An Open Letter To Nikon ~ Wisconsin Professional Photographer
So, yeah. This has already been written about.
Nikon has been called to the carpet.
But maybe...just maybe....there's someone out there who reads this little blog who doesn't know the outright bull-dookie that Nikon pulled on its female customers.
If you want the quick and dirty full run down of said dookie, read HERE
So, let me lay it out there.
I'm a chick. I have delicate fingers....female hormones....lady parts. When I work, I'm a chick as well. A female professional photographer. Now, let me be clear here. I don't mean "cutesy mom-tog" like I'm sure you've envisioned, Nikon Suits. The kind that would flock to a glittery pink, smaller DSLR with big, obvious buttons. Maybe put pictures on the buttons. Words are confusing. I'm not sure if these people even exist. Maybe they do. They live in some hell-scape that is beyond the darkest reaches of my nightmares.
I've been a professional, tax-paying, working-my-tail-off every weekend shooter since 2008. I've been published in Professional Photographer Magazine, Delta Sky, and by the Huffington Post. Most recently I've had stuff on Good Morning America, but this is no humble-brag, dear Nikon. This is to show you that I am a real, in-the-flesh-honest-to-God professional photographer. I support my family in full with my job and I do it well.
Recently, to unveil your much awaited Nikon D850, your Asian branch chose 32 photographers to be ambassadors for the launch. 32. MALE. PHOTOGRAPHERS.
Now, TO BE FAIR, you had global ambassadors as well. Four of them, one being the phenomenal Joe McNally. I had a chance to take one of his Master Classes a few years ago. I understood every big word. Out of the 4, one is a woman. Which hey....kudos for that. 36 Ambassadors in total. 1 Chick. Out of the 24 Nikon Ambassadors from the US, 7 are women.
Roughly 29%. I guess we'll take it, right girls? Right?
Now, Nikon Asia, you CLAIM that you "invited female photographers" to attend the ambassador event for the D850 but none of them were able to.
They probably had a PTA meeting or their monthlies or something, right guys? Amirite?
Let's just put it all out there, Nikon.....you suck at marketing to your female users. Seriously. I've used your products for nearly 10 years. Multiple camera bodies, countless lenses and accessories. Like Sophie's Choice, it was you over Canon. I chose you. I invested in you.
As female professional shooters, we come up against a lot of unique circumstances, not limited to: people thinking I can only photograph babies or weddings (because cute and love or something), sexual harassment at events, being called "hey girl" on the regular, being told I'm shooting something incorrectly....WHILE I'm at work (if I had a dollar for every time someone told me my flash was sideways or backwards).... People believe I do this as a "hobby" or for "fun spending Mom-money", people think I must be a friend of a wedding couple or that I work for my husband or another, probably older, male.
And you know what? I've never sat by and really whined about this. Because I had work to do and a business to run and screw the idiots who think my business is somehow not as legitimate because I have boobs. I've met plenty of guy photographers who couldn't light their way out of a paper bag who are probably given more credence as professionals than I am.
But whatever. Real recognizes real, right?
So, be real...Nikon Guys (because I'm sure you're all guys...or this never would have happened). We're real. We exist. We deserve recognition as professionals. We don't need "easier to use cameras"....we don't need our hands held.....what we need is for you to wake up and realize that we exist in great numbers.
This is 2017, guys. I mean....c'mon.