It was a Sunday morning in 2013 and I was miserable. I had realised that I hadn’t taken any photographs for myself in quite some time – a practice I had cherished all through life – and I got upset.
Working as a full-time professional photographer for over eight years at that point, I loved my work and felt privileged to create images for a number of blue-chip clients I had been working with on an ongoing basis. However, only creating for others, for so many years, had left me feeling like something was missing.
I never imagined that I would ever get to that point. I had made a promise to myself to always nurture my passion. I had heard stories of photographers who had fallen out of love with their craft and wondered how that could happen. I had loved it so much, this couldn’t possibly be happening to me.
This realisation hit me hard.
I had fallen into a rut of chasing the best possible image for my clients using what I thought at the time was the best gear available for my line of work. Which it was. However, as a result, I ended up with a case full of heavy, bulky gear not suitable for everyday use. My personal photography was being neglected.
It was that Sunday that I decided to invest in another, smaller camera. I wanted to get back to capturing everyday life and pursuing passion projects – the kind of photography that made me fall in love with it in the first place.
The camera needed to be capable of producing high-quality images whilst remaining compact enough to fit into my handbag so I could carry it with me wherever I went.
A dear photographer friend of mine, Neill Soden, introduced me to a new range of cameras that had made waves that year. It was the second generation of X-Series cameras. Neill had been shooting happily on his X100 and he said that the new upgrade seemed to be exactly what I was looking for.
His enthusiasm and passion for the brand and its product range was infectious and since the camera looked so gorgeous, I was instantly hooked.
I received my beautiful Fujifilm X100S a few weeks before we left on a family trip to Namibia. Bursting with excitement, I decided to go cold turkey and packed nothing but my new best friend (and clothes and toiletries of course)!
It wasn’t an easy decision at first. I was looking forward to photographing the picturesque landscapes but wasn’t yet sure what kinds of images I would be able to capture with this new camera. But, I was keen enough to give it a go. The fact that my husband had also made the same move and got himself his own X100S made the whole process much easier.
The ease of packing was an obvious advantage straight away and it didn’t take long at all for me to get convinced of its high quality performance. I was won over for good.
Two occasions in particular stood out for me during the trip that made me realise I had found my perfect camera. The first one was during our visit to Sossusvlei. Temperatures were as high as the dunes and that would have made it very hard to enjoy the experience if it wasn’t for my compact camera. That day, apart from the sand in my shoes, was such a pleasant one, that even thinking about it now, still makes my heart skip a beat.
I was able to focus on climbing the dunes without the weight and distraction of heavy camera gear and yet, still able to capture lovely images that I will cherish for the rest of time.
A bucket-list sunrise visit to the deserted town of Kolmanskop was spectacular and the X100S made it oh-so-much-sweeter.
Taking photographs with this camera was easy and so much fun. I couldn’t put it down. I felt like falling in love with photography all over again.
After our holiday, we met with friends and agreed to launch a collective blog called X-Frame to showcase images taken with X100 series cameras. In the months that followed, members contributed one image a week to the collection that can be seen here: (view this blog).
I didn’t realise it at the time that this would become a project I would contribute four years of images to.
It became such an important part of my life that I even published a book with my first 100 X-Frames images.
Thanks to this project, the images submitted to the blog are a red thread through those years of my life with big and small moments making their appearance. An image that did not seem to be as significant at that time, has now become a precious and treasured memory. I wouldn’t want to miss this experience for anything in the world.
Since that trip to Namibia, the X100 series has become a loyal companion and a permanent resident in my handbag. I have created many thousands of images and I cherish every single one of them.
As I write this, I am reminded that apart from having found a beautiful piece of gear that helps me capture life, it is helpful and important to set projects, whether you are a professional photographer or not.
Photographs are meant to be taken!
Thank you, Fujifilm for creating a tool that has allowed me to capture memories and tell my story as a reflection of my love for light, life and beautiful Mother Earth.