southwest airlines

Started out to be a beautiful morning. Up at 5:20AM to catch a flight to Nashville for my speaking and judging gig for the Tennessee Professional Photographers Association. Flight is 7:35 lift off… Err not so much. Maintenance issues called for the plane to not be in service…

So when do we anticipate our new flight? 10AM. Bummer!

Well work on tweaks to the program, answer emails and check some forums on the web.

The flight actually took off a bit later than anticipated about 10:30AM but before we boarded the plane they announced that everyone would receive a $100 travel voucher good until a year from now.

It’s appreciated.

I personally don’t want a plane in the air that’s not ready to go so I say fix that bad boy!

This is the first time I’ve flown Southwest Airlines in many years and I was impressed. I’ll be back.

southwest airlines wing from the window...

Southwest Airlines wing from the window…

Yours in Creative Photography,    Bob

PS – Image made with Lumix FZ1000

nat at hilton

How often do you meet truly happy people?

Truly happy?

I’ve been staying at and attending events at the Hilton Phoenix Airport Hilton Hotel for the last 16 years so I get to know most of the people who work at the property. There are lots of standout, long term employees there. (AFAIK unusual in the service industry)

I was having a conversation with shuttle driver Nat about being happy. He shared that he was in the corporate world making good bucks, switched some stuff, got down-and-out sized and then decided to do something that made him happy rather than making him huge dollars. He’s been picking up and dropping off guests between the Phoenix Airport Hilton the Sky Harbor Airport for the last seven and a half years. I’ve seen him a lot in that time and never seen him without a big smile and a huge hello for me and everyone he comes in contact with.

nat at hilton hotel

Hilton Phoenix Airport Hotel Bell Captain/shuttle-driver/ambassador Nat

“What’s your point, Bob?”

Point is there are lots of ways to make money with your camera.

Do YOU still enjoy what you do?

Or are you just workin’ for the dollar. Life is short. Make sure you enjoy the ride. And, if you need a smile come on down to the Hotel and say ‘Hey!’ to Nat.

Yours in Creative Photography,     Bob


paul c buff dedicated service

I’ve been a little off in my posts between travel for speaking, holidays and general ‘taking a little break’ kind of mood. It’s time to saddle up and get it rockin’ again. And today’s post was one I had to share as I think good customer service is the one of the most important things you can do for your business. Here’s an example and a salute to a stalwart in the industry.

Paul C Buff lights have been in my quiver of tools ever since I first started. Quality, consistency and great customer service has made me a fan. Before the end of the year I was looking a a tax bill that could be lowered by a ‘179’ purchase where I would get to use the money in my business rather that giving it to Uncle Sam. I am a great believer in paying taxes, it’s what keeps this being one of the greatest countries in the world. BUt, the rules are there for a reason and should be taken advantage of.

paul c buff

So with some money I had to invest I decided to beef up my lighting kit. I ordered some modifiers like strip and  octagon boxes and a couple Einsteins. Very happy to say the least…

Now here’s where the service comes in… I got out the Einstein lights and after working with them for a little bit I realized that they were way more than I needed electronically speaking. I didn’t want or need all the extra controls. I emailed and asked if I could swap them out for a similar powered but less ‘busy’ flash unit more like my other units. Here was their response…

Hey Bob,

No problem! We do not do exchanges but you can return anything during the 60 day guarantee for a refund and then order the X3200 units at your convenience. You do not need any RMA# and we do not charge a restocking fee. All you need to do is box up the flash units with a note that includes your name and contact info and something stating you would like to return for a refund. Once we receive it we will apply the refund to the card the original purchase was made on. This is usually done within 2-3 business days of us receiving the return and we will email you a receipt for the refund once it is done.

Please send return to:

Paul C. Buff, Inc
ATTN Returns
2725 Bransford Ave
Nashville, TN 37204

Please let me know if you have anymore questions or need anything else in the meantime.

Have a great day,
Paul C. Buff, Inc
Alienbees, White-Lightning, Einstein

Be sure and check out our NEW products:
Vagabond™ Lithium Extreme Check out our must-see VLX™ comparison video at
Foldable Giant Stripbox
The OMNI™ 18-inch Reflector
…..and if you’re looking for some technical help visit our tech forum here

I salute their superior customer service!

Yours in Creative Photography,      Bob

service above and beyond

I want to salute Flemings Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar in Scottsdale, AZ. My wife and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary during an Arizona Staycation. We decided to do a little happy hour at Flemings restaurant. We enjoy the social aspects of dining at the bar and this was a great time.

Setting the stage, enter our bartenders for the evening, Brian & Erin. Our experience was wonderful all the way through. Greeted professionally and with pleasant personality. Given a very nice recommendation for wine choice. Food was well presented and flavors fabulous.

Gift box with our surprise sweets enclosed…

Remember, we enjoy the social part of dining at the bar and were chatting with a lovely woman named Jennifer and my wife mentioned in passing that we were celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary. A little while later Brian appears with a present of a box of chocolate truffles. He said, “Heard you were celebrating and here’s a little treat from Flemings… Congratulations.” (May be some paraphrasing here, but you get the idea.)

So a tip of the hat to Flemings in Scottsdale for a wonderfully memorable evening including stellar service.

But, that’s not really what this post is about…What are YOU doing to go above and beyond so your clients get so excited that they blog and tweet and share how excited they are about YOUR business??

Yours in Creative Photography,      Bob

hampton inn phoenix downtown rocks

I took a shot…

Got to the hotel room went to hook up my speakers to my IPad for some room ambiance and *&%(% I forgot the power cord for my Bose speakers. Darn. Got a couple days in the hotel room and no music. Just on the off chance someone before me might have left a 12 volt power cord in the hotel I asked at the front desk if they might have one… Nope, but they looked real hard and then said, “Let’s look a little more…” Next thing I know the staff are untangling wires from the computer speakers from the office. “Here take ours and please bring them back when you check out.”P1070233_speakers

Speakers loaned to me by the hotel staff for a couple of days stay… Appreciated!

Service above and beyond. Very much appreciated… Pass the word. Staying in downtown Phoenix?? Check out the Hampton Inn at 160 W. Catalina Drive… PS the Phoenix Art Museum is about a mile away from here… pretty solid museum experience to be had there.