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Mike Finding Photography

Dorset, West Country and the Jurassic Coast – Beautiful!

Photographic Shops – which is best?

Hmm! What kind of question is THAT?

Photographic shops are probably one of the best sources of help and information. I don’t mean just for buying camera and related equipment.

My first visit (ooh – MANY years ago!) to a photographic shop was when I was a complete photo beginner and it was to a very small shop here in my home town of Dorchester, UK.

The shop was managed by the guy who was a great inspiration to me. I won’t go into detail about that visit – see on the previous link!

However – to get back to my point – he helped me start photography properly, whether he realises it or not. This can ALSO be true for you with a locally run independant store that is staffed by people who are photographers or work in the “trade”  and have a good knowledge of the subject.

I visited one such store here in Dorchester just last week looking for a place that will transfer negatives on to disc for a reasonable price. Two young ladies in that store are evidently very keen photographers and were very helpful. It also turns out that they still work with film for their photography.

Our local camera shop is one of five, across Dorset and Hampshire, in a family run business and I think it’s been worth looking them out!!

As to the larger computer stores  that carry camera equipment – well I have had mixed assistance from these! I suspect the trouble is that training, and possibly interest for the sales people in these stores may be more to do with sales than real help. That said – you WILL get people who DO know their stuff and are helpful…. But I do prefer the smaller independants… I also realise that most larger stores may well have price advantages on the smaller people….

I’m happy to be proved wrong and I would like to think I would be! All I’ll say is – look for the independants and just try them out. If they’re not as good as you like – look again for another one somewhere.

The one I am happy to mention here is the Dorchester branch of Wessex Photo. Are all the branches the same??!!

So – what’s my point?? In any walk of life you will need help, and help you can rely on and trust. Search out the right people and get to know them! Help THEM if you can and who knows where it could lead….


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  1. Camera Reviews December 13, 2011

    I am sure that if you go to actual shops that you will get better infos about your product. But you will definately not get the best price! These little stores can not compete with big online shops like amazon. I would definately sugest to buy the camera online after you got some infos in a store!

  2. Portrait Photographer December 15, 2011

    Great to see I’m not the only one that thinks it’s important to support your local, smaller businesses. It might be a few quid cheaper to buy kit online, but you can’t beat the service you’ll get at a good, independent photographic shop.

    Interesting article!

    • Mikedf December 15, 2011

      Hello James
      Thanks for coming in here and commenting! The locals need support as well these days…
      If you have a good one – let’s give them a “heads up” on here..Hmm! Perhaps we should set a directory of good “local” shops??
      All the best

  3. Web Design London December 16, 2011

    I like the idea of setting up a local photography shop directory, with possible reviews I might be tempted to build one actually, if there’d be enough interest!

  4. Mikedf January 3, 2012

    Well, “Camera Reviews” – I was in two minds whether to let this comment through!! However I would say in the defence of the small shops – you’ll more than likely get more useful support from them than SOME of the big boys. I know that has happened to me before.

    I would also suspect there may be better deals available than we think in many – asking is always worth it!

    Thanks for commenting and if any smaller independant dealer sees this and would care to comment, I would love to hear from you…

    Bye for now


  5. Mikedf January 3, 2012

    Thanks “Web Design London”
    Appreciate your comment here – why not have a go and set one up?
    Bye for now

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