For years, it's been a right of passage, getting family portraits done at Sears.

Now it's no more.

The company has announced that it is shutting down all of its portrait studios, effective immediately. Sears operated studios at several locations in Maine, including Augusta, Brunswick and South Portland.

The following email was posted on the main page of the Sears Portrait Studio website on April 4.

Dear Valued Customer Family,

After many years of providing family portrait photography, we are sad to announce our Sears Portrait Studios are now closed.  We appreciate your patronage and allowing us to capture your precious memories.  If you currently have an album or have had a recent portrait session, you can order products at searsphotos.com thru April 18, 2013.

Sincerely,
Jim Abel
President and Chief Executive Officer
Sears Portrait Studio