Braving the Shops Alone-Buying My First DSLR

So, yesterday was a very exciting day for me. I was finally able to buy my first DSLR Camera, (the Nikon D3300)and firstly I have to say I love it. The only issue is that I kind of don’t know how to use it properly. This post is mainly just about my experience of buying it from the shop, but I’m thinking of writing another post later, as I get used to the different modes and buttons on the camera, and learn to use it a bit more, maybe explaining it from a complete and utter beginner’s perspective!

So anyway, before buying the camera I did so much research. I was watching videos on YouTube, reading endless reviews and talking to different people to get their take on the matter. I did this for months and months, determined that this time it wouldn’t be an impulse buy but rather a well-researched investment. The main thing I knew was that I needed an ‘entry-level’ DSLR as I had no experience in the field at all! All I had was enthusiasm and a love of photography! So when I finally decided that the Nikon D3300 was the one I was going for ( I pretty much knew from the beginning, as it was the one that made most sense, but I wanted to be sure!) , I gathered my savings and prepared to go out and actually buy it.

And so there I was yesterday, walking into John Lewis – alone- super excited, and extremely nervous. I’m the kind of person that finds any interaction with strangers awkward, and I hadn’t thought about the actual buying of the camera until I got to the front door of the shop. It may seem silly, but anyone who suffers from anxiety will tell you, it doesn’t feel silly at the time! It feels very daunting, because it’s entering a situation you are unfamiliar with.

As went up the escalators to the electronics section, a little nervous that I would get something wrong, or set off an alarm or some other ridiculous thing, I realized I had never actually bought anything in a department store before-and I didn’t know how to do it. Was there a product code I had to write down and take to the tills, like at Argos? Did I have to ask a store assistant to bring it to me? Could I just pick it up right there and take it to the tills myself?

I ended up hovering around the DSLR section for about 20 minutes, not talking to anyone and probably looking like a shoplifter, trying to listen to other customers and see how they were buying things. And every time I decided I would just ask a store assistant, they were busy with customers so I ended up just swiveling around on my toes like a lunatic. I’m genuinely surprised no-one asked me to leave.

When I finally found a store assistant that was willing to help me, I learnt that all I needed to say was ‘Please can I buy this camera?’ The end. ‘Yes’ would have been my answer. What I actually said was ‘Erm, Hi, yeah, are you busy? I dunno, I want to buy something but I don’t know how. It’s in display so I can’t pick it up. How do I buy it? (insert awkward laugh here)’ He looked at me very confused and asked me what it was that I actually wanted to buy, because, you know, in that whole mumbly mess I never actually told him.

To cut the rest of the story short, it really wasn’t rocket science. I told him the camera I wanted, he got it from the storeroom-and then I bought it. I made it a much bigger deal in my head than it actually was. It makes me cringe when I think about it, but at least I know now. Buying something from John Lewis is pretty much like buying from any other shop.

However, something else I want to point out is that as silly as it all was, I am actually proud of myself. My anxiety has caused me to spend a lot of the past few months hiding from real world situations, partly from fear of embarrassing myself, or facing the unknown and yesterday I managed to do it. It’s a small step that would be easy for a lot of people, but it wasn’t easy for me and I’m glad I did it. So I embarrassed myself, so what? Nothing happened, everything’s fine and it’s just a slightly embarrassing now of how I didn’t know how to go shopping like a ‘normal’ person. Plus it’s only embarrassing in my mind-I am almost 100% sure that the store assistant didn’t think twice about it after I left.

So for anyone else out there that finds it difficult to go outside of their comfort zone (whatever that comfort zone may be) I would like to say-try it. If you can. Even if it’s just a baby step, like trying a new food or answering the phone when it rings. If it’s nothing dangerous, what’s the worst that can happen?

Thanks for reading, if you found this remotely funny or interesting, please follow my blog! I’m still writing my Travel Bucket List, which I hope to upload next week, and there are more posts to come 🙂

Daniela x
Twitter: @danielaRD_15
Instagram: @Daniela_RD15

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