Master & Apprentice

The photograph above was taken at a wedding over 16 years ago. 

I was having a drink at the bar, when the photographer said “strike a pose Mike”. This image has become one of my favourite professional shots and has seen some action around the world.

When this shot was taken, I found the photographer really slick, engaging, friendly and just great fun. I did my job entertaining the wedding guest while he did his job capturing images throughout the day. Two professionals at work.

You may be wondering what does this have to do with Fuji Cameras, etc. Well, brace yourself. How could I or this amazing photographer know what the future would have in store for both of us in our respective careers. This one time event was the only time I met him and I would not hear his name again until two years ago.

I am referring to Fuji X Ambassador Damien Lovegrove.

When I started my Fuji adventure two years ago with the X100T, I did what I have always done, research the best people in this specific field. Many names came to my attention: Kevin Mullins, Charlene Winfred, Flemming Bo Jensen, Adam Bonn, Jonas Rask, the Web Site and eventually I saw the name Damien Lovegrove somewhere in cyber space. I then remembered the wedding from so long ago. I was amazed at Damien’s progress and status in the world of photography, not to mention his high profile within the Fuji X Community - I was very happy for him.

I made contact with him.

We kept in touch.

This week was the second time I would see him since that wedding.

Time has flown for both of us.

It was great seeing him again and I experienced the same open and friendly spirit I remembered. We set up this meeting to do a “Talent Share”. Damien shared his knowledge with me about the X-Pro 2 and I taught him a really cool magic trick.

When we settled at the hotel, we spoke over coffee about our lives and Fuji Cameras. I watched in sheer astonishment has he brought my X-Pro 2 to life. He worked my camera with the same fluency, touch, feel and grace that I work a deck of cards - it really was amazing.

The image above was taken by Damien as he manipulated my camera and spoke to me about various camera setting, Fuji Film Simulations and how to work the output of my Colour, Highlights, Shadows and Sharpness all from within the menus system via the “Q Button” on the camera.

He mentioned to me, once I find my way of working, I will probably only use about 10% of the X-Pro2’s power. This was staggering to me - to think this little black box is full of hidden elements that can cater to different shooting styles, subjects and interpretation.

I came away with a lot of value - I realised then, that photography is so subjective in terms of how photographers like their final image to look. I began to question what feels right to me? I came to the conclusion that I am a photographer first and foremost. This means developing my technique to an impeccable standard. Owning the frame, getting the shot right in-camera. Develop my vision, heart and soul for image creation. Nothing is more important. This process will be supported by the great functionality of the X-Pro2. 

When it comes to being a digital artist on the computer, my goal is to retain the authentic experience I caught on camera while adding a little bit of digital theatre. I can’t help this, I am a performer first and foremost, so theatre is important to my self expression. I want my images to have IMPACT just like a great piece of magic.

It is a wonderful privilege in my life to be exposed to the genius of great artists in the world of magic and now photography. I am happy to have spent time with Damien this week and I can promise you, I will be practicing what he taught me. I hope we both end up creating magic, he has a great magic to learn and I will be bringing magc to my X-Pro 2.

To learn more about Damien and his work visit his website

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