In the interest of creating a more diverse and inclusive brand, Fujifilm has announced some changes to its “X-Photographer” ambassador program. These include the creation of a new “Creator Website,” plans to add 10 diverse new photographers to the roster, and the creation of a transparent process by which photographers can “get on the path” to becoming an ambassador.
The plan was published on the Fujifilm-X website yesterday; an update of sorts on how Fuji is attempting to create a brand that is “more representative of our community.”
“We would like to take this opportunity to bring you up to speed with what we are doing with our X-Photographer program and how we are structurally changing it to be more open to aspiring image makers,” reads the announcement. “We believe that having a diverse range of ambassadors is important and expect these changes to lay the foundation for how we will continue to offer opportunities to image makers from our community for generations to come.”
Fuji plans to achieve this in three ways. First and foremost, the company will establish the FUJIFILM Creator Website by August 2020. This will be a “central location” where people will be able to learn all about the various Fuji Creators and Fuji X-Photographers currently in the program, and read instructions on how to become an ambassador themselves.
Secondly, they’re de-mystifying the process of actually becoming an ambassador, which is broken out into three tiers: Fujifilm Collaborator, Fujifilm Creator, and Fujifilm X-Photographer. Instructions on how to become a Collaborator will be included on the aforementioned FUJIFILM Creator Website, essentially allowing anybody who qualifies to apply. From that point on, you can work your way up the ranks, applying to become a Fujifilm Creator, and then ultimately applying for the chance to become an official X-Photographer, a role that can only be held for 4 years before a new photographer “rotates” in.
Finally, the last step will be to expand the X-Photographer program by choosing 10 new ambassadors who will make the group “more diverse and representative of our whole community” and bring the total number of Fuji X-Photographers to 26. These 10 will be chosen from the “initial group” of Fujifilm Creators. Applications will open September 1st, and all 10 of the new X-Photographers will be unveiled on October 1st.
You can find more details about Fujifilm’s plans here, but that’s all we know for now. We expect to find out more about the application process in August when the Creator Website officially launches. As Fuji says in the announcement, “changes take time,” but it sounds like the company has come up with a detailed plan on how those changes will come about.