Rajan Sen may be one of the most dedicated prosumer photographers in the country. The New Yorker rarely leaves the house without a camera strapped to his body. He often carries more than one camera, along with plenty of accessories, preparing himself to capture images of the city’s most famous landmarks in each season and in all types of lighting.
“At one point, I had 30 street vendors selling my New York photos to tourists,” Sen said one afternoon this summer as he stopped off to check out the latest D-SLR models at Adorama, a photography store in the Flatiron district of Manhattan that’s become a bit of a landmark itself. “These days, I’m trying to sell my shots to advertising companies too. I’m learning how to fix my photos up on (Photoshop) CS3.”
That’s quite an agenda for an enthusiastic amateur, and one that doesn’t surprise Adorama Store Manager Martino Corto. Corto has made a business of encouraging customers to feed their photography habit and watch it grow into a profitable personal venture. “When they go pro or semi-pro, it’s all about their pocketbook,” Corto said. “They become brand-conscious at that point and buy the best add-ons they can afford, from lenses to lighting.”
But Corto hastens to add there are plenty of high-margin accessory sales opportunities in the earlier stages of a photographic passion. In fact, he’s seen a dramatic rise in demand recently for the accoutrements that turn the owners of entry-level D-SLRs (that popular crop of sub-$1,000 models) into serious shooters, and he’s fashioning Adorama into an accessories outpost just for them.