I just got back from an amazing week in Tokyo and I have so many pictures I’d like to share with you that I’m going to split it up into three blog posts. In this first part, I’ll show you some images about the “official” part of the trip. Together with three other photographers, I was invited to Tokyo by Fujifilm. I’ve been almost exclusively using their cameras for the last year and I’ve been very happy with their equipment. It has made my work more personal and enjoyable, so it was a great honor to be invited to their headquarters. The main goal was to meet and discuss what we like about the gear and what we would like to see changed and added in the future. I won’t go into details about all the photographers stuff here, I’ll be posting more about that on my website for photographers: Confessions XL soon.
After a long journey from Brussels to Helsinki to Tokyo I arrived at my hotel around noon. Without any sleep on the plane (try getting 196 centimeters to get comfy in a plane seat), I was pretty exhausted. But in the hotel lobby I ran into David Hobby and Zack Arias, two fellow photographers who were in Tokyo for the same reason as me and I decided to join them to shoot a bit on the streets.
After an hour or so, my batteries ran empty without any warning. I had to sit down and get a couple of energy drinks but when the sun went down I had enough energy to join the others for dinner.
Somehow we ended up drinking beers with a wedding party. I quickly learned that the Japanese definitely know how to have fun.
The next day we arrived in Fujifilm headquarters where we had the chance to explore their camera museum and gallery. Both are freely accessible for the general public by the way.
Zack, David, Kevin Mullins (who joined us just in time) and I, all gave a presentation on why we use the Fujifilm cameras for the Japanese press, photographers, bloggers and Fujifilm employees. Afterwards we were interviewed. Not sure by whom though.
Walking through the main hallway we also discovered that some of our pictures were displayed in the permanent Fujifilm collection … a very humbling experience.
All this made us hungry so we went for some delicious Japanese food and celebrated So’s birthday.
The good part of a jet lag is that you wake up early in the morning, can’t sleep anymore and decide to go for a walk to take some pictures of Tokyo waking up.
The second day, we moved to the Fuji factory to meet the engineers that actually make the stuff we love to use.
After the presentations we got a little tour and discovered that Fujifilm makes a lot more than our cameras.
The most exciting part of the day was the series of meetings we had with the people who design our cameras, the lenses and get us great image quality. We were shown the future of our system (can’t tell much about it I’m afraid) and we had in-depth discussions with these passionate people about how we think the cameras can be made even better. For the four of us this was an amazing and even emotional experience. I was already pretty impressed with how Fujifilm takes their customers’ wishes very seriously. After these meetings I’m even more impressed.
After this amazing day at the Fuji factory we moved back to the center of Tokyo for more great Japanese food and drinks.
These two days were a truly amazing experience and it’s a great honor to be choosen by Fujifilm to be one of the photographers to attend these meetings. In the next post, I’ll show you the results of a full day on the streets in Tokyo.