Get noticed more: How I became an official Fuji X Photographer
Well, I think we should start from one early morning when I was sitting at my desk and thinking which direction I wanted to go in photography. After a few years of experience in all kinds of photography genres, I was starting to notice what was getting my attention the most.
I was trying to give myself some goals for that year. One of them was to be a guest on a photography-related podcast as a photographer. And the second one was to get published as an official Fuji X photographer. Funny enough, the second goal happened earlier 🙂
So, how did I become an official Fuji X photographer?
I have been using Fujifilm gear for a few years already since I started taking photography more seriously. I am still using my trusty X-T2, I haven’t convinced myself that I need an upgrade yet. With time, I was seeing that there is a true community around the Fujifilm brand: there are a few Fuji-related magazines, the Fujilove podcast, active Facebook groups and even custom-made receipts of JPEG film simulations. That is pretty crazy for me. Maybe Leica has a similar community among Leica shooters, but that community is much smaller as not everyone can afford that kind of camera. So I saw some potential in that community, some sort of open mic stage, where you can show yourself and how you use that Fujifilm gear, where people are open to you, happy to share their experience with different lenses and photography inspiration.
- Facebook groups:
There are plenty of Facebook groups related to Fujifilm: just Google in Facebook search the brand name, and you will find a bunch of very active pages where you can share your work with other Fujifilm shooters.
- I would suggest sharing the work there once in 1-2 weeks, but not more often. You don’t want to be that guy who is always showing off his work, not getting the space to other artists.
- Like & comment on other photographers’ work, try to give some genuine feedback. What you like or dislike about the photos, but be polite and gentle as you wish other photographers should be with your art and persona.
- Make new friends: Usually, you can share your Instagram in your posts, so other photographers can start following your work there too. That’s also a great possibility for you to follow some new artists and get inspiration.
Yes, Instagram. Still, that’s the biggest photography-related platform these days, so I truly believe that you should post some work from time to time. Usually, I post once a week, but it depends on the mood and on how busy I am. There are around 10 Fujifilm-related hashtags and IG pages related to Fujifilm. My suggestion is to try to mix and match them, and mention some Fuji IG pages in your stories as well. If they like your work, they might recognize you and repost your photos (it happened to me a few times). Regular posts, relevant hashtags
- Physical meetings:
This is maybe something less expected, but physical meetings with other Fujifilm photographers are a great idea. That way, you can find new friends, talk about gear, make some photo walks together and just enjoy the company of other photographers. Maybe it’s strange, but I think it helps to expand your visibility as a photographer. That proactive approach will get you somewhere in the end.
- Contacting Fujifilm & photography magazines:
Maybe it will shock you, but half of the photography jobs & submissions were proactively advised by myself to the companies. You need to understand that most of the things you wish won’t get into your hands without any work done. I mean not only creating a portfolio with your own style, but also actively proposing some ideas for mutual projects or submissions for photography magazines. That’s how I got published just a few weeks ago in C-Heads Magazine, for example. I proactively approached them with some photos we made with a local model in Tel Aviv, and they liked them, so we got published! But at first, I sent them different photos from another photoshoot that they didn’t really like. I could stop there and forget about that magazine. But I felt that I had some great work and they might like it as well, so I gave it a try and sent them some photos we made with Tair, which they truly enjoyed! This is so sick to understand that thanks to believing in myself, I eventually got published there.
So I suggest you find some magazines you like and submit your work. Most of the magazines have a contact page with email or even a submit page. Try to be specific and open-minded, with some ideas or ready photos that you want to share. Remember, in the worst case, you will get a no. That’s it.
- After all of those steps, I finally decided to contact Fujifilm themself.
I found some contacts on the website of the local distributor in Israel, who is in charge of the local Fujifilm official page, so I just sent a message to them and asked if and how I can become a Fujifilm X photographer. Then I got a form to fill out and upload some photos, describing my photography style and which camera & lenses I use. After that, I had to wait for approval from the Fujifilm global team, and after a few months, I got an update that I was included in the Fujifilm X photography family. So now you can find it on the Fujifilm X Photographers list 🙂 I know that in other countries, that status gives you extra perks, but in Israel, we don’t have official Fujifilm offices, so the perks are pretty limited as well.
Another goal that I had for last year was to be the main guest on some photography-related podcasts. I love listening to photography podcasts and hearing some cool insights about photographers and their journeys. Then, it was no brainer to check the Fujilove podcast and see if I could fit in with them. I just sent a DM to Marc that manages that podcast for years, and after a few months, we’ve done it! I have to be honest, when Marc answered me that it was a great idea I was terrified, because I was expecting a no. Maybe the problem is that I just did not believe enough in myself and in my art. So it was just crazy to understand that I got to be a part of such a huge photography podcast that got many talented and famous artists on the show. It felt very special for me to share my story and my vision of photography. I got a boost of confidence that I am worth something.
“I’m a Lifestyle and portrait photographer from Tel Aviv, Israel.”