a shout out to penn camera
i'm a big fan of ordering online - especially my camera gear. we have a camera store in our mall which is ok but it's always crowded and you're never sure if you're talking to someone who actually owns a camera or to a high school kid who just wants a part-time job to make a few bucks.
a few months ago i was doing a shoot for my husband's ad agency and the art director neglected to tell me that he needed a blue backdrop for the shoot. i looked up local camera stores and found a penn camera not too far away. i drove over, picked up my blue backdrop and the shoot continued. i've been back several times to buy reflectors and camera bags and other miscellaneous items. they are always friendly and they all know the business of cameras.
so. last friday i had the opportunity to go to the baltimore ravens nfl training facility and do a photo shoot with former player jonathan ogden. i had no idea who he was but googled him and found out he's got a pretty impressive resume both in and out of the nfl. but the what happened is this: minutes into the shoot my beloved nikon D700 wouldn't focus. i was shooting in manual with autofocus and the autofocus wouldn't lock on a target. it just kept moving in and out trying to find something. i tried manually focusing it and that worked for a few clicks of the shutter but then my mirror started getting stuck in the up position. i'd click the button to take a photo, the mirror would flip up and then get stuck. i'd have to hit the button a few more times to unstick it. i had my backup camera with me but i was starting to panic and totally forgot about it sitting in my camera bag. i struggled through the rest of the shoot as best i could and banged out the photos i needed.
as i was leaving the shoot, i immediately called penn camera and told them what was happening. they told me to bring the camera in and they'd look at. turns out they spent about 45 minutes with me, cleaning the sensors, downloading new firmware and trying everything else they could think of to fix the camera. in the end we had to send it in to nikon to have them look at it but i realized that as great as adorama and B&H are, nothing can beat the personal touch of a brick and mortar camera store with a helpful (and knowledgeable) sales force. i love that i have a relationship with this store and encourage all of you photographers out there to find a local camera store you like (even a chain like penn) and get to know the people who work there.