PHOTOGRAPHY: The Black Camera Ambassador 

I’m going to keep this short because, well, I know my audience is basically a bunch of beer drinking white guys. I’m fine with that. Underneath my black skin and aside from sobriety, I’m basically a beer chugging white dude myself. I find something troubling however: 

There is an alarming paucity of black/African-American camera brand ambassadors…. 

I know bruh, it’s not your fault, but hear me out. 

I don’t know why the fuck this is. A number of black shooters are accomplished professionals right? It’s not like black photographers don’t spend a small fortune on camera gear like any other subculture does, but I have an impossibly hard time finding a black brand ambassador for ANY camera brand I can think of. 

Canon? Nah. Fuji? Nope. Leica? Lol! Really?

Late 80’s shooting Ricky Ray style….
I’m sure folks can point me in the direction of a few black guys who get to try out new cameras before they are released and shit like that. I’d appreciate info about them. I suspect they are coons and ass-kissers but I can surely be wrong. I’m keeping an open mind….

Maybe black folks are seen as criminals. Fuji probably thinks I’ll run off with an unreleased camera and disappear or some fuckery like that. Funny how I see so many white and Asian brand ambassadors on YouTube though…. and hardly any women either, regardless of race.

 

This is perhaps a micro-struggle, but it speaks to a larger problem in society. I don’t want to infuriate my loyal readers but I guess I’ll have to wait for you to preview new gear on the web before I buy it because it will never be me. I was born on the wrong side of the color palate. 

Exit. 

16 thoughts on “PHOTOGRAPHY: The Black Camera Ambassador 

  1. I think the problem is that photographers are not considered “real niggaz”, so nobody would take them seriously.

    Just fuckin with ya.

    Great blog, man. I started blogging 2 weeks ago and it’s really surprisingly hard to find interesting blogs to follow. Cos I’m not that guy that will follow everyone just so some of them follow me back and never read any of my posts anyway.

    So, you just got yourself a loyal reader! Wooohoooo! Now you can write about how amazing it feels!

    Well, of course, if the quality of your content drops, I’m unsubscribing without second thought. So you better get your shit together and not celebrate too much. K?

    Peace!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It has not sucked being a part of the majority race in this nation. It sucked even less before I turned 40. So while some may curse me, I don’t feel particularly accursed! 🙂

        Like

  2. Just discovered this blog while searching for a Fujifilm X100F review (I just got the camera this week). I think this is my new favorite blog…
    Curious about Fujifilm RE lending you test or pre-production cameras. Have you gone to Fujifilm and asked them to be a tester? Ie… “Hello Fujifilm, my blog is microstruggler.com and I receive X-number of views per day and would like to test XYZ camera because my X-number of viewers are the right target audience for your products”.
    In terms of inspirational black photographers, the first person to come to mind is Jamel Shabazz. I first heard of him on the Candid Frame podcast (episode 257). It was so inspiring because Jamal is using photography as a vehicle to connect and help people of his community. Meaning, it’s not about cameras, lenses, and gear for him, it’s about using something (photography) merely as a vehicle to connect with people and to help them. That interview with him makes me want to find a larger cause for my photography hobby.
    Anyways, again, just discovered this blog and it’s perfect, my new favorite blog… filling my reader app with old posts to read while on the train commuting to and from work. Also, curious if you had contacted Fujifilm with your numbers and target audience stats, and asked to start a relationship with them.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Same with disabled photographers. I approached Olympus to tell them how their micro four thirds kit allows me to continue to shoot despite having a variant of Lou Gehrigs but had no joy even after being told to contact their PR dept. I wondered whether in the minds of “ad people” because I shoot from a mobility scooter I do not seem “cool enough” to sell their gear. Their loss. They would sell more gear for it. I exhibit and give presentations about my work and would give them a lot of publicity. Stuff them. Just enjoy photography for the personal pleasure it gives.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Maybe I just didn’t get to speak to the right person. Re-reading my comment it sounds a little bitter. I’m not. I just think all camera brand promotional activity needs to diversify. Not just Olympus – though that’s the gear I almost solely use.
        With my exhibited work and talks I’ve been giving I explore the relationship between how I shoot and the people I shoot – I’m often unseen and that’s because of the small, lightweight Olympus kit I have to use because of reduced strength and the fact that once you sit in a chair or a mobility scooter you become less visible.
        Incredibly there’s been some amazing synchronicity where people have recognised friends, relatives or themselves in my exhibited candid photos. They have then contacted me to tell the stories of the people in the photos. It’s been very positive. I’m going to be blogging about that very soon I hope – there really is some magic in this photography lark!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I have to agree with the basic statement of your post. i think you haven’t dig dipper enough because I think (and I’m not 100% sure) that there might be some more non-white/non-asian/non-male ambassadors than you think for some of the brands out there. True is that if you are looking for black photographers from the US then the number might be in between 0 and 2 (actually never paid attention so I’m not sure of what the number might be, but you get what I mean).
    I certainly believe there might be some straight up racism (let’s not sugar coat it, ok?) with that. But maybe is that they don’t engage much with internet audience, I mean, if I am a brand I will send test models to people that has a huge and loyal following because when they guy writes the review is tons of “free” publicity for me.
    I don’t know to be honest. Just putting some thoughts together here.

    I guess I am another white beer drinking dude … eventho I’m European (Spain) and when some of the WWP (white wealthy people) know that my first language is Spanish, apparently I morph into Mexican for them … Go figure!

    Like

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