A Camera With My Name On It and Other Things

Charlene gear 26 Comments

Early April 2016, Copenhagen

A week before we came to Belgrade, Flemming and I met the man himself, Mr FujIb Thordal (key Fujifilm account manager in Denmark), who had a big box of goodies for us.

I unwrapped:

  • A production X-Pro 2 with my name on it
  • X-Photographers Book 2016, with my picture in it
  • Fujifilm 5 Years of X Series: Getting Back To Photography book, also with my picture in it
  • Kamera & Bild magazine’s March Fujifilm Special issue, with my pictures, and an entire story about me in it
Brand new production X-Pro 2 - check out that serial number on the battery door!

Brand new production X-Pro 2 – check out that serial number on the battery door!

Being part of the X-Pro 2 launch was a tremendous thing for more than the look-at-me factor. Camera companies don’t market to people like me in general. Mine is not the face you see, or think of, when people say “photographer.”

It was a shock to be advised that I was part of the X-Pro 2 project back in October last year; to be given a seat at the table of fellas (and most of them are fellas) who got to be part of this event, and their work called to represent the brand.

This is (and continues to be) a BIG deal for me. Every time I pick this camera up, it is a reminder that I was included, when I didn’t have to be. My greatest thanks to Karl Löweberg and Ib Thordal of Fujifilm Nordic – I’m more grateful than I can say for your unfailing support. To Kunio Ao of Fujifilm HQ in Tokyo, thank you, sir, it is amazing!

And in all of it, gratitude for Flemming Bo Jensen, who refuses to give up on me and challenges me to be better every day.

Shooting trains in Colombo with the pre-production X-Pro 2 (codename: LEO) back in November 2015 | Photo: Flemming Bo Jensen

Shooting trains in Colombo with the pre-production X-Pro 2 (codename: LEO) back in November 2015 | Photo: Flemming Bo Jensen

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      Thank you. Maybe one day it’ll be the way it should be. Until then, every victory must be commemorated with untold amounts of booze.

  1. Yes!! Well earned, Charlene. I’m so happy for the readers who get to see your images for the first time!

    So, so pleased for you 🙂

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  2. There’s no reason at all for you to think that way. I enjoy your photography very much, it’s easily on a par with all the ‘fellas’ 🙂 and full of character.

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      Thank you very much, Ish.

      Your second comment baffled me for a moment, heh. WordPress must know all about you 🙂

  3. “It was a shock to be advised that I was part of the X-Pro 2 project back in October last year; to be given a seat at the table of fellas (and most of them are fellas) who got to be part of this event, and their work called to represent the brand.”

    Wouldn’t it be terrific if the women to men ratio in all these things was 50:50? I taught plenty of brilliant female photographers over the years and encountered more than a few great female photographers working commercially or in the fine art sphere. Well past time for photo industry marketing men to recognize the existence of female photographers and even up the balance.

    1. Couldn’t agree more. I can’t think of any reason why photography should be male-dominated and when I say this I’m not detracting at all from the contributions made by our great male photographers! Maybe if us women were involved more in marketing we’d get cameras that we can use comfortably too, as well as the great hulking machines that some of them are. 🙂 Kudos to Fujifilm for making cameras I can use as well as producing great IQ.

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      Now to see women taken seriously as photographers in the marketing eh, Ish? 😉

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      Karin,
      Or even (dare I say it) 90:10 female to male, as it is in so many industries. Heh.

      It’s far past time that this was addressed. I’m glad to see the imbalance between the sexes getting a lot of press over the past couple of years. Things need to be talked about. I doubt I’ll live to see the day where true equality happens, but I sure am glad I’m seeing the situation continue to move forward.

    4. You’re certainly doing your bit, Charlene! I’m glad you were asked.

      Good topic Karin 🙂

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      Ish, I’m still chuffed to be asked. I have some great guys behind me. There should be more of them all!

      Karin, you don’t write about this anywhere do you?

  4. Hi Charlene,

    You wrote “Karin, you don’t write about this anywhere do you?”. I will be doing so. I have certainly mentioned how so few camera bag makers make bags and backpacks suitable for women, in some hardware reviews for an online publication to which I no longer contribute due to their advertising revenue dropping too low. My spine and shoulders were damaged years ago when I had to tote several big Halliburton cases of photo gear about outback Western Australia as a corporate photographer. So glad that a couple of camera bag makers are making practical, usable bags for female photographers now.

    I am ramping up to shoot photoessays and short movies about Australian creative and innovation people here shortly – https://creativityinnovationsuccess.wordpress.com – and would love to do a photoessay with text about you, if you are heading to Sydney anytime soon. In the throes of working out how to finance the project right now. The subdivision is proceeding far too slowly and we are still not at first base, council approval.

    BTW Charlene, I finally got a short tryout of the X-Pro2 and several lenses on Saturday – https://www.flickr.com/photos/karingottschalk/26185741654/in/dateposted-public/. An X-Pro2 is definitely at the top of my wishlist now along with several prime lenses.

    Ash, thanks… it has been a topic I raise whenever and wherever I can. I have seen far too many great Australian female creatives fall by the wayside due to the lack of opportunities here, and have helped some get a foot up the ladder whenever possible, here and overseas.

  5. Hy Charlen,

    I really like the way you show the unseen : reflexions in the glass or in the water, shadows…
    It looks like it’s your saoul more than your eyes who deal with your (h)art.
    Congratulation and thank you to share. Your pictures inspire me and make me dream.

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  6. Bonjour Charlène. Votre travail est toujours superbe. Vous préférez travailler désormais avec un xpro2 ou xt2 ?. Cordialement. Chris

    1. Something to think about for the future. My second “main” camera is actually inscribed to someone else. Yes, you pull the tape off the top plate and there is someone else’s name. It’s alarming but keeps the heart rate up. The calories burning. Even though I bought this camera it FEELS like I stole it. Very cool to have your own unique little machine. Way to go. As for getting good in this photography game……it typically takes a long f^%$%$# time. For almost everyone. It also typically takes a level of commitment and practice that feels impossible at times. Personally, I think I peaked in 1999. Sounds sad, but it’s not really, just real. When 1999 ended I’d been shooting every single day for at least four years. Not including all the years of study and five years of freelancing. I don’t think I’ll ever hit that level again, but what’s interesting is that there is another level, a different one, that is right around the corner. I was better then but I’m smarter now. You are more than someone with a camera, more than a photographer actually, and it’s learning to blend real life with photo life that is the puzzle that needs to be solved, or at least attempted.

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    Dan,

    The name-as-serial? It’s a sticker. The real serial number is printed on the side of the box… well, was, since I don’t have that box anymore. It is a lovely gesture of thanks from Fuji though. My X-Pro2 is secretly a unique and beautiful snowflake.

    I would hope, truly, that I am, and have always been, all sorts of things. At the end of the day, if all I have been is someone with a camera, then I haven’t even tried.

    That would be sad.

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