You may be aware that earlier this year, I visited the headquarters of two companies in the camera and drone spaces: this was of course part of a greater plan. I’ve also been a little quiet on the picture-making front because behind the scenes, there’s been a lot of work going on that’s much closer to my previous profession in nature: operations and corporate strategy. I’ve recently returned from Gothenburg with a new business card and a tag to open the doors of a place I’d only imagined not so long ago. In short: I’ve been appointed the new Chief of Strategy for Hasselblad. What does this mean in practical terms – for the site, for my own work, and more importantly, for Hasselblad? I’ll attempt to answer those after the jump, along with my rationale behind accepting the offer.
Firstly: the site continues pretty much as-is. I will continue to write and post (though obviously, my personal reviews will continue to be limited, as there would be a serious conflict of interest if otherwise) and most importantly – make images. The frequency of my postings is likely to decrease slightly, though we are in the process of finalizing some arrangements that will see a new (and very well known) contributor joining mingthein.com in the next couple of months. And yes: other reviews will be back. I already receive so much feedback and traffic regarding cameras, desires, wants, thoughts on Hasselblad etc. that it makes logical sense to both continue being the receptacle for that, but with a big difference: I will now be in a position to do something proactive with it.
I announced at the end of last year that I would be curtailing teaching activities and workshops in order to spend more time at home; that’s true as my position is both part time and can be performed for the most part remotely via email and over the phone. This is a nice bridge to keep things interesting. Commercial work continues, though I now have the luxury to be a little more discerning and only take the most interesting jobs. Variety is still the key to keeping yourself creatively motivated and able to apply insights from other situations; plus it’s important I stay in sync with the industry. I still have new bags in the works – yes, the smaller mirrorless bag and a few other surprises – which will be announced in the coming months; we’re currently in the final stages of prototyping.
For Hasselblad, things are a little different. My role is a very broad-based one: ostensibly, it’s about ensuring the correct customer experience that’s in line with the brand and the kind of expectations one has when spending several orders of magnitude on anything past ‘sufficient’. Where can we innovate with product offerings, and how do we create emotional design that’s both functional and just downright beautiful? Yes: this means I will in my new role have some influence over the product roadmap, and no, I obviously can’t say what’s coming up or comment on rumors. But sufficient to say that we will have something very, very interesting coming later this year.
The final question left to answer is why: I think this is perhaps the simplest of them all. 15 years ago – a digital camera of any kind was a dream to me. Ten years ago, medium format digital was not just a dream, but the kind of thing on par with being myopic and selected for an astronaut program. To be part of the Hasselblad team and have the chance to shape the future of one of the most significant names in photography, at a time when they are an unwritten book of possibilities – who could possibly say no? In the meantime: you know how to get hold of me, but for Hasselblad-related thoughts/ enquiries/ comments/ suggestions/ where to buy etc., please use my new (official) email address. MT
And now that that’s all done – have you watched the H6D-100c Thaipusam video yet?
More info on Hasselblad cameras and lenses can be found here.
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