How and Why I Became a Nikon Photographer

Beyond the Lens.

How and Why I Became a Nikon Photographer

Let’s take a walk down memory lane…. In 2008 I was just about done editing my early drafts of Journeys Through Darkness: A Biography of award-winning, legally blind Nikon photographer Kurt Weston. While I still had Weston’s story fresh in my mind, I decided to get more serious about photography, myself, and take a few classes. After all, being able to take (make) decent pictures could help me get more assignments–writing and photography assignments.

In Hawaii, with my Nikon.

At the time I was using my second, more advanced, point-and-shoot camera, but I knew that, eventually, would have to upgrade to a DSLR.

A couple of photographers I knew at the time (I’m still very much in touch with them) were Nikon photographers. In 2003-2004 I met award-winning (Nikon) photographer Marvin Newman. A couple of years later, I met one of my favorite photographers, Kurt Weston, who, as I mentioned above, is also a Nikon shooter–I ended up interviewing Weston for A&U Magazine–America’s AIDS Magazine in 2005 and several other times, and also wrote a book about his life and photography work.


World AIDS Day 2018, at the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art: award-winning photographer Kurt Weston talks about his work including in his show, Remember: An AIDS Retrospective. Photo by Alina Oswald.

And so, by the time I decided to take on a few photography courses and workshops at SVA (School of Visual Arts, in New York City) and B&H, I already had my eyes on Nikon. Then, while at B&H, I met the amazing David Brommer (Suspect Photography), also a Nikon shooter.

Along the way, while studying photography, I’ve also met photographers I admire, Nikon ambassadors such as Vincent Versace and boudoir photographer Jennifer Rozenbaum.

Still, I had to do my homework first and consider all my DSLR camera options. After endless hours of research and asking millions of questions, I decided to go with Nikon myself. I’m still with Nikon to this day.

That said, over the years I’ve also met quite a few Canon photographers, and Sony and Olympus photographers whose work I love, whose advice I cherish. In the end we all know it’s not really about the camera. As Ansel Adams once said, “The most important component of a camera is the twelve inches behind it.” California-based photographer Peter Adams adds to that, saying (in a quote) that, “a camera didn’t make a good picture any more than a typewriter wrote a good novel.”

Photographing Fleet Week in NYC.

Truth is that we all have our heroes in our personal and professional lives. My first photography heroes and mentors happen to be Nikon shooters. They kinda opened my eyes to Nikon and to becoming a Nikon photographer myself. And I thank them for that!

Thank you all for stopping by and reading my blog!

Alina Oswald

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