Take it to the limit

Another one of those well thought out, knowing-nod to popular culture titles, eh? Well hello again to any blog followers I still have left. It has been a while.

Last weekend I was in London at the SWPP (The Photographic Societies) annual Convention, one of the largest UK conventions mainly for professional photographers. I was invited by a company to be on their stand at the 3-day trade show. This particular company retails and distributes lighting equipment and printers primarily aimed at the fast print market…event photographers and in-store print kiosks.

I was not brought in as a sales person, but as a photography demonstrator and to advise customers coming to the stand about my experiences using the lighting in real-wold photography business situations.
So many times we were being asked “Tell me about that light”. I noticed that sales people either start by saying the price or reading a spec sheet.

My approach was to ask a series of four questions:

  1. “Who are you?”
  2. “What do you do?”
  3. “What do you already know?”
  4. “What do you hope that the purchase of that light will do for you?”

A series of customer-focused questions. 1 and 2 designed to find out the basics about the customer. 3 was to make sure I wasn’t treating the customer like an idiot and to save time going through the basic skills. 4 was to establish where my best and impartial advice was going to be directed.

We all love new toys and there are many wonderful new toys out there. They are released by manufacturers who would like you to believe that by throwing money at this thing or that, you will be a better photographer.


My advice to anyone thinking about buying gear is this,

  1. Work to the absolute limit of the equipment you already own.
  2. Achieve the limit of your own knowledge and understanding.
  3. Ask questions of those who are already at a skill and knowledge level above you.
  4. By this time you will actually know if it is right to spend your money.

Spend your time in learning and educating yourself. There are innumerable resources out there in internet-land. Watch the videos, read the articles and reviews, best of all spend time (and money) meeting and training with the best.

That’s all the free advice I’m giving you. If you want to know more, sign up for one of my training workshops….. 😉

A couple of images from my presentations in London.


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