It was before Thanksgiving, but it’s almost Christmas now!

SmugMug San Diego’s November event at the Handlery Hotel and Resort was host to long time photographer and salesperson for Bay Photo, Dennis Nisbet.  Dennis is a graduate of NYU of Photography Class of ’62, and has been in sales ever since.  He’s a great guy with insights spanning over 4 decades, and we were happy to have him discussing how to approach a photography business from a sales perspective.

Some pointers from Dennis:

  • Put your customer first
  • Pre-qualify your opportunities so as not to waste anyone’s time
  • Don’t talk price, talk value
  • Personal appearance is important
  • Surprise customers with something ‘special’ after the sale.  Outside of gifts, make delivery quicker than you quoted, or deliver more images, etc.
  • Only show your best work!
  • Educate yourself, and continue to re-educate yourself….ad infinitum.

As a photographer who just started his business less than 2 years ago, I find it invaluable to have access to people such as Dennis.  People who’ve been down my road before and can help navigate around the obstacles we all encounter.  Some wise advice I was given when I graduated from college: Don’t try and re-invent the wheel.  Not that all advice need be strictly adhered to, or that we shouldn’t strive to do things differently, it just seems that as hard as business is these days, why not take advantage of all the years of experience some people have in place of spending the next 50 years figuring it out on our own.  No man is an island, and stuff like that…..

Dennis drinking a beer at ISO 3200

Wow, that watermark got huge….sorry!

About Bryan Oster

Photographer of people and food. You can see some of my work at my site (, and at my blog (
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1 Response to It was before Thanksgiving, but it’s almost Christmas now!

  1. franmcob says:


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