Today, Samsung announced their new NX1 smart camera and as I sit here lusting over having one in my hands, I figured this would be a good time to explain what it means to me to be a Samsung Imagelogger photographer.
To sum it up in my own unofficial words, the Samsung Imagelogger program brings together a group of diverse photographers from around the United States to use Samsung cameras in their day-to-day photo taking and sharing those photos with the world through their personal social media channels.
For the marketing folks, it is an ongoing influencer program where in exchange for taking photos every week and allowing Samsung to use them, influential photographers get the latest camera gear to use and keep.
In full blunt disclosure, they give me their latest cameras to keep and in exchange I give them and share photographs I take with the world. To me that is a good trade.
When the program first started I was a bit hesitant. I mean what does Samsung know about cameras? Sure, they make amazing electronics and I own a lot of their products, but when it came to photography I was very skeptical about how they would perform.
Then, the cameras started arriving and I'd take them out in the wild to take photographs. They'd come with me on adventures around the world and out into my backyard for silly snapshots.
The more I shot with them, the more I noticed my beloved Canon 5D Mark III was collecting dust on the shelf. It is a workhorse and an amazing camera, but it also weighs a ton more than these smaller, mirrorless cameras that always seemed to find their way into my GORUCK on any trip I went on.
There were a couple of defining moments for me personally when I realized how wrong I was about Samsung and their cameras.
The first was when I was speaking in Istanbul. My schedule was rushed and I was going to have only one day to explore the city.
I had the Galaxy NX with me because it geotags all photos it takes and I really wanted this data when I got back home to see where in the city I had explored. The worry though was that I only had one battery and I never go out shooting without several batteries. There is nothing worse than running out of juice when taking photos.
I was so worried that I actually brought two cameras with me that day. But, as I sat on the tour bus heading back to the hotel after taking hundreds of photos all day my battery finally died. A full day on a single battery is not something I had ever done before and that made my day. Sure, the specs had promised plenty of battery power, but I never believe that from any company until I've actually done it myself. Paint me impressed!
The second was when earlier this year I was hired by Nike for a photo shoot.
I had a beautiful new 85mm lens from Samsung that I wanted to try, but I worried about the client reaction to seeing me show up with only the smaller NX30 camera, so I grabbed my big DSLR as well so that if there were concerns I would put them at ease.
Both cameras got a workout that day and when I sent the proofs to Nike, they chose photos from both cameras. They didn't care what I shot the photos with. They cared about how the photos came out.
What I love about the #Imagelogger program most is the diversity of the photographers. Every one of them is different and unique. I really hope that the team is given the budget at some point to bring all of us together because I have yet to meet most of them in person. You can find out who they are and follow them here.
An amazing side benefit of being part of this program is having extra cameras around the house. Both kids have begun using them and have their own favorites.
It has given me a ton of joy to watch them each develop their own photography style and I've been having a blast teaching them the basics of photography so that they never get stuck in auto.
One final thing that Samsung really got right on their cameras, that at first I didn't get the point of, was WiFi enabling them.
On the surface this felt like a complete gimmick, but as I sat on a park bench yesterday and transferred photos from the camera to my phone for quick posting I once again reminded myself why every camera going forward from all manufacturers must have this capability.
Photographers don't want to be forced to be at a computer to upload and share photographs. They want to share them whenever and wherever they are.
I'm honored and proud to be part of this program. It hasn't always been perfect and I don't know how long it will go on, but right now it is a lot of fun to have new photo gear to use on a regular basis and to be inspired by other photographers. My worries about Samsung making cameras were definitely wrong and with each new release they continue to grow into a true competitor in the photography market.
Check out the full line of Samsung cameras because I believe there is something for everyone in their offerings.
Pardon me, but I've got to go shoot some photos now. :)
Disclosure - All links are affiliate links. All photos taken with a Samsung camera of one sort or another. All opinions are mine and mine alone. It is a Monday, autumn in New England and my wife is traveling. Mistakes happen. Move on and make it a great day. Happy shooting!