Pictured above, the DT Support Team & DT R+D Team (clockwise from top): Joseph King, Scott Newirth, Doug Peterson, Spencer Zidarich, & Rudy Lorejo
When you invest in a high-end piece of equipment, it goes without saying that you expect stellar quality and serious commitment from the retailer. But in those rare cases where something goes wrong, what do you do? The last thing you want is to wait in a queue for tech support, only to discover that the support staff knows less about your equipment than you do.
Joseph King, Head of Support at Digital Transitions, has made it his mission to make sure that never happens. His background in mechanical engineering and highly analytical approach to problem solving make him the perfect support resource for power users of high-end photography systems.
When a photographer purchases a system from DT, the level of support will match that level of investment. “I can’t just run down a list of three or four things and then say ‘Sorry, those are all of my options; I can’t help you anymore.’ That’s not who we are and that’s not what I would expect if I were a client.”
What makes DT stand out, Joseph says, is the relationships. “Most of the people who call in, I know them on a first-name basis. We have a relationship, because in this community there’s a lot of give-and-take and you build up your knowledge base by learning from one another. In the past five years I’ve learned so many things from handling equipment, listening to clients, dealing with unique situations; it’s helped me to approach problems differently. You have to evolve and change the way you analyze things. You need to train yourself to be presented with a problem and immediately your brain goes in five different directions, searching for an answer to that problem, based upon what the photographer is describing.”
Why is he so dedicated?
“I know the clients. I’ve met most of them in person. They all know how to get a hold of me when they need help, and I want them to know that if they’re new to this system and they have questions, here’s my email! Here’s my phone number! You don’t have to figure all of this out alone.”
The other members of the support team also bring their own valuable knowledge and experience to the job. Scott Newirth has been with the Support Team at Digital Transitions for ten years and has seen just about every technical disaster a photographer can run into. He chalks his longevity up to adaptation. “It’s always a high-stress situation,” he said, his voice surprisingly calm. “You’re getting photographers who are calling in, or their assistant is calling in, and they’re on set with clients and models, and the camera won’t work. No one wants to be in that position.”
Coming from a professional photography background himself, Scott understands the pressures of on-set snafus all too well. He worked as a commercial photographer for 20 years, but later built up a decade worth of knowledge in the camera rental business, before landing at Digital Transitions.
Often the team is able to resolve issues quickly, offering solutions that the photographer’s support staff may not even have been aware existed. In the rare case that the issue can’t be quickly resolved though, they rush to make alternate arrangements. Sometimes that means loaning out in-house equipment to a client who is desperately trying to finish a job, so the photographer doesn’t have to go beyond Digital Transitions to resolve the matter. Overcoming nearly impossible situations, such as getting equipment overseas–and quickly–in a day and age that make this no small feat.
“Versatility is the key,” Scott says. “There is rarely just one simple answer to a problem, and taking the time to identify and solve the issue, with patience and flexibility, is the only option. Most of us have been there. We’ve been the professional photographers on set with clients; we can relate when they’re on the job and we want to make they feel secure knowing there’s a team ready to help them if anything ever goes wrong.”