Congratulations to Robin Wong – ‘Olympus Visionary’

I am proud and happy to announce that I have recently joined the Olympus Visionary program. In this short article, I’ll explain my decision of becoming a brand ambassador for Olympus Malaysia as well as how this changes my writing as a photography blogger moving forward.

Since I picked up my first DSLR in 2008, I have admired and followed Jay Dickman, a long-time Olympus Visionary and National Geographic photographer. There has always been a secret ambition to achieve the elusive “Visionary” status as I became a photographer myself. Strangely, I got involved with Olympus, albeit in a completely different relationship. I was officially under their employment as a product specialist for more than three years. I left my job with Olympus in early 2017 and a lot of things have happened since. When I was invited to join the Olympus Visionary Program, I was excited to see my original dream come to fruition!

In the past two years, I have been trying really hard to work with local imaging brands, but to no success. I managed to secure a few loaners from Olympus (whom I maintained good relationship with), Panasonic, Canon and Sigma (special thanks to those friends and contacts that helped) but the review game only goes so far. Several brands were not supportive of what I was doing and they just did not see the importance of having a photography blogger reviewing their products. Some of you have asked why I had no reviews of products from Sony and Fujifilm, well the honest answer is – they shunned my request for loaners.

Therefore, when Olympus Malaysia came to me with the proposal of me joining their prestigious Olympus Visionary program, I thought to myself, maybe it is time I stop trying so hard to win over people who never cared about what I do, and focus my energy on the one brand that has been with me from the start – Olympus. I have been using Olympus products for 10 years strong now, and I do not foresee myself jumping systems anytime soon.

I have spoken to MT about this, and we both agreed that the integrity of the site and our writing must be maintained and prioritized. I will continue to do what I do here, writing articles and sharing thoughts pertaining to photography. I will talk about my personal photography journey, my adventures, share what I have learned from my assignments, as well as continue to push the “shutter therapy” concept that I have been advocating all these years.

What changes? For the next one year, I will exclusively use Olympus products, but will be careful not to mention or compare Olympus products with any other brands to avoid conflict of interest.

Another significant change – I will not be doing any more product reviews during my involvement as an Olympus Visionary. I will however have an exclusive preview of products before launch and will share my thoughts and personal opinion about upcoming new products. As usual, I will transparently state my involvement with Olympus at the start of such articles. MT also has oversight on what gets published here. So if anything sounds heavily biased or too “shill”, he has the authority to censor my articles.

As for me, this is a personal, significant milestone in my life. Working for Olympus previously, I gained useful insight and precious experience on how an imaging business is run. However, being an Olympus Visionary, I am now finally recognized for who I truly want to be – a photographer. My deepest gratitude to everyone who believed and stayed with me over the years, thank you so much for the support.

MT: I can only add congratulations and very best wishes from myself and all of the readers – recognition well deserved, and yes, I’ll be continuing to look over your shoulder to maintain our journalistic standards of integrity… 😉

Here is what I can say – Shutter Therapy lives on!

__________________

We are also on Facebook and there is a curated reader Flickr pool.

Images and content copyright Robin Wong 2018 onwards. All rights reserved

Comments

  1. Alex Foong says:

    Congratulations to you, Robin Wong on your new challenges. Bravo, keep it up. Hope you every success as an Olympus Visionary.

  2. Paul Tirajoh says:

    Congratulation Robin

  3. Excellent news Robin, your enthusiasm for photography with Olympus cameras is contagious. Congratulations!

  4. David Runyard says:

    Congratulations Robin – well deserved

  5. Congratulations and blessings Robin! You are in good company as an Olympus Visionary and I am gratified to see that Olympus has recognized your diligent efforts as a blogger and a photographer.

  6. Congratulations Robin. I think this move will expand your global audience. I look forward to reading your thoughts into the (currently rumoured) new products next year and seeing your photos.

    • Robin Wong says:

      Thanks Jason! I am very happy with my current audience, you guys are the reason why I am privileged and be able to do what I do now!

  7. Congratulations! I’ve enjoyed your writing and photography both pre and post MT. I’ll look forward to your continued work. Best wishes!

    • Robin Wong says:

      Thanks for the show of support, Robert, and I appreciate your visits to both my blog and MT’s here. Thanks for staying with me, and surely more fresh contents are coming!

  8. Robin – thanks for keeping in mind very consciously the transparency and any potential conflicts of interest. I think that’s great. And congratulations for moving forward working doing what you love.

  9. Matthew L. says:

    Congratulations Robin! Looking forward to your future content.

  10. Congratulations Robin! As a passionate Olympus loyalist. I’d like to say welcome to the Visionary program. You’ve joined some great company. 😎

    • Robin Wong says:

      Thanks so much for the kind remarks, and I am glad to be a part of the Visionary team. Looking forward to many more adventures awaiting.

  11. Congratulations Robin! As a passionate Olympus loyalist. I’d like to say welcome to the Visionary program. You’ve joined some great company. 😎

  12. Nice to see your work and perseverance with the m4/3rds format paying dividends, Robin. Congratulations are in order!

  13. Cool! Looking forward to hearing all about the new E-M1X and new lenses!

    • Robin Wong says:

      Hah, you know I should be tight lipped about any new products, but when the time comes, yes, I shall do my best.

  14. Keith Temlett says:

    Robin, agree with all of the above. Your posts have always been so informative and written in a style that makes reading them enjoyable and I often go back to read them again. Have viewed you as an “unofficial” Olympus Visionary for years. Looking forward to many more shutter therapy sessions and hoping that your secret ambition, now realised, is all that you dreamt it would be. Best of luck and wishing you every success … Very well deserved

    • Robin Wong says:

      Thanks Keith, I appreciate your vote of confidence! I shall continue to do the same, and at the same time strive to improve my game, and as a photographer!

  15. Hugh Rigley says:

    Hey Robin,

    I must say that it has been a privilege to see your work and wish you the very best going forward in your new role at Olympus. Hopefully the next one year will become the next happy decade with Olympus. They are lucky to have such a talented individual.

  16. jean pierre (pete) guaron says:

    Congratulations, Robin, and the best of good luck with your appointment.
    I appreciate what you share with us, and a large part of the reason for that is seeing what Olympus can do.
    Years ago, a friend of mine was using an Olympus – was it called a “Pen F”? – too long ago to remember – anyway he swore by it and you couldn’t persuade him to consider anything else. At that time, I was shooting 6cm square format. We each chose what we are comfortable with! Anyway, it’s interesting to see what Olympus is producing now, so many years later. And I look forward to reading more of your postings on this blog

    • Robin Wong says:

      Hey jean,
      Thanks for sharing your story and I am glad I am able to help your friend in his decision to get the PEN-F. Even MT is currently using it, and I am sure your friend is getting good results. Indeed it is interesting to see Olympus grow, and I shall do my best in helping them in whatever small part I play as a Visionary.

  17. KALAI SELVAM says:

    Great news Robin. Olympus valued your expertise & your work and they picked the right person. I enjoyed all your Shutter Therapy articles and learned lot from you. I believe more to come from you as Olympus Visionary. Congratulations.

    • Robin Wong says:

      Kalai, thanks so much, and it means a lot coming from a fellow photographer. We should catch up over coffee or something!

  18. Congratulations! Love your photographs, reviews and how-to articles.

  19. Donald Leitzel says:

    Congrats on your addition to the Olympus Visionary program, your photography and writing will compliment their program. I have a friend, Frank T. Smith, who is also in the program.
    I haven’t commented lately because what can I say about greatness.

  20. Congratulations, and may I say it’s about time! Your photography and writing have been representing the brand well without compensation for years. Here’s hoping it pays, and with more than just a title. I have no doubt that your credibility will be maintained within this blog. The only editorial challenge facing Ming Thein will be moderating your irrepressible enthusiasm for the gear, a quality which always has been received as genuine by readers.

    • Actually, I am guilty of using a non-existent approach when it comes to moderation…

    • Robin Wong says:

      Hey Michael, rest assured, Ming Thein was right when he said that, so far everything (my articles) published here were 100% me! I believe that having someone as credible as MT to overlook what I have to say is also helpful to keep myself in check!

  21. Congratulations. I always enjoy reading your articles. Even if you do not write reviews, your experiences with the Olympus Gear is what i like to read about.
    Sorry to say it this way, but i suspect you’re one of the few using Olympus in a professional manner i suspect. The only one i know using Olympus is now going back to his previous brand because it now offers mirrorless cameras too.
    So please push your Olympus Gear to its borders so we can estimate what it is able to do, especially the rumored upcoming new E-1 whatever….

    • Robin Wong says:

      Thanks Ingo for the vote of confidence, and I appreciate the kind words. I shall strive to do the best I can in my writing and I sure hope more new “stuff” will pop up soon! Stay tuned!

  22. Jerry Strojny says:

    Robin – I am so happy for you! You have always been a visionary to me. Your blogs, advice, passion, has always been an influence on my purchasing decisions and my own growth as a hobby photographer. I am now the family member that is always asked to take pictures at our family gatherings. I want to thank you for that. I can’t wait to see what is in your future with Olympus. Congrats!!

    • Robin Wong says:

      Thanks Jerry for the very kind words and letting me know. I am glad I could help in whatever small ways I can, and I hope you have been enjoying the camera and lenses you have purchased. I shall continue to do my best as a photographer and blogger!

  23. Congratulations Mr Wong! Your reviews on Olympus gears had huge impact on my buying decision.
    God bless,

  24. Irvin Gomez says:

    Best wishes in your new endeavor!

  25. That is awesome, Robin, I have been following your work for years. To celebrate, I will go out on a shutter therapy session today, although it is not quite the weekend yet. Congratulations from Miami, Florida.

  26. Great job! I like your work Robin!

  27. David Griffen says:

    Congratulations Robin! You may have not been called an Olympic Visionary before, but it was your work and blog that influenced me to buy an Olympus EM-5 mark II and a a number of Olympus lenses nearly four years ago. I enjoy your work. I wish you the best.

    • Robin Wong says:

      Thanks David, I am glad I helped a little and be able to contribute in whatever small ways I can to the community. I hope the Olympus E-M5 Mark II has served you well!

  28. Heng Sure says:

    Robin – – great news! Full circle with Olympus; Global Visionary sounds just right. Your images and your words about your experience with the E-M5 and the various Pen models that you took out on the street opened my eyes to M4/3 and the beauties of the Olympus and M.Zuiko lenses. Using these tools while watching your discoveries and explorations has been a delight. My photos, inspired by your vision , have introduced the landscape and critters of Australia and California to people who otherwise would never have shared those vistas and worlds. So I am in your debt and I couldn’t be happier to know that you are now officially, somebody whom you have been in fact, for years: an influential Olympus visionary. Congratulations!

    • Robin Wong says:

      Thanks Reverend, you are being so kind and supportive all these years. I must find the opportunity to meet you in person some day and maybe have a shutter therapy with you!

  29. Congratulations Robin. I’ve been following your blogs from the US for a good while and am excited to continue reading, exploring, and learning from you in your new role. Best wishes!

  30. Congratulations Robin! Very happy that Olympus has recognized your photographic skills in this way.

    I’ve learned so much about photography and how to use my camera, from your and MT’s blogs (and subsequently both of you writing here), and look forward to seeing your upcoming images and writings!

    • Robin Wong says:

      Thanks for the kind words, Ken, appreciate your constant visits and I shall continue to share photos and write new articles!

  31. Paul Wilson (@TorpedoWilson) says:

    Great news Robin – always enjoyed your reviews AND your photography. Olympus recognises the latter at last…

  32. Imagilink says:

    Good morning Robin,
    Congratulations on your new title as Olympus Visionary and ambassador. It is rightly a great recognition for your artistic qualities and years of efforts as a photographer. Also for your qualities as a journalistic author to share your thoughts about a camera or photographic subject. I am convinced that your future reviews of Olympus equipment as Olympus visionary will be just as valuable to the reader as before you were an Olympus ambassador.
    For comparison: I enjoy reading the articles of photographer Jonathan Slack, a Leica ambassador. He starts his reviews with the following disclaimer: “My role with Leica is to test the cameras, not to write reviews of them, and it’s important to understand that this article is not intended to be a critical review. If I find something wrong with a camera, then I tell Leica. Having said that, this article is my work, nobody has suggested what I should write, and I certainly wouldn’t say anything that I don’t believe to be the case or omit anything that seemed to be an issue.” Yet I find his articles have been written very carefully and are valuable to me.
    Personally I like to shoot with Leica M and Olympus OM-D. I think these two relatively small brands contribute much to the development of photography and photographic art in general.
    I wish you every success in your new position as Olympus Visionary and hope to be able to read many articles from you in the future!

    • Robin Wong says:

      Thanks for referencing the Leica ambassador, I am doing the same thing moving forward, I will not be doing “reviews” anymore, but maybe something along the lines of “Robin’s Impressions”. That, and also stating clearly from the beginning my involvement with Olympus as a Visionary clearly, being as transparent as I can. I will still continue to shoot like I always do, and test the cameras or lenses similarly as before, hence the article style and writing approach shall remain the same.
      Thanks again for the support and I appreciate your input.

  33. Yes, like everyone else here, “good on you” as we say here (and which you probably remember!). Your macro insect work is exceptional. Keep going.

    • Robin Wong says:

      Thanks so much, I have not been shooting insect macro much, I shall find myself in the jungle very, very soon! Thanks for reminding me.

  34. Congratulations Robin! Go on with your work. I like to follow…

  35. John Thomson says:

    My cameras and most of my lenses are Olympus, and the choice was greatly influenced by reviews by a photographer named Robin Wong. So many thanks for that and my best wishes for your new life as a Visionary. Olympus has made another good decision.

  36. Congratulations Robin.. Very well deserved.
    I’m proud to be part of your Shutter Therapy sessions every now and then..

  37. Shreedhar says:

    Congratulations Robin. Always loved your “down to earth” way of looking at photography. Hope that you continue to be as prolific (about writing in this blog) as before. All The Best!

  38. Congrats Robin! One goal done, on to the next…

  39. Huge congratulations Robin. Never has it been more deserved.

  40. Justin Bonaparte says:

    Congrats Robin!

  41. Well done Robin. And suffice to say that Olympus may have a thing or two in the pipeline very soon …

  42. Congratulations! Olympus is lucky to have you.

  43. Congratulations again Robin, I first saw you on the Olympus Malaysia Facebook post last night and was thinking, “Oh, wonderful, Robin finally made it! And didn’t tell me! 🙂 ” You have been putting a lot of work in the technicals of both Olympus and Photography and cameras, this is an excellent reward for your efforts. Nice to know good guys make it in this world.

  44. rgarciah55 says:

    Congratulations Robin! Looking forward for your next photographs and projects!!

  45. Congratulations! I am very happy for you and look forward to seeing your new images.

  46. Wow, congratulations indeed! I can imagine this being very exciting and rewarding and I feel happy for you thinking about this news.

  47. you are good at what you do Robin and Olympus is wise to add you to the Visionary Program.

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