It is hard to believe that exactly two years have passed since we launched our beloved website MirrorLessons. Much like a newborn child, we never could have imagined just how profoundly running a website would impact our personal and professional lives. Not only has it allowed us to experiment with dozens of the latest mirrorless cameras, but it has also given us the opportunity to travel to places we might never have visited otherwise and forge long-lasting friendships with fellow photographers around the world.
The year 2014 brought with it a number of exciting milestones and events that have helped mould the character of our website and expand our community.
The most important was by far Photokina in Cologne, where we interviewed many mirrorless brand managers, met up with bloggers and photographers we’d gotten to know online (including Matthew Maddock of PhotoMADD, Donovan Bond of Fuji vs. Fuji, Thomas Menk of Fuji X Pro, street photographer Marco Larousse, and Gordon Laing of Camera Labs), tried the latest products, and bathed in the charged atmosphere of the largest photography trade show in the world. Between losing ourselves in the chaos of the endless showrooms, hurriedly eating ice cream for lunch to save time, and staying up until the wee hours of the morning to publish a blog post, it was certainly an intense experience, but an unforgettable one nonetheless!
Another incredible experience were the two London Photo Walks (dubbed LNDNWLK 1.0 and 2.0) that we organised alongside respected art photographers Johnny and Rebecca Patience in March and September respectively. The walks united photographers from all over Europe, many of whom had already been in touch for quite some time on social networks such as Twitter and Google Plus. The cameras we saw on the walks ranged from DSLRs to mirrorless to film to small compacts, but what we all had in common was a love for the art of photography. Given the success of LNDNWLK 1.0 and 2.0, I think we can all expect a third edition sometime in 2015!
The monthly Flickr Photography Challenges we began holding in association with fellow mirrorless blogger Tyson Robichaud back in March have also played a large role in the growth of our community this past year. The challenges are simple: all you have to do is submit an image to our Flickr thread based on a monthly theme that was chosen by the previous month’s winner. Every six months, we publish the images of the six previous winners in one post, have the public vote on their favourite, and send a small prize to the overall winner. With multiple submissions every month from very talented photographers, the challenges have been a great success so far, and we will certainly continue to hold them throughout the new year.
Finally, 2014 saw the birth of the MirrorLessons Mirrorless Community on Google Plus. Since Google Plus’ minimalistic platform is suited to displaying high resolution images and tends to be predominantly used by photographers, it seemed like the perfect place to establish a new community. Now, a year later, it has over 1000 members from countries all over the world, and is the most active mirrorless community on the social network. Not only is it a safe and friendly platform to share your latest shots, but it is also the perfect place to seek advice and constructive criticism, share interesting articles and videos, and make new friends. We’ve even started holding a few informal community-based challenges to get the creative juices of our members flowing. If you have a Gmail account, we’d love to see you there!
Looking forward to 2015, there are big personal changes on the horizon for Mathieu and me. As those who follow us on our social networks may already know, we recently came to the decision to move to Wales in February to be closer to my family. It is with some sadness that we bid farewell to Turin and the Italian lifestyle but we are also excited about embarking on this new chapter in our lives. As for how this will affect our professional lives, we have chosen to dedicate ourselves to photography and MirrorLessons full-time so that the blog may reach its full potential in the new year.
In conclusion, there are a few special names we’d like to mention as they have been fundamental to the development of our blog and community. Without them, I don’t know where we would be today!
- Thomas Menk – We are forever grateful for your Fuji X curation, not only of our articles but of those of other talented Fujifilm photographers. Our heartfelt thanks!
- SoundImagePlus – You’ve been a great supporter of our website from the start, and we can’t thank you enough. Keep up the great work on your reviews!
- The F Stop Lounge Team – Thank you Leigh, Andre and Ugo for your ongoing support of our website. We can’t wait to collaborate more in the new year!
- 4/3 Rumors, Fuji Rumors and Sony Alpha Rumors – By sharing our articles with the mirrorless community, you’ve helped us reach a wider audience. Many thanks!
- The Twitter Community – Johnny, Rebecca, Donovan, Othman, Verity, Eric, Marco, Robert-Paul, Rafa, Tammy, Riley, Vincent, Atle, Matthew, Gavin, Reba, Matt and more! Thank you for sharing our work and being such good friends!
- Special mentions – Michael, Maria, Jörn, Ray, Laura-Jane, Christophe, Tobias, Giulio, Gian Paolo, Loredana, Max, Cristian and Andrea. Thank you for believing in us!