Shop Local, Support Local

Ok, what gives…

 I’ve spent the past two plus decades supporting and servicing the professional photographer here in Canada. There was a time when our industry had little to no competition, but today, this is not the case.  You can purchase/rent directly off the web, have equipment/product shipped from just about anywhere in the world. Many of you have asked me directly… to better support the industry through a variety of ways, which we’ve endeavored to do (both currently, and in the past). Why then, can someone please tell me, do so many continue to support firms south of the border?

 I think back to the heady days of the 80′s, jobs seemed plentiful and rates high. Today, many of us in the professional imaging industry are pressured by our clients to offer “more for less” – let alone the marketing by major manufacturers implying that “you too, can capture images like the pro”.

 The fact is, this is simply not true. It never was and I would challenge anyone to prove otherwise. Technology is more complex, the software never ending and the knowledge base and support to maintain ones self at a pro level continues to be a challenge.

A good friend and client of mine asked me why I could not compete against American large box resellers, I told him I probably could but chose to be a few dollars higher as I felt knowledge, skill and experience came at a cost (all be it a reasonable one). You can put a face to a name; you have a number to call should something go wrong. Best of all, the men and women right here genuinely care about you and your success!

In turn, he expressed a similar point of view when dealing with his client over contract rates and to his surprise the client agreed to his fee… without the ubiquitous headaches of the past few years.

 This is not a bitch session (though I’m sure some will say otherwise) rather it is a wake up call. Our industry is a symbiotic one, without one another we ultimately all suffer in the long run. Please, think Canadian, support your local lab, printer, retailer, rental house… before you click the enter button on some far away faceless web site.

 Thanks,

Jim

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