2020 has started off with an absolute bang. Literally the first meeting of the year in early January, was an exciting invitation to be a part of the Fujifilm X-Summit 2020. Fujifilm are of course a brand I’ve personally been extremely loyal to as a photographer, for the last few years, so this is huge news for me! I’ll be sitting on a panel, alongside X-Photographer Valérie Jardin and DPReview’s Barney Britton. Fujifilm’s General Manager, Toshi Iida; Senior Manager, Shin Udono; and designer Masazumi Imai will be leading the discussions.
The Fujifilm X-Summit is being held in the new London flagship store; the House of Photography, in Covent Garden, on February 4th. It will be live-streamed to the public at 8pmGMT directly below, via YouTube.
Update: The X-Summit has now finished — you can re-watch it above. Of course, this was only a view of the 1-hour livestream; the real focus and value of the event was meeting everyone in person and getting to know the Japanese team, alongside hands-on experience with the newly released X100V. But the biggest takeaway for me was actually learning just how incredibly small Fujifilm (as a camera company) is. It seems there’s such a small number of people working on these cameras and truly punching above their weight in comparison to industry competitors.
It may come as a surprise, but I’ve never actually worked formally with Fujifilm before. Yes, in the past, I’ve had cameras loaned to me from the Australia team, when I lived in Melbourne for a while. But borrowing a camera for review purposes and being a part of a global event are two very different ends of the spectrum for “working together”. What’s even more exciting; my invitation to be a part of the Fujifilm X-Summit has come from the very top. Apparently, some of the executives are fans of my work on YouTube! They personally reached out to get my involvement — how insane is that?!
Make the work you want to be hired for
I am of course truly humbled and grateful for the recognition. But it’s also part of one of my life’s biggest mantras: make the work you want to be hired for. This is a topic I’m keen to dive deeper in throughout this year, as more and more opportunities seem to be presenting themselves based on previous personal direction towards particular work and projects.
Time to reflect
I’ve been looking back through the archives of my blog to read some old posts recently. It brought such positive feelings to read old articles of various events and brands I’ve featured in the past, that have then lead to professional relationships further down the line. Most notably would be my relationship with Adobe, Apple and now Fujifilm. As far back as 2015 (maybe even earlier), I wrote about one day wanting to attend Adobe MAX.
Fast-forward a few years and I was invited to attend what has arguably been the best event I’ve ever been to. Twice! Likewise on previous blog posts covering Apple events such as WWDC and their September iPhone launches. Last year, I had my first visit to Cupertino for the launch of the iPhone 11 Pro; one of the biggest events in the tech calendar!
It’s because of these previous “notes to self” on the blog, that I’m keen to start posting more frequently again. If nothing more than to give reading material for the future, as a way to look back and reflect on the creative journey. In the meantime, I’ll be retrospectively adding in videos I’ve posted, as a chronological feed of content, for my own record.
Now, I know the Fujifilm X-Summit isn’t physically as big as Adobe MAX or an Apple event. But it’s somewhat a much more direct and intimate involvement in the event itself, rather than just in attendance. That of course means so much more to me, personally and professionally. Especially as I’ll be sitting on the panel, as a genuine fan of the brand and natural “ambassador”.
My Fujifilm history
Looking back through this blog, I’ve realised I’ve had my eye on Fujifilm for much longer than I’ve previously mentioned in videos on my channel. The earliest mention I found was a post written in 2014. Before my first trip to Tokyo, I listed various camera gear I was eyeing up at the time. The X100T featured in this list, following a few sightings of the original X100 in couple of video reviews here and there. From then on, I’d had my eyes on the X100 series, with various other mentions in blog posts over the years.
In 2015, I was most convinced of getting involved with the Fujifilm ecosystem via Dan Freeman’s blog posts. I loved the aesthetic to his images, but I think it was the idea of travelling light with a mirrorless system that really caught my attention; an X-T1 at the time. Dan’s not a photographer by profession, but his job does require him to travel a lot. By always carrying a camera, he’s able to capture beautiful scenes that would otherwise be missed. Especially by those who’d elect not to carry a large DSLR on their work trips. This became the true selling point to making the switch.
I became so curious about shooting Fujifilm and fell in love with those beautiful film simulations. When Elly was looking to upgrade her camera, the Canon EOS M2 at the time, I pointed her towards the X-T10. From then on, Fujifilm was in our lives and it didn’t take long for me to fall in love with them physically.
In late 2016, I tested out the X-Pro2 around Australia and later the X-T2 around New Zealand. It wasn’t until mid-2017 when I eventually bought the X100F for myself, that I actually owned one personally. The X100F of course became the gateway drug into making the full switch to Fujifilm in 2018. The X-H1 has since been my main body for shooting photography and I honestly haven’t looked back since.
The X100F has been one of the most significant purchases I’ve ever made. Both personally and professionally. The love I have for this camera is so organic and appears to be infectious among many of you guys, judging by the comments on my videos. It’s also been one of the most significant assets to my channel, with many of my most viewed videos featuring the X100F.
Maximising the timing for content around Japan, in the run-up to Tokyo 2020, has always been a huge opportunity for me over the last 5 years. With my natural love for Japan, Elly’s family connection, and a camera myself and others can’t get enough of; I seem to have found the perfect storm for making content that is both enjoyable to make and heavily searched for.
There’s just something about this camera that feels so good when shooting with it. Judging by the messages and comments I receive from you guys on a daily basis, I’m pretty confident most of you agree with me too. I have high hopes that 2020 will be a significant year for me!
Thanks again to Fujifilm, for making awesome cameras and having me a part of the next chapter!
What’s your story?
Let me know what your Fujifilm story is. When did you first get involved with the system and what camera are you shooting with now? Were any of my videos or photos a catalyst to making the switch? 😏
Where to watch the Fujifilm X-Summit?
The event itself is closed to the public, with only press, media and invited photographers in attendance. I’m still yet to know the contents/run-through of the event, as Fujifilm are staying very tight-lipped about things! But I’m sure it should be an interesting discussion, no less!
The Fujifilm X-Summit will be live-streamed on the X-Summit website, via YouTube on Tuesday February 4th at 8pmGMT.
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