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….