Note from Rich: Today’s post is a re-issue of one I wrote last November. Since that time Pictureline has continued to surpass my lofty expectations in being my camera store of choice. Since I first wrote this, they (especially my new “main-man” Nick) have become an active member of the Twitter community. Their activity on the site has helped to increase their web presence and hence their customer service (follow them on Twitter at twitter.com/pictureline).

One thing work noting: In April of this year they opened a second location positioned exactly halfway between my home and studio. Coincidence? I think NOT! :)


(photo by Paul Rohde, Canon 5D Mark II)

In Salt Lake City we are blessed to have a locally owned camera store, Pictureline, that is here to serve the local photographers. Here are ten reasons in no particular order that I support this business and you should too:

Locally Owned
Pictureline is locally owned and operated. You can walk in just about anytime and speak directly with the owner, Jens Nielsen. Your dollars spent at Pictureline are staying within the community.

They Receive Great Manufacturer Support
What better example of this than the fact that Pictureline was one of the first (if not THE first) retailer in the U.S. to have the Canon 5D Mark II in stock. They move a large amount of product and appear to have great connections within the manufacturers.

They Give Back
Pictureline’s annual event, Digitalfest, is one example of their giving back to the photographers they serve. This year’s keynote speakers of Sam Abell and Julianne Kost were fantastic. The event was free to customers. Additionally they offer free classes through their Digital U training program. These classes are aimed at photographers of all skill levels.

Non-Commission Sales People
I have never felt like I was being pressured into buying something. The sales staff has always been more concerned in what would fit my needs rather than the price of the equipment.

They Treat Their Employees Well
As evidenced by the long-time employees at the store, the staff appears to truly enjoy working there. Turnover seems to be pretty low. This means that there are always familiar faces ready to serve.

Personalized Service
The best example of this was when my 70+ year old mother was in town last Christmas. She went into Pictureline by herself to pick up a gift for me (what a nice mother!). She has since raved numerous times about how well she was treated. The young lady who helped her took all the time to answer her questions and make sure she was getting what she needed.

They Stand Behind What They Sell
They recently replaced an out-of-warranty piece of equipment for me without even being asked. I was talking with them about purchasing a replacement, and they asked why. When I told them that it had died, they stepped up and replaced it.

Rentals
They provide a rental service. If I need an additional piece of gear for a shoot, I know that I can make a call and have it reserved. I have rented large lenses (400mm+) and additional Pocket Wizards.

Great Website
The Pictureline.com website not only has great up-to-the-second inventory info, it has a community section as well. I know that if I sign up to be notified when a piece of equipment comes in stock that I will get an automated email the minute it is available. In the community section, they have a free Directory in which photographers can feature a bio and samples of their work.

Berkley
Berkley is my main contact. He is the sales person I have depended on for a few years now. I know that he will do what it takes to help me out. He has gone out of his way on more than one occasion to find a certain piece of equipment for me. The best part is that I was treated the same way from him when I first went into the store and he didn’t know me at all.

I’m sure that there are many other reasons I could come up with. In a recent conversation with Scott Bourne of This Week in Photography, I was telling Scott about Pictureline. He said something that I have heard from many photographers – that locally owned stores that cater to photographers are quickly disappearing in our country. If we want this type of store to stick around, then we need to support them.

p.s. Pictureline neither supports this site or gives me any special deals. I am a fan of their business simply because of the great service I have received from them over the years.