Well this is a rather exciting blog post for me as I’m delighted to announce that I’ve recently established a professional relationship with the guys at Jessops and they have asked me to write an article about my experience with them from a wedding photography point of view!
So firstly, a little reminder as to who they are – yep, they’re the same guys that closed all their stores not that long ago. Who were then relaunched with the help of Peter Jones of “Dragon’s Den” fame & reopened a number of their high street retailers and most importantly, reworked their online retail operation which was one of the original problems which led to their closure.
They’ve turned a massive corner and are now one of the go-to retailers, both on the high street and online, not just for amateur photographers, but for professionals too.
I think that people often used to treat Jessops rather selfishly (myself included) They’d decide they were in the market for a camera, they’d head to their local Jessops, get some advice from the staff, have a play around with a few cameras, decide which one they wanted and then go away and find the cheapest place to buy it online.
Well, since Jessops relaunched, they themselves are now one of the cheapest places to buy online! So they’ve solved that problem straight away! In fact, at the time of writing, according to Camera Price Buster (my go-to ‘where’s the cheapest place to buy a specific camera online comparison website) Jessops are the cheapest UK online retailer for the Canon 5DMKIII. And you get free delivery. And you get a free copy of the latest version of Lightroom. What’s not to like???
I’ve got quite a bit of history with Jessops as I actually bought my very first DSLR (a Canon 350D) from the old Deansgate store in Manchester – I knew I wanted an entry level SLR, but I needed a bit of advice, which is what I got! I bought it there and then (and they even chucked a free camera bag in for me!) and I’ve never looked back. That was my first introduction to what you can actually do with a DSLR and now I earn my living from it. Thank you Jessops!
I’ve fallen in love with Jessops all over again recently as I’ve been in the market for some new kit to use at weddings and I’ve been delighted with what I’ve been able to buy there. I have to admit, I wasn’t expecting to be able to buy as much professional level kit at the kind of prices I have been able to. I was still of the opinion that they were very much aimed at the amateur and casual photographer and that they wouldn’t be able to help me.
I needed some new Sandisk compact flash cards (my preferred brand) of low capacity (4 & 8GB as I always like to spread my images across a lot of small cards when I shoot a wedding – the theory being that if one of them fails, then that specific part of the day will probably be spread across at least a couple of cards so that not everything would be lost) One of the more worrying aspects of buying memory cards is that there are a lot of fake/pirate versions of the big brands – so it’s always safer to buy from a big retailer as you know the products will be genuine – and you get that piece of mind with Jessops.
I also needed a new bag recently as I have tweaked the way I use and carry my kit at a wedding. The beauty of buying from Jessops was that I could actually go in and have a play around with the bags (one of the times that you really do need to be able to do that as you need to be able to see the different carrying systems and the different capacities) and then buy online so that I didn’t have to carry the bag round with me all day whilst I was in Manchester.
A couple of months ago I picked up a Canon 50mm 1.4 prime lens from Jessops – a great bit of kit to have in your bag. Stupidly good in low light for not very much money. Pretty much a must have for any wedding photographer as it can get you out of some tricky situations in a particularly dark church or venue!
And last but by no means least – my brand new, gorgeous, most amazing piece of kit – my Canon 5D MKIII was bought from the Jessops website. I don’t need to go on about how amazing it is as any keen photographer will know how it’s revolutionised the life of a wedding photographer!
And I got it from Jessops.
Who it turns out, like I said before, are for professionals too