fujifilm x-photographer

A Brief History of an Official Fujifilm X-Photographer

A bit of a strange post today, but stick with me.  As an official Fujifilm X-Photographer, I get a lot of satisfaction and perks.  But I also, more often than you’d expect, get emails like this:

xNot so amazing, right?  Well, not for me anyway.  But I get these things every now and then.  I’ll try and put my side of the argument later in this blog post.

By the way, this is the ‘clicky clicky think‘ thing I think he/she is referring to.

This post will be a bit of a trip down memory lane, a collection of old photos and old clips, some new ones, and also my opportunity to say “thanks” to Fujifilm and hopefully explain what my role as an official Fujifilm X-Photographer is.

In the beginning, there was light (X100)

Actually, in the beginning, there was a Canon EOS 350D.  That was my very first camera which I purchased in 2009.  That was closely followed by my first ever wedding on 9th August 2009 by which time I’d migrated to the great camera that was the Canon 5D.

All was good.  Kind of.

I wasn’t really sure why I didn’t enjoy shooting much, and I wasn’t sure why I wasn’t particularly loving my own wedding pictures.  It wasn’t my Canon’s fault.  It was doing the job it was made for and it was doing it bloody well.

But then, in 2010 at Photokina in Cologne Fujifilm announced the original Finepix X100.  I was kind of smitten.  It looked great, it was small, it was reasonably priced and I ordered one as soon as it became available.

And it arrived, fortuitously, on the day I had a wedding at Cripps Barn here in The Cotswolds.

So I took it, and I shot most of the day with my DSLR system and I took a few snaps with my new FinePix X100.

My first ever photograph with the FinePix X100

This is the very first “keeper” image I ever took with that X100, so in fact, the first ever shot with an X-Series camera:

Fujfilm X100 at a weddingFujifilm FinePix X100: 1/240th at f/2, ISO 800

It’s alright, bit bright in patches but OK.  When I came home and looked at the images I knew that the X100 had a massive amount of potential, but it wasn’t ready just then, for me to shoot a lot of the wedding with.

As those of you who were also early adopters will know, the original FinePix X100 was a little sluggish but the images it created were amazing.

What happened to me at that wedding was nothing short of an epiphany.  I could see the light.  The electronic viewfinder allowed me to see exactly how the image would look when I downloaded it to my computer.  Boom.  That, to me, was akin to the invention of the wheel and I started working with the X100 as much as possible to get it to work for me.

Around the same time as I was getting my hands on the FinePix X100, my little boy Albie, came along.

official fujifilm x-photographerFujifilm FinePix X100: 1/60th at f/2.4, ISO 1,000

family photography x100Fujifilm FinePix X100: 1/60th at f/2, ISO 250

And so, if you’ve read much of this blog before, especially my personal photography section, you’ll see that I mention a lot that I don’t think I’d photograph my own family anywhere near as much as I do if it wasn’t for the camera choices I made back then.

Of course, Rosa was already here then and together, they have been being annoyed by me pointing a camera at them ever since.

My scrapbook of memories, for me and my family, are in the form of photographs.  Thousands of them, and sometimes I’ll collate them as a gift for my wife Gemma.

This picture always makes me laugh…

official fujifilm x-photographerFujifilm FinePix X100: 1/60th at f/2, ISO 250

…but not as much as this one.  Pointy eyebrows and a chubby belly.  Not sure where they came from.official fujifilm x-photographerFujifilm FinePix X100: 1/60th at f/2, ISO 400

And I suppose I was hooked on the little camera.  But I hadn’t switched to Fujifilm for shooting weddings at that point.

Things changed when the X-Pro1 came on the scene.

Ding Ding, Round Two (X-Pro1)

It’s now March 2012 and I’m writing a regular business column for Professional Photographer magazine and the then editor, Adam Scorey asked me if I’d like to review “this new interchangeable” Fuji are bringing out.

At first, I was reticent.  After all, what I loved about the FinePix X100 was that it was a fixed lens.  No more worrying about changing lenses and all that goes with it.

But once I’d read up on the forthcoming X-Pro1 and the three launch lenses I conceded and wrote the review for the magazine.

I remember handing the review copy back in at Archant House in Cheltenham.  As I got back in my car, I called up Warehouse Express and spent approximately £3,000 on the X-Pro1, the 35mm F1.4, the 60mm F2.4 and the 18mm F2 lens (all of which I still have).

Three. Grand.  Good job I “get all my stuff for free”!

official fujifilm x-photographerFujifilm X-Pro1: XF60mm F2.4 Lens @ f2.4 1/125th, ISO 1,250

official fujifilm x-photographerFujifilm X-Pro1: XF60mm F2.4 Lens @ f2.4 1/125th ISO 1,250

official fujifilm x-photographerFujifilm X-Pro1: XF35mm F1.4 Lens @ f1.4 1/800th, ISO 400

official fujifilm x-photographerFujifilm X-Pro1: XF35mm F1.4 Lens @ f1.4 1/3,800th, ISO 800

The Fujifilm X-Pro1 actually did revolutionise the way I approached my wedding photography and I knew then, that this was the system I would continue to use for the foreseeable future.

It was around this time that I realised that the blog posts I’d been sharing on my wedding photography website were outranking, well, my wedding photography.  Something had to change, otherwise, Google was going to get very confused.

At this point, I’d written on my blog about the lenses and about the cameras a bit but thought it was time to migrate the Fujifilm and personal photography content on a separate website.

Which, is the website you are reading this on now.  Well, actually, it used to be called “The Owl” (don’t ask…..not one of my wiser choices (see what I did there?)) and there was a lot more content which I’ve culled back now.

I continued to use and love the X-Pro1 and eventually, shot my first full weddings using just my Fujifilm X-Pro1 and the FinePix X100.

I’d already started getting some negativity from the “wedding professionals” about these “toy cameras” and so, whilst I know everybody should shoot with what works for them, I didn’t really appreciate the implication that I wasn’t taking my job seriously and that professionals “only use DSLRs”.

Around this time, I popped this little photo film onto Vimeo.  Now, to a certain extent, my style has changed quite a bit since then, but I really wanted to show the potential of this little camera (in my hands).

Some of the images in this collection probably wouldn’t make it back in now, but this was 2012 and I was really beginning to embrace the Fujifilm cameras.

This was the film where people started emailing me lots and asking how I shoot etc.

And of course I continued shooting my family, and personal photography too.

official fujifilm x-photographerFujifilm X-Pro1: XF35mm F1.4 Lens @ f1.8 1/4,000th, ISO 200

I suppose this is when things started to get very interesting.  Fujifilm UK had asked me to supply some images for (what was then) Focus on Imaging.  I was really flattered of course and obliged.

I started to receive a LOT of emails and Facebook messages about how I use the X-Pro1 to shoot weddings.

I found myself explaining how I’d adopted a sort of “back button focusing” technique to counter the somewhat pedestrian AF speed of the original X-Pro1.

I decided to write a blog post, title Shooting Weddings with Fuji and that blog post still exists.  I’ve updated it several times, and I’ll continue to do so.

There isn’t so much in that post now about the X-Pro1, but the principles remain.

When I updated this post last, I spent in excess of 35 hours on that blog.  The first incarnation was perhaps another 30 hours and the one in between, possibly the same.  Let’s just say I enjoy writing them, but they take a lot of time and effort.

To put that time into some sort of context.  Since 10th April last year (the last time the article was updated in any substantial way), there has been in excess of 130,000 unique visitors to that page.  Between them, they have visited the page 276,000 times.

I don’t have the stats for the previous versions of the page, as it was on The Owl (facepalm), but I’m guessing the numbers would have been in the high tens of thousands too.

Since that article went live, and coupled with the Facebook group for Wedding Fuji Shooters I get around 10-15 email or direct mail messages each week asking about the cameras.

This is good.  I’m not complaining AT ALL.  I encourage it in fact because if I can answer any specific questions, I will.  The reason I’m bringing this up at all is because I believe it’s part of my role as an official Fujifilm X-Photographer.

Skip forward to the X70

I remember being in a meeting in Photokina three or four years ago and there was a brief discussion about a very small X-Series type camera.

I was excited and gave my nods of approval to the idea to the assembled dignitaries.  I didn’t think or hear anything else about that until the day the camera was announced and released.

This was the X70 and the X70 is in my top three favourite X-Series cameras of all time.

official fujifilm x-photographerFujifilm X-70:  f8 1/950th, ISO 200 official fujifilm x-photographerFujifilm X-70:  f2.8 1/125th, ISO 640official fujifilm x-photographerFujifilm X-70:  f5.6 1/900th, ISO 200

official fujifilm x-photographerFujifilm X-70:  f2.8 1/125th, ISO 400

I’m delighted that that embryonic meeting in Germany went part of the way to ensuring the fine camera that is the X70 became a reality.

I really hope it’s not at the end of its days though.  I have zero insight into the future of the X70 but my current understanding is that Fujifilm has stopped making the X70 – which is sad.  I hope there is an update sometime.

Hi Kevin, Do you know who I should call at Fuji to get Free things too?

Honestly.  H.O.N.E.S.T.L.Y – I could buy a new Leica if I got a fiver for every time I have been asked this question.  OK, maybe not a Leica….but you get the idea.

 

And I don’t want to be disingenuous here.

There are some great photographers who do genuinely work with Fuji gear and perhaps want to reach out.  That’s cool.  I get it.

But honestly, for me, and I hope/think this is the same for the people at Fujifilm, I just want to have a good work ethic, a strong business behind me and be totally invested in the brand through my own hard earned money.

In my mind, being an official Fujifilm X-Photographer is something you earn. Not something you have the right to because of status.

Did I mention I was terrified of flying?

Well, I am.  Though not so much these days.  However, let’s head back to 2013.  Summer.  And I get a call from Fujifilm asking if I’d like to attend the first Fujifilm X-Photographers meeting in Tokyo.  Other photographers to be there would be Bert Stephani, David Hobby and Zack Arias.

They wanted me there on a Monday morning to give a presentation about my work and also speak to engineers and designers.

It happened I had a wedding in Rome on Saturday before so there I was (remember I’m not a fan of flying), heading from London to Rome, Rome to Tokyo and Tokyo to London all in the space of five days.Tokyo-11Here we all are with our X100s that we’d all bought with our own money.

But what a great experience.  I won’t talk too much about it as you can read about my first trip to Tokyo already on this site.

In summary, though, this trip involved:

  • Giving two big presentations on two separate days (one to press and one to engineers).
  • Spending eight hours in a small, hot room with the marketing team helping with ideas for the future.
  • Writing a long report about our ideas in advance of the meeting.
  • Another five hours or so meeting in a hot, small room with the colour engineers.
  • Being interviewed for hours on end by press and journalists.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  It was GREAT to go, and I’m proud that I was asked.  But it was work.  We worked.  Hard.  Very hard.

If you want to see me saying “Umm” a lot, and popping out of my shirt, you can still see the interview on Youtube (I’m older and even more grumpy looking now);

This is where the first “free” item came from though.  I was gifted an X-M1 on this trip (which actually was a camera I never really liked much).

It was free – and I don’t hide that.  But I felt it was more of a reward than a gift.  We worked hard whilst on that trip and on the subsequent trip also.

My Camera Cupboard

I actually feel like this X-M1 was my only “free” thing anyway.

My wife always tells me I’ve got way too much equipment and bags.  She’s right too.

Here is a list of my current equipment that I have purchased myself and where they came from:

  • Finepix X100 – purchased from WEX
  • X100S – won in a competition at SWPP believe it or not.
  • X100T – purchased from WEX
  • X-Pro1 – purchase from Wex
  • X-Pro2 #1 – purchased from Wex
  • X-Pro2 #2 – purchased from Castle Cameras
  • X-T1 #1 – purchased from Wex
  • X-T1 #2 – purchased from Wex (and sold)
  • X-M1 – as above
  • X-30 – purchased from Wex
  • X-T10 – purchased from Wex
  • X-E2 – purchased from Wex (and sold)
  • X-T20 – purchased from Wex
  • X-T2 – purchased from Wex
  • X-70 – purchased via the Fujifilm UK Online store
  • 18mm – purchased from Wex
  • 27mm – purchased from Wex
  • 35mm 1.4 – purchased from Wex
  • 23mm 1.4 – purchased from Wex
  • 35mm f2 – purchased from Wex
  • 23mm f2 – loan from Fujifilm.  To be returned (you know as  pro you can loan gear from Fujifilm?)
  • 50mm f2 – loan from Fujifilm.  To be returned.
  • Instax Share 1 – purchased from Wex
  • Instax Share 2  loan from Fujifilm.  To be returned.
  • 56mm f1.2 – purchased from Wex
  • 14mm f2.8 – purchased from Fujifilm online store
  • 16mm f1.4 – purchased from Wex

It’s a lot of stuff.  And a lot of money that I’ve spent.

What happens when you test a camera for Fujifilm?

I have been honoured, and proud to be part of the testing for three cameras.  The X100F, The X-Pro2 and the X-T2.

Part of the contract with Fujifilm when involved with this kind of thing is that you will get payment for time and effort in the form of a retail version of the camera you are testing.  It’s a contract.  We sign it and if we want to get spare’s or backups (as I often do), we have to buy them.

For example, I have purchased two X-Pro2’s and an XT-2.  All at full retail price.

If Fujifilm chooses to use sample images we supply, they pay us hard cash.  Business.

If we are not involved in testing, we have no idea about the project.  For example, I was not involved in GFX at all and the first I even heard about it was at the press launch in Photokina.

Now I can understand when some people think that we just get this stuff.  I honestly can.  But I want to put into context what happens for me when I’m involved in testing a camera.

Firstly, I try and feedback as much information as possible from other photographers that I speak to.

When the camera arrives, we test it.  We spend time with it at weddings, on the streets, in the studio.  Testing. Hopefully giving feedback all the time to make the cameras better for when it is finally released.

For example, here is one of the emails I received after spending considerable time explaining via private youtube videos a problem with the prototype of the X100F (obviously I can’t go into details exactly):

Hi Kevin,

We found the solution to eliminate this type of <problem description>

We will fix with FW before launching the product.

Let me convey thankfulness to your kind suggestion on behalf of our R&D team.

Warm regards,

Then we make the video.  The video that I made for the X100F and also for the X-Pro2 took two days each.  I don’t get paid for those videos.  The videographer get’s paid separately, by Fujifilm.

Here is the X100F video by the way:

After that, I write a review of the camera.

Now, I think it’s important to point out that my contract with Fujifilm for testing the cameras does not include a request to review the camera.

I do this because I want to, and I do it hopefully from the point of view of a professional photographer.

I always want my reviews to be based on real life, real work and have integrity.  So if there is a negative element, I’ll mention that too (such as the Q button I talk about in the X100F review for example).

I genuinely want the content on this website to be helpful.  I *think* people believe that I’m honest and I also *think* that people like that I share as much knowledge as I can.

However, this all takes time and cost too.

For example, the X100F review (just the writing of the review, prepping images etc) took in excess of twenty hours.

The statistics for that blog piece are quite mind blowing (this is just for the X100F Review posted on the 19th January):

  • 116,000 unique visitors
  • 1,816 Facebook Shares
  • 170 on page comments
The reason I’m explaining this is to give some kind of credence to the content I suppose.  In terms of the reward of the camera, it’s brilliant.  And I love it.

I estimated that I made less than 32p per hour earning it though.  I could sweep the streets and get thirty times more.

I know, I know, I drive workshops too from this site but really, my business is 90% shooting weddings and 10% workshops.  I’m a working professional who likes to share.  That’s pretty much it.

Being a Part of a Community

I don’t think it’s true that there isn’t a community spirit in other camera brands’ worlds.  I’m sure there is, but I do get a great sense of that spirit with the Fujifilm world.  And it’s great.

For the most part, people help each other and again, I see it as part of my role as an official Fujifilm X-Photographer to do my best in that respect too.

For example, I created a Youtube video about my X100F Settings;

In the grand scheme of things, it’s not had a huge amount of views.  The Youtube video itself has been viewed 27,000 times but hopefully, those views have helped people to a certain extent.

And Now, we are Here

The X-Pro2 and the X-T2 (and I guess also the GFX), has moved on so much from that original FinePix X100.

These cameras are super capable for pretty much everything I need to do and shoot.  I love using them, which is important, but far more importantly is the fact that I achieve the results my clients require (in order to feed my family) using the gear.

And this is the key point.  The integrity of my work as a full-time professional photographer is so important to me.

I have always said that if something better comes along, that allows me to deliver better results to my clients, then I would look at it.

I’m a professional photographer.  I don’t make all my money from training other photographers.  I don’t make any money Youtube etc.  This isn’t a hobby. I don’t have another “day job”.  Photography is my living.

It annoys and upsets me when I receive the comments like the one at the beginning of this post.  And this isn’t the only one.

I see a lot of similar comments on Fuji Rumors (and I’m not blaming the guy who runs that site, he’s running a business himself and he often gives good exposure to many Fujifilm X-Photographers).  It’s normally in the comments section where the comments are something like (recently):

“guy with lots of Instagram followers get’s free camera from Fuji.  Shock, horror”.

I assume (and I hope) that even if the camera is a review copy, it will be returned in this case.

My experience with Fujifilm UK and Tokyo is based on sound integrity and I really, really hope it remains that way.

official fujifilm x-photographerFujifilm X-Pro2:  23mm F1.4 Lens @ f1.6 1/125th, ISO 400

official fujifilm x-photographerFujifilm X-Pro2:  23mm F1.4 Lens @ f1.4 1/125th, ISO 1,250
official fujifilm x-photographerFujifilm X-Pro2:  23mm F1.4 Lens @ f1.4 1/125th, ISO 1,250 official fujifilm x-photographerFujifilm X-Pro2:  23mm F2 Lens @ f2 1/125th, ISO 400official fujifilm x-photographerFujifilm X-Pro2:  23mm F1.4 Lens @ f1.4 1/125th, ISO 4,000

And so, I have a lot to be grateful for.

I have a lot to offer thanks for.  To Fujifilm for the opportunities, of course, but wider than that and more generally to the Fujifilm Community.  Thanks.

I think Fujifilm as a company, and definitely, my local office in the UK have really stepped up to the mark when it comes to listening to people, to putting systems in place to be accessible and just basically being a very forward thinking and dynamic company right now.

Without them, I would not have met my great friends at Kage, would not have visited half the places I’ve been and perhaps not put as much food on the table for my family.

I really hope none of the waffle sounds patronising or disingenuous, I really don’t.  In my inbox right now I have six emails that have arrived overnight from random people around the world asking questions about their cameras.  And I’ll answer everyone as best I can.  I enjoy it.  I like to help.  I’m not complaining at all.

But I do feel I work hard.  And I feel that the official X-Photographer’s out there work hard.  Those X-Photographers who see being a Fujifilm X-Photographer as just a ‘bit of Kudos’ (and there are some I’m sure) perhaps should be filtered out.  But I feel a vast majority are X-Photographers for the right reasons.

And I hope, maybe just a little bit, that this blog post explains a bit more about what I see my (our) role as a Fujifilm X-Photographer is and hopefully helps others understand it a bit more too.

As ever, I’m more than happy to reply to any comments you wish to leave below.

I’ll leave you with a short slideshow of just twenty-five of some of my own personal favourite wedding shots:

  • Happy Snapping – Kevin (in my Studio in Malmesbury, listening to Live from South Africa, Mumford & Sons – again))
  • Gareth Callan

    Well said Kevin. I have had nothing but positive support from you, Chris Upton, Jeff Carter and Dave Kai-Piper. It speaks volumes for the Fujifilm community and as a fumbling amateur I’m very grateful that you share so freely and that you back up your advice with work that regularly demonstrates your craft and style. All great guys willing to give your time to help and nurture others.

    It’s a pity that there are people who need to tear you down rather than thank you for your hard work and great examples.

    More power to your elbow, Sir.

  • Hi Kevin,

    I’m really sorry that you feel you had to write this post to justify your role and perspectives. This is more time spent on a blog post that you shouldn’t have had to write. I’m sure I speak for many Fuji users when I say that I have never once questioned your motives and gratefully read any tips, tricks and feedback you can provide to me, a less discerning user. I for one care for and about your ‘f***ing x-photography’, particularly your personal shots which are full of love and tenderness. Keep up the good work!

    Lucy

    • Ah, thank you, Lucy. I wanted to highlight more than anything what’s involved in being an X-Photographer (beyond the “kudos”).

  • Liu Dun

    Great post. Touching words. You are truly a role model to a lot of amateurs, semi-pros, and even pros out there. Love your work and words.

    Best regards,
    Liu Dun from China PR

  • I definitely prefer my version of “Kevin’s Introduction to the X70 story” 🙂

    Lovely post and good on you for taking the time to write it. I’m sure these words can be echoed by many other X-Photographers around the world.

    Your work has always inspired me and your integrity as a professional has always been one of the main reason that I’ve always enjoyed working with you.

    I hope that no other brands do come along with better gear and tempt you away. You’re part of the furniture now ;-p

  • I’ve so far been blessed with not getting too many hateful and envious comments or emails like you and also Jonas Rask gets. Sometimes a bit of rude comments land on my youtube page, but they often say more about the guy who puts it there, than anybody else.

    I first became aware of your work at Photokina and was very very inspired by your talk and have followed you ever since. In a none creepy way that is 😉

    I don’t believe in critique… I don’t understand the purpose. When I see someones picture, I’m blessed with the privilege of seeing through the eyes of another human being. I get to experience how they perceive the world. Honestly there is nothing more to it than that. Some are able to catch things I don’t see myself and are able to capture life in a way I haven’t noticed before, and what I get from that, is a hint of what is out there to be noticed, and where to look for it.

    Comments about how good or bad someone thinks I am or about bad photos seems so far off, for me at least. It is totally beside the point for me. It is not a contest, it is not a competition in a photo club, it is capturing life and nature as we see it, and some will be able to relate to that and some won’t. I just can’t bother about the photo contest angle and when people criticise my videos about certain parts being to long or when they hate my jump cutting, I just have to tell them: “You know what mate, you are not my audience… My audience are those who thinks that jump cutting is funny and those who likes long passages that sets up the story… You are obviously not my audience, I’m making my videos for those who like my videos.”

    It makes absolutely no sense to try to adapt to those who doesn’t like my work, because they are simply not my audience. It would just be a long endless struggle, because they will never like it. Mainly because they are not there for the pictures or the work, they are there for the argument.

    I guess what I’m on about… I love your work mate. Keep on doing what you do and trash those stupid emails, they ain’t worth the trouble. It’s like a cold… sneeze it out and appreciate those who enjoys the gift of seeing through your eyes and the work you put into bettering everybodys Fuji equipment.

    Kind regards and much love from a fellow X-Photographer.

    • Palle, I love your videos and your great sense of humour. Your eyes are wise and wide and they see (and record) beauty. Hope to see you again soon.

      • A great article that I hope clarifies your position and the rewards you’ve reaped for your tireless efforts Kevin. The community spirit around the X series is incredible – I’ve shot other brands and been part of their forums and groups but there’s something far more exciting and engaging with the Fuji fans. For me, it’s thanks to the output created by the X team such as you, Palle, Bert and others that keep me inspired and excited! I was shooting a Pentax K100D and feeling like jacking it all in until I saw Bert’s X100T review; even then I was struggling to rekindle the passion until I attended one of your workshops. I probably would have been scared off buying the X-Pro2 if Palle hadn’t have shown me how ‘difficult’ that tricky ISO dial is in one of his YouTube videos. Fuji are lucky to have such a diverse and talented bunch of people that can inspire others to challenge the norm. Also – get a room guys……

  • I agree that Fuji Ambassadors may have more favorable reviews. Having said that, all of the ambassadors give full disclosure and most put in their gripes about the gear. I also believe Fuji asks people who are already invested in the Fuji camp and love how the cameras work. Maybe I’m wrong? I think the lady who wrote that is an angry person. I understand though where she is coming from in regards to the frustrations with Fuji and who they pick for an ambassador, coupled with the frustration with the gear. She was very nasty in how she expressed that though. Shame on her.

    For instance, the Fuji X-T10 is a wonderful camera, but the grip on it is useless, I hit every button on it. I had to get the external grip to hold it, but even with that addition, (making the small camera bigger thereby defeating the purpose)., It’s not as nice to hold as my older Sony A6000. I can hold that camera in one hand. Other annoyances are missed focus shots on my older X-E1 (with firmware updates), waxy, smearing photos at times. Having said that, Fuji has better customer service, listens to its customers and makes changes. There isn’t one perfect camera. I really want to get that Fuji X100F, but some of the features on it may really annoy me. (I opted for the 23mm F/2 WR Lens for my X-T10 instead.) Anyway, nothing is perfect.

    I really love your photos of your children. I’m not that much into child photography or have kids of my own, but the photographs you take of your kids are precious. It’s a personal project that I find extremely artistic. You may make no money on that, but it doesn’t make you less of a photographer. You’re an artist. Let’s face it. Artists don’t make much money. Hell, pro photographers struggle to make ends meet. You are also a professional photographer.

    My gripe with Fuji is that sometimes they pick the wrong people to represent them. Nothing against you, as I believe you deserve the ambassadorship. There are others, IMO who don’t. It’s all subjective though, and Fuji can’t please everyone. The fact that they do this ambassador thing is brilliant marketing. They have you guys test the gear, give feedback, and then they change the gear to suit the professionals. Again, it’s brilliant on their end. But the customer is wary on the other end. I get it.

    My other gripe is that Fuji is both a lovely camera system, and a frustrating one. There are a few design flaws and gripes I have, but you have pointed them out along with another person I know (who I totally respect and admire who is a pro event photographer). You haven’t swallowed the Fuji Koolaid. You presented the gripes in a professional manner.

    I love your website, and my favorite page is the one that woman gripes about. I think it’s an artist’s piece, a beautiful time-lapse done quite professionally. Moreover, it is just bloody fantastic and I wish I thought of it. The more exposure you get, the more crack-pots will soil it by trolling your page. That really expresses more about them as a person, and honestly has nothing to do with you. Their perception is through the eyes of anger, lack and jealousy. If you had a review that only expressed love for the brand, then I’d agree with her position, but never with her nasty tone. You review the gear and give an honest opinion on it in your workflow. She has no argument accept with her own mind.

    • Just don’t talk to me about the Q button on the X100F 🙂

      • I don’t have to. I have my own issues with the X-T10. I totally understand. And yes, I was pissed when I saw they placed the Q button there on that X100F! Seriously, what was Fuji thinking? Next X100 series should have a tilting screen or EVF. The Q Button needs to be moved. Maybe they can make the 23mm lens sharper?

        I am still longing for that X100F though. It just looks like a joy to use. I have the Ricoh GR though and I absolutely LOVE that camera. Also have the Sony RX100 V, which takes nice shots, but nowhere near as nice as Fuji. I want so bad to use that X70 as well. I just don’t think it will beat my Ricoh. But the camera is so lovely. And soon it will be gone because Fuji isn’t making it anymore.

  • Pete Gunnell

    For me, if I see Kevin Mullins on something, I want to give myself time to pause, view, and consider ( as distinct from clicking through) – hope you never succumb to those who have such negative outlooks etc. What always strikes me about the Fuji community, in the (considerable) main, is the generosity of quality input. And that’s what strikes me about Fuji overall – and I speak as someone of far, far too many years!
    Thanks Kevin, thanks to the Fuji community, and thanks to Fuji.

    (Signed, in the total absence of any freebies, awards, etc).

  • Paul Balaresque

    What a great post Kevin!!
    Please keep inspiring us with your great work!!

  • Kevin,
    I truly enjoy your photography and your writing style; honest, bold and to-the-point! I would be delighted to meet you in person one day.

    All the best,

    Olaf

    • One day Olaf, I’m sure we will meet.

      In the meantime, I’ll keep being inspired by your amazing images!

  • Great post Kevin. I upgraded to the xt-2 recently (with a new lens 🙂 ) and valued your blog posts immensely before buying. Hopefully people who send messages, like the one referred to above, are a minority admidst the many, many photographers who value your time and opinion which you share so openly. I love your honest and straight talking reviews and I’m certain when I get another lens, I’ll be looking to see what your thoughts are first.

    • Thank you Alison. And it was nice seeing you at TPS, all be it very briefly.

  • What a great piece Kevin. Your work and your honesty and professionalism is an absolute credit to you. Having got to know you over the last year or so, I know you are genuine in wanting to help and support fellow photographers using Fuji cameras. It’s such as shame you have to deal with such crap as that email. Your integrity and desire rises above such nonsense. Keep going mate!

    • Thank you Steve. And thank YOU Of course for all the work you put into the X-Weddings group too.

  • Kevin there will always be hate emails – people love to “knock” in the UK anyone doing well.
    I remember reading about you starting out as a wedding photographer with a piece in professional photographer with the strapline “my name is Kevin and i am now a full time wedding photographer” it always inspires to read about how somebody made it.
    Your work has always led me in the right direction – i wouldnt and couldnt care less if you were given everything – so what?
    Your images and work are top drawer mate – sod em!

  • Adam Scorey

    I remember us chatting about this on occasions. The ugly side of the photo world, but dark and light exist together. You have no need to justify what you have or do, in my humble opinion. Your work does that for you, as does the joy and happiness you bring to your customers and to all of us who enjoy it for all it is. I’m so very grateful you are prepared to share your journey, opening up your craft and the love of photography you have with us all. So from me it’s a heart-felt thank you for your passion, persistence and professionalism.

    Adam Scorey – the chap who caused your Fuji X-Pro1 purchase! Sorry (sort of).

    • Ha ha – this made me chuckle Adam. I suppose you ARE to blame!!! 🙂

      Hope you are well.

  • Hi Kevin. Just wanted to say that I have trusted your integrity since I first discovered your work a couple of years ago. I have been shooting Fuji X now since July of 2013. The X-Pro1 immediately replaced my Canon 5DMiii as my travel camera and Street Photography camera. My wife and I travel quite extensively and all those trips have been captured faithfully with my Fuji’s.
    Your work has actually made me consider moving into the wedding documentary style that you do so well. I see a lot of parallels with the street and travel documentary that I do (as an amateur) even though I swore off wedding work back in the ’80’s. Your work has really inspired me to take the plunge. Maybe I’ll talk to a wedding photographer friend to maybe give it a try.
    As an X-Photographer, you have represented the brand with honesty and integrity, inspiring and informing countless numbers of Fuji enthusiasts and shown the non Fuji users just how capable these cameras are in the hands of a talented photographer. Thanks for all the time and effort you put into this work. I always look forward to your posts. As for the haters, well, they are just losers who have to hide behind a keyboard and live in their own little negative world and as such, their words and opinions have the same value as the stuff I flush down the toilet daily.
    Thanks Kevin.

    • Thanks John – hopefully the wedding work will kick off and pay off for you too.

  • Dr Thomas Mitchell

    Hang in there. I really appreciate all your work. I am a professor teaching photography in a professional photo program. I have made an investment, like you in Fuji. I have been a Canon and Nikon user for decades, as a professional photographer, and as an instructor. But here is something in the smaller Fuji bodies and lenses that work for me now as I travel more especially internationally.
    I have never really had a camera I love as much as the X100 series. It really is something special. Nikon F3 comes close.
    Keep working hard. it pays off in what many see in you and of course, feeds your family.
    Tom

  • Lawrence

    Funny thing is that those people will probably never spend the time to read this article. I’ve never sent an email (nasty or complimentary) but thanks again for all the work you generously share with the community.

    • It’s a good point. I wonder if they will read it.

  • Yogi

    Hi Kevin,
    A very diplomatic ‘vent’ 😊
    I think for some people it’s very hard to comprehend what they can’t see: the amount of work it requires to become an official photographer – for any brand. All they see is the end result and it’s benefits – which I suppose they think they should have!!

    Lack of understanding, intellect (?), title, funds or being plain nasty and jealous for no reason would be my top 6 for writing such nasty emails or comments.
    And no matter how much you try and ignore them, it still hurts 😔
    When I came across the Fuji X100S, it re-lit my passion for photography and Fuji still does today with their cameras.
    Over the last few years I have met so many friendly, like minded and capable Fuji users, that only for that reason I am glad I did swap. Kind of a lifestyle choice ….🤔
    Anyway, don’t let anyone discredit your hard work, demoralise you and doubt your passion. Success and appreciation beyond the X-Community have proved you right so far. Can’t please everyone but hopefully you can ignore them ….. that’s what they deserve!

  • Great article Kevin ,i don’t think there is a need to explain, in reality the morons who write these letters will still write them , unfortunately with the so called anonimity that the internet gives ,it also is an open goal for the cowards who live in the bedroom writing hurtful nonsense.
    I enjoy your writings and have heard you speak about your Fuji journey and if i was you i would ignore the negative ones who just feed on your reaction, you tube is another great idiot magnet where anyone and i mean anyone can set themselves up as “experts” the old saying “paper never refused ink” needs updating you “tube never rejected an imbecile with a big mouth”.
    More power to you Kevin , i have made the same journey from Canon to Fuji and the joy is seen in my pictures and in my attitude i hope .http://skippystreet.foliopic.com
    All the best
    John

    • Thanks for taking the time to comment John. Cheers, Kevin

  • Matt

    Hi Kevin.

    That jerk who attacked you didn’t even got your name right – this tells a lot, I guess. I never got why somebody would invest time and effort to write such a crap to someone he not even knows. Out of jealousy? Or maybe just “to be noticed” by some kind of celebrity? Maybe someone forced him to read your posts by pointing a gun at him? Probably not, I guess. Just another idiot from the anonymous web.

    I always enjoy reading your posts and watching your videos. I do not agree with everything I read or see, but it’s always worth considering – and learning from it. And even when I decide to keep doing thing differently, rethinking my approach by comparing it to your experiences is a good thing.

    Of course, you X-photographers enjoy certain privileges, like getting pre-production stuff (loaned), but this comes with a lot of obligation and resposibility. I’m sure you enjoy this, too, but it is still work. Dealing with pre-production items myself (as part of my job) and I know it can be frustrating and annoying, especially on the early stages of development, where a lot of quirks and errors occur.

    Thanks for this article, which offers interesting insights into your assignment as an X-photographer. It will not stop haters to hate, I guess, but nothing ever will.

    I hope you’ll find a way to shrug this off – the vast majority of your audience is thankful and appreciative about your work, and that of your X-photographer peers.

    Best regards from Germany
    Matt

  • Andy Brim

    Always interesting to get a glimpse into the small-minded and to just how little reward they think grown-up people will prostitute their personal probity and professional integrity for.

    A person who thinks that someone would fly to the other side of the world, be rushed of one’s feet for two days and then home all for the heady reward of an X-M1 clearly has no idea about having to work for a living.

    Keep on doing what you’re doing Kev.

  • I agree with the sentiments and support from this thread. I have just spent an enjoyable day running around London doing ‘street photography’ with Kevin and other buddies and believe me, what you see is what you get from this top bloke. Kevin loaned me a lens for the day which if I am honest I initially assumed was one of a batch loaned out by Fuji, after all he is a Fuji guy and it seemed credible. I could not have been more wrong, Kevin loaned me HIS OWN lens for the day! I am a photographer from a different genre and in the last how many years have hosted more landscape workshops than I can remember and seeing how people treat their own kit, I can honestly say I would no longer be as trusting as Kevin was to loan out one of my personal lenses like he did. I can see why he gets upset enough to write about what he doesn’t get from Fuji… my advice Kevin (for what it’s worth) Just continue what you are doing mate… enjoy and prosper – it clearly works and for every idiot you have many more friends who appreciate your efforts! There will always be idiots who are jealous!

    • Thanks Tony. Really kind and it was great to see you earlier in the week.

  • Thanks for clearing that up to the people who needed that explanation, Kevin. I guess a lot of it has to do with jealousy. You have worked hard to get where you are, but it seems some people don’t want to put in the work anymore these days.

    Keep up the good work and I hope we’ll meet again someday!

    • Indeed Peter – hope to catch up again sometime.

  • Cliff Hughes

    Great post Kevin. One of the problems with “social media” and this kind of interaction generally is that it somehow gives these people more credence than they deserve. Words used to be important and considered in the old media. Now anyone can be a supposed “expert”! Anyone who has heard you speak and met you, as I have, can have no doubt about the sincerity of what you write.

  • That’s the beauty of photography, it’s subjective. Some pictures we like, some we don’t. Some types of photography we like, some we don’t. Why someone would abuse you for taking pictures they don’t like is beyond me.

    It really says more about that person than you (or your pictures) Kevin. They’re probably in a bad place.

    Anyway, keep up the good work. You’re an inspiration and your blog is fantastic.

    Oh, and I’m with you on the X70. Fingers crossed Fuji haven’t ditched it completely.

  • A very interesting and honest read , I`m still in love with my Xpro1 but admit to drooling over an Xpro2 ( one day ) . As an amateur i find if I can get anywhere near the full potential out of my camera I can see no reason to change or upgrade . But I do like reading reviews and hands on experiences for that day when I go weak in my local camera store . Keep up the good work and the bloggs

    Rodney

    • Thanks, Rodney. I actually took my X-Pro1 to a wedding this weekend with a view to using it during some of the downtime. Sadly, there wasn’t an opportunity to get it out of the bag but I still hanker back to that camera.

  • Wow! There are really people like that out there. Great piece Kevin and one that you really didn’t have to write but I have to say I’m glad that you did because I really enjoyed it. I bought the x-pro 1 when it first came out but didn’t keep it for long because I didn’t think it worked for me. However I discovered your work about 18 moths ago and followed it carefully and was inspired and motivated enough and also confident enough to revisit the Fuji system just over a year ago and I now have a full kit of 2 X-pro 2s and several lenses which I use professionally in most of my work. It was your honesty and passion of your blogs (as well as the quality of your wedding photography) that made the difference for me. Keep doing what you’re doing.

    • Thanks Erroll & I hope you are enjoying those X-Pro2’s 🙂

  • Mick Curry

    Kevin there will always be the detractors in life and usually there is very little that you can say or do that will change attitudes. Just stay true to your principles and keep giving us those great articles that I and many others benefit as a result of your honest appraisals relating to Fuji gear.
    One day I will get to attend a course with you and meantime my expertise with my XT2 and other gear owes a lot to your writings.

  • Craig

    Hi Kevin,
    I’m shocked by that email you received. I really enjoy reading your articles on this site, seeing your personal photos and have learnt a lot from this site and attending your street photography workshops. It’s a shame that some forget you’re giving a wealth of advice away for free and you workshops are very reasonably priced. I would love to see more of your personal work, especially your London street photography on this site.
    All the best,
    Craig

    • Thanks, Craig and I’ll be trying to get more Street content online once I get chance.

  • Hi Kevin,
    I’ve been following your post / blog for quite some time now, and I think your photographs and style are uniquely YOU and they are fantastic.
    I really enjoy and always looking forward to seeing more of your work!
    A quick question… if you have to choose between the XF23mm f2 or XF35mm f2, which one would you choose, and most importantly why?
    Thanks a lot in advance 🙂
    Kindest regards,
    Maya Sugiharto

    • Thanks, Maya. I think I’d go for the 23 F2 over the 35f2. Mostly because of the added width and I think the 23 is marginally sharper close up.

  • Pascal

    Hi Kevin.

    A great piece to read & very informative. As the last remaining independent camera dealer in N. Ireland & someone that has sold hundreds of cameras over the years, Fuji included, I do not get any preferential treatment from Fuji or any of the other manufacturers. When I was purchasing my X-Pro2 & 35mm f2 R WR, I had to buy it the same as any one else would. The fact that I was a dealer & authorized Fuji X specialist seller didn’t gain me anything, not even a spare battery user. I don’t feel bad or wronged by this. I love the camera & using it & I promote the X series to my customers, by showing my images & enthusiasm for the cameras & lenses. Keep sharing your great work.

  • Richard Humphreys

    I can not add much more than what the other posters have said. I do not understand why people have to be critical of fuji X photographers and that they might be getting items from Fuji, My feeling is that the x photographers put a lot of time in testing and promoting Fuji products so I always felt that they got some sort of compensation for the work they did.
    I preorder an X-Pro1 on the initial order and one of the sites I found position information on the camera was yours. I have continued to follow your web site because of the express your love of photography be it professionally or personal it is always refreshing and informative.
    Again when I got an X100s again you had posts on the camera and a book on the X100s which every one should read even if they do not have an X100s.
    I hope all of the positive views you have received will encourage you to continue with a great blog.

    • Thanks, Richard – and you are right, there are far more positive comments of course. The community is 99.9% good.

  • Thanks, Kevin, for a really interesting post. I’m always fascinated by what goes on in the “Fuji World”. Thanks for the tour behind-the-scenes. I’ve always enjoyed your posts and have learnt a lot from you. I’ve watched your YouTube vid on settings for the X100F several times, in fact – very informative. Interesting to try out your settings and then tweak them for me. Keep up the wonderful posts!

    So sorry you have to put up with cretins… I guess it’s part-and-parcel of being online these days. So sad. Pay no mind and carry on with what you do – you have a lot of fans! 😀

    • Thanks, Christine and I’m glad the X100F video helped you out.

  • WOW, what a spiteful email to send! Clearly someone with their own issues.

    Kevin, love your work and what you offer the community, if others don’t get it, that’s their loss. As an X-T1 owner I can honestly say it has been a brilliant camera for me – and I took it to NZ over my Canon, that’s saying something and I love the shots I got, and honestly don’t believe my Canon would have offered me anything different.

    Learn your gear and you can do anything the Masters could, after all they never had the latest and greatest Fuji has to offer 😉

    • Thanks, Dade – and you are so right about latest gear. It’s absolutely nothing to do with that in the most part. Cheers.

  • Andrii

    Thanks for an honest article, Kevin!

    Let the haters hate! With the invention of internet, people became “brave”. Everybody’s a master of opinion these days, but in real life these people would never say same things face-to-face.

    I’ve been very inspired by your work and you’re one of the reasons I’m switching into documentary-style weddings.

    Keep calm and carry on!

    • Thanks, Andrii – and good luck with the weddings.

  • I wish there was a working “anti-troll” filter. Emails, messages and comments like that can really make your day miserable. Even knowing it probably came from a “keyboard warrior”. It is easy to say “don’t pay attention to them” but it is harder to do in reality, especially when the message is as abusive and rude as the one in your article. I really hope you get less and less of these and also everyone else who is sharing on the internet. Good work Kevin and thanks for articles. They are extremely helpful.

    Richard

    • “Anti-Troll Filter”…… you should patent the idea 🙂 In seriousness, thanks very mich for the kind words.

  • Daniel Cabral

    Hey Kevin,

    I am shocked a bit at the email. But unfortunately the internet seems to have too much of this type of hatred. You seem like a kind, simple family man who works hard for his earning. I am really sorry you had to receive such hate mail. Take care.

    • Thanks, Daniel. Yup, the Internet is an odd place. Something I couldn’t live without (for my business), but somewhere I also hate to be occasionally.

  • Great article man. Thanks for sharing, as always!

  • Casual Shooter

    Ignore the haters. Your photographs and blog posts are awesome.

  • I won’t be redundant, it’s boring.
    All the comments above speak by themselves. I’ll just drop by and say:
    “nicely done Kevin keep it up like that”

    Cheers from 🇨🇭

    • Thanks, Valentin & It was great to see you a few weeks back.

  • Hi Kevin.

    Thanks to you, I bought my new x100F and I couldn’t be happier. I visit your site regularly and I learned a lot from you.

    Just ignore those people who say you get free stuff from Fuji.
    I don’t care if you get $1 or $1,000,000 from Fuji. Keep up the good work. That’s enough for me.

    • $1,000,000 from Fuji….now that is a thought 🙂

  • There are a lot of small people with many issues that make use of the internet to spill their hatred. By acknowledging him, by taking notice of his existing I’m very much afraid you’ve somehow made him validated.

    But, on the other hand, yours was a wonderful, very well written article, with a load of beautiful photos. So the balance at the end is very positive.

    • Hansi Stein

      Funny how foreigners (esp. Spaniards) get ignored. Wonder why you keep on insisting on commenting in these posts when it’s clear you’re not welcome

    • Gracias, Jesús. I really wanted people to understand what goes on behind the scenes as well as raise awareness of some of the crap we (all X-Photographers) have to deal with occasionally.

  • I’m always excited when I get the notification of a new blog post from you.

    X-photographer or not. In the end it’s ‘just’ a label of something that confirms that you are with or without the title of an X-photographer. You’re an amazing photographer with a gifted keen eye for life’s extraordinary moments. Your work is for me was (is) an inspiration of the direction I wanted to go when I first got my hands on Fuji’s.

    Please. P-L-E-A-S-E- keep on doing what you’re doing. The majority loves it!

    All the best!

    • Thanks, Bob – that’s really kind.

      Watch out for another email tomorrow 🙂

  • JUNGYOOK PARK

    Thanks for sharing lots of story through this blog, and I learnt a lot. I am kind of new fuji user and I look forward to seeing your new post soon.
    Thanks.

  • James Moore

    Dear Kevin,
    I have just returned from a couple of weeks away touring round the beautiful West Coast of Ireland and catching up on your posts.

    Astonishing email ! And it’s a real pity that you receive such garbage.

    Let me start by saying that I care about your black and white settings (and you colour ones too!) and your photography.

    Over the past two or three years I’ve been on several of your street workshops and enjoyed a whole day with you on a one to one Bristol. You have been a source of great encouragement and inspiration to me and as a consequence I believe I have become a much more frequent, confident and I hope better photographer.

    And whilst you are a great advocate for Fuji camera’s and lens you have never been a salesman !

    You have integrity, a great generosity of spirit and a complete willingness to share which is a credit to you.

    I am sure that the nice emails you receive outweigh these pathetic trolls by a huge factor.

    Keep on doing what you’ve been doing !

    Best wishes,

    James

    • Thanks, James. That’s a really lovely comment. Hope to see you again.

      Kevin

  • Hey
    In Poland we say that real friends (not talking about friends for life but in general about real genuine people) you recognise when you achieve something, real nice people around you stay and support and rest will be jealous and will turn back on you, which upset me so much.
    I am following your work (pro and personal) for sometime now and I am taking so much from your posts, you tube stuff, settings video etc. Wish I could have more clients to be able to do photography full time and follow my dreams 100%.
    Please continue what you do becouse you doing it great.
    Have a great day everyone.