Why I Love Fanboys.
Even though they’d previously ripped my heart out and stomped on it with their giant clown feet.
During college I once volunteered for a youth symphony orchestra that performs music from video games and Animes. (I know, I know. I am Jack’s embarrassed lymph glands.)
Nothing fancy, I simply took photographs for their website, newsletters, cd covers etc.
The first time I arrived at an assignment, I realised even though I was the ‘official’ photographer, that didn’t stop other volunteers from bringing their own cameras that were bolder, better, faster, stronger. (This would later be a constant reoccurrence in my wedding photography career.)
But that was my first encounter with fanboys.
Also the first time I experience brand discrimination.
“Ooh. You’re a Nikon boy.”
“Your focus ring turns the other way.”
“What’s your stop? 1.8? Not bad, but no Image Stabilisation. Tsk tsk.”
It was a confusing situation for me. The camera belonged to my dad. He gave it to me as a goodbye-to-college gift because it was just sitting there at home. (See, even our own parents bought shit they didn’t need, but that’s for another post.) I was just happy to have a camera of my own.
Of course, now I can conclude that I was picked on out of pure jealousy because a fat boy with a crappy film SLR was chosen to take photos while they checked tickets at the entrance.
Yet back then I got really pissed off for being laughed at, unprovoked, for owning a piece of equipment with a sticker I had no control of. I vowed not to touch a single Canon equipment.
Can you imagine a Honda Insight driver making fun of another Toyota Prius driver for not enough ‘eco-friendly’ functions?
Fast forward to present day, I shoot with a Canon 5D for weddings. I borrow my friend’s Nikon D800 from time to time. I personally love my film Leica M6.
And I absolutely adore fanboys.
Love them to bits.
Why? Because they seldom become professional photographers.
Sure, all professionals kind of stick to one brand (mostly because they’re sponsored), but it doesn’t necessarily work the other way round. You never become a professional photographer by owning the most cameras with the same logo.
The fanboys, with their brand wars and insecurities, are important for the industry. Because they basically support the industry. And that’s a good thing. Companies have money to fund their R&D departments, and therefore are able to keep producing good products.
Can you imagine if everyone were to wait for Apple to fix all the bugs before buying their phones? Or be level-headed and pick second hand instead of brand new? What if everyone just decided to ditch cameras as a whole and go with, gasp, Instagram?
That’s right. You don’t disturb the rainmakers of the industry.
You learn to love them.
So Nikon? Good!
Cameras? Very good!