For our new blog series, we’ll be wresting a few members of the Fixation team away from their regular duties to find out a little more about who they are and what they do.
In the first of our spotlights, we chat to Donal about the everyday role of Senior Sales at Fixation.
Donal’s job is to ensure every customer, from first-time amateur photographer to huge picture agency, leaves Fixation with the right camera kit in hand.
With plenty of experience in the photo industry, and a keen interest in photography himself, Donal is perfectly placed to match the customer to the camera. We managed to prise him away from his phone for a quick chat to find out more about what he does…
Donal’s role at Fixation
‘Senior Sales – does “Senior” refer to age or experience? Well, I’d like to say experience! I’ve been here four years and will handle everything, small or large. On a typical day I could be talking to the large agencies, dealing with large quantities of top-end equipment, or helping somebody find an adapter for a lens mount. Big or small, it doesn’t really matter which, they all present their own challenges.
‘My favourite part of the job is meeting photographers. There are a lot of interesting characters, and I’ve met some fantastic people over the years – some are high-maintenance, some low-maintenance, but I enjoy dealing with all types. I’ve got to know the great and the good of Fleet Street – the newspaper photographers, the agency staffers, the top sports photographers – they all wend their way to our door these days. I think it’s the characters that differentiate this industry from a lot of others and the creative aspect is what really appeals.
‘My day can include a first-time visitor to Fixation buying their first serious DSLR and I’ll try to make them feel welcome and ask the right questions. What are they going to use it for? Is it part of their work? I always enjoy finding out the nitty gritty of their intended use. Of course, I could also come in to find a deluge of emails and orders from Reuters and Press Association, wanting everything and wanting it now! It’s good to have that variety.’
Donal’s history in the industry
‘It’s been twenty-eight years, or something like that. Immediately before I worked here I was Professional Sales Manager at Jacobs for about twelve years, and I did a short stint at Jessops before that.
‘I joined Fixation very quickly when Jacobs went into administration. I think I came here for a chat on a Wednesday and started work the following Monday. It was the time the Olympics were kicking off and Fixation had been asked to set up a store within the official Media Centre, so it was really, really busy as soon as I started. The store went so well we were invited to set up a similar one a couple of years later at the Commonwealth Games, so I went up to Glasgow and set up a little pop-up shop in the Media Centre there too. To be part of events like that is a blast.’
His own photography
‘I’ve always enjoyed photography myself and another great thing about working here is that I can try out all the kit.
‘What do I take pictures of? It’s changed over the years. Once upon a time it was live music and similar things, but unfortunately not so much these days. Now I’m happier wandering around the woods taking pictures of trees and flowers. Maybe it’s the old hippy in me. Maybe “senior” refers to age, after all!’