Contacts: Jacques Raycrow, B&H Photo Video (New York, NY)
With 2008 D-SLR sales figures now close to 700,000 (that’s YTD June, according to the NPD Group) and 10 percent of U.S. homes now housing at least one “prosumer”-level fancy cam, the opinion of Jacques Raycrow is more in demand today than at any point in his stint as a B&H sales specialist. Seated behind a long glass counter on the second floor of the newly-renovated midtown Manhattan camera store, Raycrow patiently addresses the questions of one shopper after another, many of whom have waited in line for their chance to chat about their latest imaging needs.
Raycrow, himself a professional photographer, is skilled at outfitting enthusiasts with the equipment they need next, from vertical grips to wireless remotes, and he’ll do price and brand comparisons on his computer right at the counter so customers won’t necessarily feel the need to go home and research more themselves.
Raycrow has a personal policy (encouraged among employees store-wide) to neither rush nor pressure someone into a buy decision. When one store visitor recently showed up at his counter looking for instruction on next-level lenses, he brought out a full array of choices and advice (“I prefer lenses that offer great light over great range”), allowing her to try each one out on her own camera, and even posing as she tested out a portrait lens.