‘We do sell some film cameras, Mel,’ Lucy said,’ you must have seen them for sale as secondhand in the window. There are still some customers trading them in because of that very convenience you mentioned of lower running costs. And the difference in image quality isn’t that great.’
Mel conceded Lucy’s argument.
‘I know,’ she replied, ‘but it’ll take me quite some time to save up for one of those.’ She pointed to some top of their class full-frame cameras.
‘What type of camera do you use, Jamie?’ she asked.
‘Oh, I just use a smartphone,’ he confessed. ‘I’m not a photographer. None of the family are. There’s only my great-grandad, Duncan, who knows how to take photographs as good as yours.
Mel looked stunned.
‘I’m a marketing man – like my dad,’ he said, ‘That’s what I did at uni. We promote our stock like any other product. We do try to keep up to date with the technology and we know the jargon. Most of the time we know which button to press to do things – but it pretty well ends there.’
Mel looked puzzled.
‘The camera companies have good salespeople,’ he explained, ‘and we do go on product-awareness seminars with them – and we take some customers with us usually. We couldn’t believe it when you appeared out of the blue wanting a job with us. The customers are going to love you.’
Lucy interrupted, ‘That’s all very well, you two,’ but what I wanted to know was how you enjoy yourself. Photography can’t be the only thing you do. Don’t you have a boyfriend – or girlfriend I suppose I should ask these days?
‘I thought you were talking about real enjoyment,’ Mel said, laughing, ‘I do have a boyfriend but he’s not much fun lately.’
‘Oh dear,’ Lucy said, ‘Well, Mel, life’s too short to hang on to lost causes. A girl like you’ll have no problems finding someone who’s more fun.’
By the end of the day, Mel had been up to the gallery, learning how display items were chosen and replaced. She’d also learned that the shop had a group of ‘friends’ – frequent customers. The Group – members paid a small annual fee – had a private Facebook page on which management and members posted news, comments and their favourites of their latest photographs. Sometimes, a submission would be chosen to appear in the gallery for sale – almost all the gallery photos were by members .
The shop acted as an agency for a film development laboratory and was able to offer low prices to Group members. Another surprise to Mel was the occasional limited-number day outings that were arranged for Group members. Sometimes these were funded by suppliers and brand managers who were keen to demonstrate their latest equipment ‘in the field’. There had been recent outings to the Lake District, Snowdonia and the Peak District. Mel took note of all these services and started to hope that she might be able to become involved. She knew that she would need to prove her worth first though to earn a place.
It had been a thoroughly enjoyable day.
The photo that I’ve chosen today is the seventh of the series that I’ll be posting in this part of my daily blog in this part of the page. As I said previously, the series is based on a walk that I did on the 19th April along the bank of the Leeds to Liverpool canal between Burscough Bridge and the ‘Ring O’Bells’ pub just over a mile away. I did the walk in both directions, accompanied by my daughter’s dog, Ted.
Today I’ve chosen an image of some old cottages that I shot at the Rufford Branch junction with the main canal. The EXIF data are as follows: Camera used was my 24 MP Pentax KP cropped sensor camera paired with a Pentax 28-105 mm f/3.5-5.6 full-frame lens. The shutter speed was 1/125 secs @ f/8 and 28 mm. The ISO was 100. The shot was handheld.