As I think back, it was about 7 years ago that I was a Think Tank affiliate. Their offices were right down the street, and they were starting to get some traction in the photo industry thanks to their serious-shooter-focused bags. I liked their stuff, and their attitude.
Just as we were getting some momentum working together, Lowepro contacted me and offered me a contract to be their photography evangelist. I had published some reviews about their gear, and I had a good working relationship with them. They liked how I handled myself online, and thought that I would be a good fit for them. They were right.
A contract is a wonderful thing when you're an independent. I quickly notified my friends at Think Tank and told them about the offer. They understood completely and wished me good luck.
You probably know the next part of the story. With Lowepro, I traveled all over the U.S., and to Germany twice. At the highpoint of our relationship, I was involved with design decisions and sat in on high level meetings. It was a great run.
Then the bottom fell out of their bottom line. A sequence of top level management changes left me, and many others, out on the curb.
Since then, I haven't really struck up any new relationships for carrying solutions. (That's a term that Lowepro used. It always made me smile.)
That is, until the other day. Brian from Think Tank contacted me through theAnalogstory (of all places). We agreed to have coffee and catch up. The meeting was terrific.
Essentially, we picked up where we left off years ago. At one point he commented, "I appreciated how you handled things back when you were offered the gig with Lowepro." I told him thanks for saying so.
After the meeting, I was thinking about life as an independent. There are all of these relationships to consider. It's not like working for one company and having your allegiance focused there. It's more complicated than that.
And one of those relationships that I have is with you. Just like I chose to let Brian know years ago that I had a new gig with Lowepro, I need to let you know that I'm working with Think Tank again. It's not a job, but we're going to help one another.
As a result, you'll be hearing more about Think Tank Photo. They're a good company. You're part of a good community. And once again, I'm right in the middle of a lot of goodness.
Oh, and I have a couple new bags too. More on that later.