Op-Ed: Giving Respect Where It’s DuePhotographers
From time to time, we offer up Op-Ed pieces on various aspects of photography for your consideration. Please note that these articles are the personal opinion of the writer, not necessarily of BorrowLenses.com.
I’m going to start this post off by sharing a video created by Zack Arias.
Next up, read this post, also from Zack: “Wedding Photographers Deserve Our Respect.” Now, the video here introduces a different topic, but at the beginning of the video, Zack actually talks about tipping your hat to wedding photographers. White the rest of the video is something that you absolutely, positively, mush watch. I won’t even try and summarize it for you – just go watch and read, then come back here. I’ll wait. (more…)
Meet BorrowLenses.com – Ernest AguayoPhotographers
Ernest works behind-the-scenes making sure that we have the latest new gear to add to our ever-growing inventory. He is constantly keeping up with industry rumors and research so that we can be among the first to make a new item available to our renters. Keeping up with trends is an important part of Ernest’s job, as he is also in charge of restocking our very popular items and that means more gear availability for everybody.
What’s your role here at BorrowLenses.com?
I am in charge of purchasing the massive amounts of photo and video gear that BorrowLenses.com carries in inventory. The most important part of the job is trying to predict what items will be in the highest demand so that we can give our customers the best gear selection and availability at all times. Through the relationships I maintain with a variety of vendors and sellers nationwide, I strive to constantly find the highest-quality (and often hardest-to-find) gear to keep up with our customers’ shooting needs, whatever they might be.
What type of photography do you enjoy pursuing?
I have loved poring over photojournalism images all my life and I also enjoy shooting portraits of my family, capturing images of birds, pursuing travel and macro photography, and doing astrophotography. I love shooting with both digital and film.
How do you stay on top of all the latest gear?
This is one of the most fun parts of my job. I read various photography publications, follow news and blogs online, listen to photography podcasts, and stay up-to-date with press releases and trade show announcements. I try to figure out what new gear might rent well and then immediately start the legwork to get these items to BorrowLenses.com and into the hands of our customers as soon as possible.
What are some of the factors that impact your research?
I study how our inventory rents over time, looking for trends such as when certain bodies, lenses, lighting, and accessories get booked throughout the year. I learn about the genres of photography and filmmaking our customers are passionate about to get an idea of what gear will help them get the job done. I also love hearing from customers directly about what kinds of gear they think we should carry, too. Very often, if we hear customers asking about a particular item, we will start carrying it.
What services does Purchasing provide and assist with to meet the needs of our customers and ensure their satisfaction?
I work very closely with the Inventory and Shipping teams daily to make sure the gear our customers order is available and scheduled to arrive on the date requested. Sometimes this means suddenly replenishing inventory levels when a particular item is in-demand on short notice or drop-shipping brand new items from a vendor or manufacturer directly to our customer’s home. Bottom line is I will do everything in my power to ensure every order has all of its requested gear, on-time, whether it’s for a novice or for a pro.
What one thing would you like BorrowLenses.com customers to know about Purchasing that perhaps they might not know?
I wish I could reveal how much we spend maintaining our inventory, but I will just say that it’s probably much, much more than customers think. It’s a little mind-boggling, actually!
For more be sure to check out the first post in this series featuring Jo Guzman our Front Desk Manager.
Meet BorrowLenses.com – Jo DeGuzmanPhotographers
In case you have yet to walk into our headquarters this is Jo, our Front Desk Manager. Jo and his team make sure your orders are ready for pick up and take calls to help customers. Whether you have questions about your order, equipment, accessories, etc. Jo’s team is there to provide answers. In fact they pride themselves on tackling any question you have for them to help you get the most out of your gear and lens rentals.
What’s your role here at BorrowLenses.com?
I am the Front Desk Manager.
Are you also a photographer and if so what is your expertise?
I am a photographer, but I wouldn’t necessarily call myself a “pro”. I love to shoot, photo and video, whatever it is. I like to push the boundaries of what I shoot, taking the unconventional approach to my subjects. I once had a photo shoot using black light. Light in itself is a beast to manipulate but shooting with a black light was really challenging. My expertise? I would say it is video. I like capturing not just a moment, but moments. Video allows you to feel emotion through time. I like having that extra dimension in my work.
Have you shot with all the cameras at BorrowLenses.com?
Pretty much. We are a little spoiled here, sometimes we are forced to shoot with a 1D Mark IV instead of a 5D Mark III. Who can complain about that? But having access to all this gear allows us to be educated and being educated here is really, really important. We get tons of questions, whether its on the phone, or people that walk in. We have to be ready to answer anything that is thrown at us. I enjoy having access to all this gear, but at the same time, I enjoy teaching people what I’ve learned.
What can you say your experience as a photographer brings to your role?
Going back to the last question, I enjoy teaching people what I’ve learned. Working with all this gear, I’ve run into pretty much every problem you can encounter during a shoot. Why is there a black bar across the photo when using a flash? Why doesn’t this camera not auto-focus in video? Why does the camera stop recording after 10 seconds of recording? And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Being here allows us to work through the problems so that you don’t have to. I’m not the only one that possesses this knowledge, my team does as well. When I’m out on a shoot, I’ll ask the Front Desk team to come along with me. That way we can all learn together. When the time comes one way or another I or a member of my team can answer even the most challenging questions for our customers.
Of the thousands of customer service requests we receive a month what have been some of the most rewarding problems you’ve helped resolve?
I can’t name one specifically, but what I find most rewarding is seeing and helping our customers grow I enjoy knowing that I’ve helped someone learn more about photography and/or videography. One day, a customer walks in renting a Canon Rebel T1i to shoot a friends music video, a few months later, they are renting Sony FS100′s to shoot a big name artist. That is the most rewarding part: the progression. When our customers grow, we grow. There’s nothing more satisfying than feeling like you’ve helped someone. I’m not a parent, but I’m sure that’s what it feels like when you impart knowledge on someone and you see them succeed with the knowledge you have given them. Seeing that growth, that’s the reward.
What one thing would you like BorrowLenses.com customers to know about Customer Service that perhaps they might not know?
We’re not here just for the paycheck, it’s more than that. The BorrowLenses staff is a community of photographers and videographers. We’re not just a website where you can rent gear from, we’re a resource you can learn from. I’d even compare it to a sort of school. You call here and no one will turn down a question. If they don’t know the answer, then someone else here will. Iron sharpens iron. And that’s what we do here on a daily basis. We are a wealth of knowledge at your disposal.