My day started with a splitting headache. It is not that I had BIG plans or anything – rather the usual routine of getting coffee, driving the same old route, going berserk on social media and of course suffering from writer’s block. Did I mention talking to my dog? There was no reply.
And one more thing! It was the very day I was supposed to meet with this YouTube guy…what’s his name? All I know was that it’s weird but somehow it usually stays in my head! I don’t even know why I am doing this. I don’t even know him well.
Sure, I’ve watched a few of his videos. What a geek, I thought! I am sure some people are excited (25,000 of them to be exact) to watch the guy talking his head off about camera gear. I admit, it must be fun (sometimes) to get this camera gear for free and play with all these toys. But come on? How long can you watch camera reviews? Not that I watched much – just enough to convince myself it’s not worth it.
I don’t even know why I wanted to meet the guy. What I am going to talk about with him? I am sure he is clueless about photography! I have very little interest in spending my time talking about camera gear and, in turn, I guess he won’t be interested in my bizarre and contentious theories about “seeing.” Oh well, there was nothing else to do that day.
First, I spent five minutes trying to convince my dog to go outside – after all I will be out for two hours. Bailey (yes, I named her after my wife’s favourite drink and in my defence, they match colour-wise – I mean the drink and my dog) wasn’t happy about venturing out into the wet, miserable world of Vancouver in March!
After taking care of my beloved friend, I grabbed a camera I almost never take with me and went to meet this YouTube camera geek. I arrived at Coffee Divano (my favourite place to meet!) on time. Quite unusual for you Olaf, I thought. Then I picked a table, of course positioning myself on the right side so my new friend would be lit by gentle window light just in case I wanted to take a snap. Guess what? Things only got worse from there!
Twenty minutes later, there was still no sign of even one geek in the entire coffee shop. I’d gone through all my online feeds twice, liking some images I don’t even like (as usual). I’d stared out the window for about 10 minutes and sipped another generous dose of caffeine. He is probably playing with his Fujifilm GFX, Leica M10 and god knows what else, I thought.
I get it! If I was him and had all those toys at my disposal I wouldn’t waste time meeting with some highly opinionated and artistically unstable blogger. He might be a smart guy after all, I thought.
After exchanging a few messages and clearing up a misunderstanding (of my own making, of course), he finally showed up. My first sight of him confirmed all my assumptions. He had a blue baseball cap with some weird logo I’d never heard of matched with a classy scarf and topped off with geeky but expensive-looking glasses. What should I have expected!? This is going to be the most boring 30 minutes I’ve ever had in my life! I didn’t think I would last long talking about camera gear.
Then we started to chat. First topic – Japan and its people. How smart of him! He tried to outmanoeuvre me by starting with something interesting to grab my attention and would then take a sharp turn into gear porn. Not so fast, my friend! Not with me!! So I waited. To my surprise, our discussion about Japanese culture continued. Not only did it get super interesting but we became really engaged. Then we turned to photography! Here we go, I thought! He’ll start with his gear gospel any second now. Olaf, brace yourself! Get your ammo ready!
Then, another shocker! He actually started to talk about “seeing” and taking imagery, how he enjoys shooting with his iPhone and when he reviews equipment how he views it through the prism of creating great imagery. Then we discussed branding, YouTube and lots of unexpected stuff. He even showed me some really thoughtful, well-composed, interesting images he’d taken recently. Two full, super interesting hours and we still couldn’t stop! How strange!
This guy was riveting and witty, to-the-point, no bullshit, no politics – a straightshooter whom I started to like. Even his geeky glasses and his scarf started growing on me.
After a super fascinating discussion with heated but stimulating exchanges, we took out the cameras we’d brought. I usually take my beloved X100F to meetings but somehow this time I grabbed my plastic but super-fun Fujifilm Instax camera. He reached into his camera bag – here we go, I thought – he will probably take out some jewel I cannot afford. But guess what? He took out a polaroid-like plastic camera. We looked at each other and started laughing! “Do you usually bring a polaroid-like camera when you meet people?” I asked. “Not at all,” he said. How strange – we were in sync!
Then it was smooth sailing. We chatted and had a great time together. All my assumptions about the guy were wrong! After all, he is right calling himself BIGHEADTACO. Indeed, his HEAD is BIG on ideas. It looks like this is a guy I could meet often and we’d have a great time together. We may even grab some TACOs! Who knew!
Make sure to check out the BIGHEADTACO YouTube channel and http://www.bigheadtaco.com for gear reviews, thoughts about photography and much more. Did I mention the great guests on his show? Don’t forget to subscribe and… grab some TACOs.
Make sure to check out BIGHEADTACO’s great article “Why crop to the cinematic aspect ratio” published at https://fujilove.com
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