Overheard in a Camera Shop: But I’m a Professional

Customer: Hi. I’m a professional photographer but I don’t understand why are my pictures green, and then sometimes blue.
Salesperson: Do you have a certain mode enabled? Maybe a colour swap feature has been accidentally turned on, try resetting the camera back to the original factory settings.
Customer: No, no. I know about that — I’ve been published before with some of the pictures I’ve taken… I know what I’m doing.
Salesperson: So reseting the camera didn’t work?
Customer: No.
Salesperson: …do you know about white balance?
Customer: No.

Thanks for the submission Dennis!

  • Mike Bourgeault

    Sometimes I think we do people a disservice by not telling them they are idiots. I say this with full knowledge that at some point somebody thought I was an idiot.

  • Edward

    If this is legit, the guy probably had his pictures published on Flickr and was just bullshitting to make himself sound AWESOME.

  • Daniel Fealko

    I think this story crosses the line of believability, but it’s funny nonetheless.

  • Pedro Rojas Jorquera

    ahahaha about a month it happened in the store i was working xD

  • Jeremy Tanner

    If this went on any longer it’d deserve its own xtranormal video.

  • phil

    Yeah I like ^ that idea. All future “overhead in a camera shop” episodes should be made as xtranormal videos.

    Besides it should be easy to tell if this guy is a pro. Professional photographers wear those vests with lots of little pockets, and they have bigger cameras and lenses than anyone else on the planet.

  • PaulieDC

    Totally believable story. 90% of photographers never become great because they get stuck in the rut of not knowing what they don’t know. As soon as you humble your pride and start doing true research and learning so you can get to the point of knowing what you don’t know, then you become great, and in a hurry.

  • Chris Thibaut

    Most professional don’t have to tell people they are. Digital has made it easier for people to think they are “Professional”, but very few are!

  • Fastactingrelief

    I have worked in camera stores for the last 6 years. One of these walks in EVERY WEEK.

    It becomes less funny as time passes. Then depression sets in. Years go by and you wonder if you’ll ever trust again. Then one comes in and insists that you have no fucking idea what you’re talking about, and that Ken Rockwell told them their camera is the best camera ever. It’s back focusing. It needs warranty service. The pictures aren’t sharp and the color is funny. Positive attitude turns slowly into bitter apathy. At the risk of being hurt again you treat everyone who comes in the door with disdain. The company fires you unceremoniously after two years of service because of customer complaints. They won’t hurt you anymore.. you’re safe now.. all the bad people are gone away… shhhhhh.

    /true story

  • Simon Fleming

    Yep, I hate to say it but it is very true and very common. I own and run a processing lab and this would have to be a weekly occurrence at the very least…

    A wise man once told me “The dickheads are out there, and they’re comin’ to get us”

  • Michalis Hatzimihail

    People buy a DSLR and think they are professionals (maybe a mac completes the package). I hate this attitude. I’m not a photographer, I just like photography. I enjoy learning new things all the time. There are some “pros” on facebook that don’t even understand that you shouldn’t use the pop-up as your main flash when shooting portraits! “Photographers” actually charge people real $ for such crappy shots! It’s just the way our society breeds people. People should be told that they are actually really bad, so they can stop using their mouths (or fingers) and put their heads down and learn, share and enjoy.

  • Dennis Marciniak

    I used to be a MOD at a camera shop in downtown Toronto. I would deal with this on a bi-weekly basis, but the claim of someone being a pro only happened once. I couldn’t remember the conversation exactly so I paraphrased it! This is why it may seem a bit “extra”.

  • Dr. Marco Matos

    this happens in my store every month, they say they are professionals and they even charge money for it..
    People pay for green and blue photo.. because they dont even know how to do a levels cheack in photoshop..
    Normaly with this type of client we go over the top and sell them the most expensive camera in the store or the worst depending on the dickhead that is saying he is the greatest..

  • Bill

    you should tell him that model camera has a tendency to cast blues and greens even for professionals. recommend he step up to the newest and greatest camera you have and assure him it wont have blue or green casts as long as he doesnt change any settings…

  • Anonymous

    Being a ‘professional’ only means you get paid. It does NOT mean you are smart. I know many ‘professional’ waiters…

    I don’t know why everyone has to be so stuck up about being a ‘professional photographer’. It seems these days, everyone is a ‘professional’ photographer ,and DJ and director, and actor and writer…etc. Yet none of them are good at any of those things.

  • Matt

    So this is why all people that work at camera stores are douches? I’m sure this same sort of thing happens in every retail industry. But why is there a stick up camera store people’s ass?

  • Fastactingrelief

    There isn’t really any one reason, and I know plenty of sales people who somehow maintain composure in photo retail for a long time..The following are some of the ways I’ve seen photo retail people land on the proverbial stick.

    A lot of them probably have college education and have been doing photography for years. Mostly due to finances and the economics of starting out, they can’t pursue photography full time. The people who come in on the other hand (in large part, but definitely not everyone), have more money than brains, don’t respect photography, don’t know anything about equipment, and won’t admit to any of that. The guy behind the counter is always wrong until proven right… even though they spend 40 hours a week playing with cameras, reading photo blogs, checking specs, talking about photography with local professionals, and numerous other things that give them a leading edge when it comes to talking photography.

    Combine that with every second person coming in to say “I really want to ‘buy local’, but the price at So And So Camera Mart is waaay lower”, and the ever smarmy “So what’s the best price you can give me on this filter buddy, I’m a pro”, and a slew of other equally banal requests that suggest to the employee that they are nothing more than a price mule. All that experience and knowledge wasted on tasks that could be completed by any employable person.

    Then there’s the example I listed above, and other common retail pitfalls.

    There is something you should probably know though… Not every customer is subject to douchiness at the counter, and not every sales person is douchey to every customer. If you often or only encounter photo douchebagery at camera stores, then maybe it’s time for some introspection. In the spirit of enlightenment here are some ways to avoid inciting poor service from our good friends at the camera store.

    – Say hello/be polite. Simple enough, but so often forgotten. There is no faster way to wind up getting poor service than to walk up and simply say “I NEED A UV FILTER FOR MY NIKON”.

    – Be informed. Now, I’m not asking you for the molecular composition of the coatings that are applied to UV filters, but there are some facts that are required. The thread size of the filter can be quite important. Don’t have that number? Fair enough, the brand and focal length of the lens you have will suffice. All I’m saying is do some small amount of research so that the camera salesperson doesn’t have to pry it out of you. Which brings me to the next bullet.

    – Don’t get angry because we’re asking a lot of questions. A photo salesperson’s first job is to ‘qualify the customer’. This means finding out the particulars of the photography they do so solutions can be tailored to their needs. Know everything already? Great, that’s awesome, refer to bullet one and I’m sure you’ll have a smooth transaction.

    – Be humble. Seriously, because I don’t give two flying fucks how big of a deal you are if you’re being cocky and rude. If you know your shit perfect, I’m sure there are lots of interesting things we could talk about.

    – Don’t be mysterious. If you want to try out the Nikon 35 f1.8 DX on an FX body because you read on a photoblog that the image circle is big enough to cover full frame with a minimum of vignetting, but you just want to see what that looks like, say that.

    – Don’t quote Ken Rockwell. We all hate that guy.

    Well, I think that should about cover it. Please enjoy your wall of text, and feel free to come back if you have any questions or concerns.

    TL:DR – It’s a shitty job that isn’t worth the time or pay, but I’ll play nice if you will.

  • Ika Vince