I’ve always enjoyed the company of photographers. So, it was truly enjoyable to share time and stories this week with a group of extraordinarily, wonderfully talented shooters, all of whom share the good fortune of being called a Nikon Ambassador.
At an evening gathering of most of the Nikon USA staff, each ambassador was asked to show a quickie version of their work. In my case, that meant squeezing 40 years into five minutes. I actually asked forgiveness for showing a bit of emotion. In photo school, in the 70’s, we used to hang at the darkroom, flipping through issues of this magical magazine called Nikon World. In it were the color treasures of the day, legendary pix shot by the likes of Jay Maisel, Eric Meola, Pete Turner, Anthony Edgeworth, and Michel Tcherevkoff. I pored over that magazine, dreaming, thinking that if I could ever shoot a picture that might come to the attention of Nikon, and this magazine, it would be a career well spent.
And, there I was, at the podium, a Nikon Ambassador, 42 years after buying a Nikkormat camera with a 50mm lens, at Willoughby’s Camera, in Manhattan.
I know all of us invited into the program offer profound thanks to Toru Iwaoka, the head of Nikon USA, and the entire Nikon staff for this positive recognition, for making us partners, seeking our opinions, and simply celebrating the long, tough task of being a professional photographer, which by definition means turning in seaworthy work, year after daunting, exhilarating year. In an age when virtually anyone can shoot a good or even excellent frame or two, here and there, now and then, there is a durability about this group, a staying power both to their pictures and their personalities. But the most profound thanks go to Mike Corrado, my blessedly inappropriate, ever fiery brother. He took the notion of this program and charged with it, opening doors, knocking over obstacles and most likely, breaking some of the furniture along the way. His non-stop evangelism for shooters is legendary. His passion for photography is constant. His friendship is a rock.
Above, flying Mikey by Tamara Lackey. Below, from Dixie Dixon’s twitter feed, a group of lovely and talented shooters–Bambi Cantrell, Tamara Lackey, and Dixie, wearing her lucky hat! #nikonambassadors