for a while and chatting it up. Two, make sure you look me up. Visit my gallery and studio, and we will call Jody and enjoy a beer together.

One of Jody's other passions is motorcycles
One of Jody’s other passions is motorcycles

Thanks, Jody. You are one of a kind. I look forward to hanging out with you and continuing to do “On The Rocks” episodes together. Also, let’s make a point to get together occasionally at the store and annoy Phil. It will make his day. I know I speak for a lot of people out there.  Thanks for doing what you do. You have helped a lot of people along the way.

Look what just arrived
Look what just arrived

Jody Photos

Below are a large selection of Jody pictures. Some of them are of Jody at his finest, and maybe a few show him not in his finest moments. Nonetheless, these are great memories of a great man, who always made sure he wasn’t always first.  Thanks to everyone who contributed to this gallery.

Click any image to see larger, use the arrow icons to move forward or backward.  When you have had enough, click the close button on the bottom right.

Jody, we will miss you at the store.  I look forward to many more laughs.  Thank you Mary Jane for keeping him well tamed for the rest of us to enjoy.

Kevin Raber
March 2020
Kevin Raber
Indianapolis, IN

Photography is my passion and has been for 50 plus years. My career in photography has allowed me to travel the world, meet some of the most interesting people on the planet and see things I could never have dreamed of. My goal is to share the passion of picture taking through photographs and teaching with as many people as I can, hoping it brings them as much joy and happiness as it has me. I do this through, this site, as well as Rockhopper Workshops, and other projects, as well as teaching as Artist In Residence at the Indianapolis Art Center.

Article Type: News, Columns, Videos, MISC

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