Once a year Nikon arrange a meeting for all NPS-members, such as professional photographers, journalists and so forth. Usually on a boat that takes us around in the Swedish archipelago for a couple of hours with good food and wine. A time of year I really enjoy.
This year was no different and on the 22 of august the trip took place on the beautiful old boat “Gustafsberg VII”.
When you board the boat you realize that it’s almost only men that are here. I think it was less than 10 women onboard, totally. They soon disappear in the crowd. A crowd of timid and reclusive men that rely more on technical aspects than on socializing. At least at first. I also belong to this group of men, maybe except I’m not shy nor silent. I think it has to do with years of stage and music training, but hey, that’s another story.
It’s an experience to see everyone standing alone and look nervously around with their camera in one hand and a glass of champagne in the other. There are lots of food on the serving tables. But no one dares to start. Everything looks delicious, the seafood, salmon and all the other nibbly things. Do we eat? No. Do we talk to each other instead? No. Some take the daring step and approach another photographer, stuttering something like “Eh, hi, you use Nikon I can see, lovely summer hey?”…
Very slowly people start to at least try to mingle. Some really daring person even starts with an appetizer. Then everyone takes one, at the same time. Suddenly the person who started becomes the hero for a second moreover become the target of which it’s “ok” to speak to. Swedish men are extremely scared of making the wrong thing or appear in the wrong way. It takes someone to start or brake the rules to get the party started.
Once the “ritual” mingle-dance were over people began to talk and socialize. Time to find a table for dinner. At the table suddenly everything feels at home. You become really eager to tell your point of view, and for the next four hours these people are your best friends. You share everything, pass around your iPads sharing pictures and you compare settings on your camera. For a moment we are lost in time. In a magical world. Our world.
If I’m invited next year I wouldn’t miss it for anything. I also strongly recommend more female photographers to come. It’s fun! It may sound like a cliche, but really, thank you Nikon for taking care of us!