Photography Class?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by TylerF, Apr 17, 2010.

  1. TylerF

    TylerF TPF Noob!

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    So I'm not really sure where to put this, but I figured this is a safe spot to put it lol.

    I work at an electronics store and many times I get a customer who is a first time DSLR buyer who knows very little on them. I was thinking about setting up an in-store training in which the customer can set up a time with me to go over how to use their camera and the basic terminology and techniques to get them started in photography. I'm not sure if it's a good idea or not but i often hear how (not to toot my own horn) i know a lot more than the people i work with as well as people from other stores and thought that some people would like to maybe get some basic hands-on stuff. I was kind of thinking of something like going over

    general care for equipment

    what button does what

    iso
    shutter speed
    aperture

    camera modes (probably would only venture into the priority modes)

    any questions they may have/recommendations as to what they might want to look into in the future.

    so basically i was wondering if this was a decent start or if i should go into more info.

    thanks
     
  2. TylerF

    TylerF TPF Noob!

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    I disagree. I'm not saying I'm amazing but I know what things mean more than most of the people who come into my store and feel that I can greatly help them get started in the right direction.
     
  3. TylerF

    TylerF TPF Noob!

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    listen man, no need for the tude.
     
  4. heli-junkie-jp

    heli-junkie-jp TPF Noob!

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    Sounds like a good idea to me.:thumbup:
     
  5. Tee

    Tee Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Hi Tyler,

    I'm going to answer your question not as a photographer (seeing as I'm completly new to this) but from my background as a performance technologist (i.e., I develop performanced based curriculum).

    1. Read every question thread in the beginner forum. Can you correctly answer each question without researching it? If not, what percentage of the questions can you answer? What would you have available at your store to quickly find the answer? Establishing credibility from the start is key to a good relationship with your customer.

    2. Job aids. Along with a verbal explanation, do you have photos from your personal portfolio to go along with each topic? Example: various depth of field shots when explaining aperture, photos stopping or showing motion with shutter speed, etc. A personal portfolio for demo purposes maintains the credibility factor (i.e., "If I can do this, you can too.")

    Is there a space inside the store (or even outside) that you can take the customer to practice the camera's settings? Using an AVK (audio, visual, kinesthetic-hands on) approach greatly improves the students ability to retain information.

    3. Buy-in from your supervisor. Have you approached your supervisor about this idea? Perhaps you can make this into a promotional package: "Buy a DSLR and recieve one free hour of hands on training from our camera expert." Is your supervisor willing to let you take on this extra task without your other store responsibilities suffering?

    Just some ground level thoughts for you to consider. It is a great idea if you know you can do this. Being a subject matter specialist in the camera section can create loyal customers who pass the word on. It's a win-win for both you and the store.

    P.S. In response to the quote I kept, how much information you want to share will depend on how much time you allot for training.

    Good luck!:thumbup:
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2010
  6. vtf

    vtf No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    As a Manager in the retail enviroment this is to me a great thought as long as it pays for itself. It can be a promotional deal with a purchase and or a weekly program. I've already seen it with many smaller local photography stores, they have set up weekly training sessons on Thursday and usually offer at $25-30 a night. To get a bigger retailer to do this requires you justify the cost with the income, they do have to pay you for your time. If you get 10 people in a group and receive $25 a pop that thats $250, and assuming you make $10 an hour which is $30 for a 3 hour sesson. I think it pays for itself. Dont forget to sign it up so customers knows the offer is available. And then if it sells a $500 to $1000 camera, well now you see why the little guys make the effort.
    Plan it out then approach your supervisor, offer it as a trial maybe to get the ball rolling. It will only be as sucessful as the effort you put into it. Good luck if you decide to go forward.
     
  7. TylerF

    TylerF TPF Noob!

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    Thanks guys. I have already talked to my GM and supervisor. I'm glad I work at a place where they take all ideas from employees seriously. And I'm a part-timer lol. I do have a little bit of my portfolio at the store now. They are just some shots from when I was just starting out to show people not to be intimidated by dslrs. I planned on having hands-on demos, hand-outs, and stuff like that. It would most likely be an hour or so session. It's still a work in progress but I think it's a good idea 1- because it will create some customer loyalty and 2-because i hate hearing stories of "well this place told me this..." lol
     
  8. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Sounds like a great idea and that you are thinking it through well - I have little to add to the points above save only remind that you to make sure that you (or anyone aiding you with the presentation) is familair with all the basic workings of the cameras on sale. Nothing is worse that saying "well this camera does do so and so" and then being totaly stumped to work out how to make it do just that (often as not many sales people I've met come in two forms - those that just read off the sheet and those who have actual experience and know not just the what but the how as well).
     
  9. TylerF

    TylerF TPF Noob!

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    haha i hear ya, i play with all the cameras we well all the time. i also want to offer it to people who maybe didnt buy the camera from us but still want to learn.
     
  10. dyyylan

    dyyylan TPF Noob!

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    Sounds like a great idea to me. <storytime> I used to work at compusa and one of the things we offered was something called "compcare" in which we started the computer up, did all the updates for them and showed the customer basic stuff about how to use the operating system and whatnot... you always get asked to buy those stupid warranties, and not many people do, but this thing sold a lot, i think it was $30. </storytime>

    People really like being able to go home knowing something about what they bought.
     
  11. TylerF

    TylerF TPF Noob!

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    Well i work at best buy so we offer stuff very similar. the warranties (geek squad protection) is actually pretty nice for some things like computers, cameras and like phones. I have heard some horror stories about the plan but its a lot of the time the employees fault for giving out the wrong information.

    I had a lady today tell me that she came back to me because i helped her a lot explaining the basics. she was impressed because she made it clear that she didnt want to buy that day but i still helped her out. she came in today and got the d3000. she thought i was a department lead haha. im only part time. i do think i have good enough knowledge on what people need to know to get decent footing in photography and think that a lot of people sometimes feel overwhelmed when buying a dslr for the first time.

    also i was thinking of maybe having a sheet they fill out prior to the session saying what gear they have so i can kind of tailor things to them a bit better
     
  12. pbelarge

    pbelarge TPF Noob!

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    Tyler
    This sounds like with every post, it grows. If I was you, I would start out simple and see how it goes. Best Buy is a large store. Making sure you have permission from your employer is paramount. Handing out flyers or anything might not be a good start, as Best Buy may not have reviewed them yet.

    Start out simple, see how it goes. If it goes well, your employer may see the benefit for you to expand on it.

    Good luck, keep us informed.
     

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