Back in 2006, I began working at Flight Centre. The staff discounts gave me the opportunity to travel more than I ever had before. At this point, the only camera I owned was a cheap point and shoot. I decided that if I was going to take photos on my travels, then the only way I could possibly do this was to buy a ‘big camera’. That’s right. I ventured into the world of entry-level DSLR’s.I knew nothing about what I was buying, but I knew I wanted one. I get that trait from my father (see here for why I say that.) One thing I did know was that a chap I used to live with had a Canon camera. He shot professional tennis for a living all over the globe. If it were good enough for him, then it would be perfect for me. So Canon it was. In December 2006 I walked into Jessops with my Christmas funds and asked for the best Canon camera I could buy with whatever amount it was I had. 5 minutes later I walked away with a Canon EOS350D (Rebel XT to my USA based friends.) It had 8 megapixels and a big lens, so therefore it was going to be awesome right?
As it turned out, there was no talent included in the box which was disappointing. Not one to be defeated I bought a typical beginners book by some famous photographer who I had never heard of in the hope of figuring out what the hell I was doing before I flew to New York in February. The first shot I took, according to Lightroom, was this uninspiring shot of a snow-covered New York park.
By the time I went to Marrakech in May 2007 I had learnt a little more about my ‘big camera’ and was trying to a little more creative. I was trying to photograph something other than landmarks.
Then in November came Egypt. Where I decided to experiment with black and white. I was still shooting JPEG only. Raw scared me.
The problem was I never really learnt how to make the best use of my camera. I used it for holidays. That was it. It was big, cumbersome and I didn’t bother with it as much as I should have. Any reading I did was about the gear and not the art. I think this is where I went wrong more than anything. In 2008 I left Flight Centre and moved to Australia for a year or so. Weight being a restriction I didn’t even take my Canon. A missed opportunity that I regret.
Fast Forward to 2016 and my birthday saw me become the proud owner of a Sony RX100 iii. I had begun to pick up photography again. I was looking at the art of photography rather than the gear. The Sony was and still is, a great camera. Because of its size, I was using it more. Weight was no longer an issue. Later that year I took it to Hong Kong. I made lots of photos on that trip that I felt were more than simple snapshots. Like this one.
When I came back, I decided I wanted to up my game. I was going to get serious about this. The Sony was great, but it had its limits. I began to look at what was around. I ended up with an Olympus EM5 II. Once again I had an interchangeable lens camera. However this time, I had some clue what I was doing. Towards the end of the year, I took some photos at my brother’s wedding. He loved them although I apologise to the actual photographer for being a little bit ‘Uncle Bob’ on the day. These images led to a member of the wedding party who lived near to me asking “Is this a hobby or do you shoot weddings?” Naturally, I told her it was a hobby. But it made me think. Could I shoot weddings? Did I have the equipment? I wasn’t sure, so I began to look around.
Now before anyone shouts at me, I know there are people out there shooting weddings with Micro Four Thirds systems, but I made the decision that for me, personally, I needed something else.
I was almost sold on purchasing a Nikon D750 and some glass, but I thought I would check out Fujifilm too. Searching for gear reviews, I googled ‘ Fujifilm weddings.’ The first link I found (see here) was that of FujiFilm X Photographer Kevin Mullins. If you could bottle his talent and sell it, you would be a millionaire. This man has an exceptional ability but more importantly, has a very realistic and down to earth way of reviewing equipment that isn’t overly technical. This sparked my interest more than anything I had read before. I began to look at other people who were shooting Fujifilm. Not just wedding photographers. What was common among Fuji Shooters from all genres was that they didn’t just love the brand. They adored it. They talked about the cameras with a degree of passion that CaNikon shooters just did not. This excited me.
After about a month of research and a few visits to a camera store, I traded in my old Canon EOS350D to get a sweet cashback deal on a brand new Fuji XT2.
So that is how found Fujifilm. Why do I think Fujifilm is fantastic? That’s for another blog.