BlackBerry Introduces: BlackBerry Fan of the Month, September 2012

Customer Q&A

Ah, September, the month that brings us back-to-school and marks the end of summer. With it also comes a brand new BlackBerry® Fan of the Month (FOTM). As the seasons change, you can be sure that this particular FOTM will be there to capture every moment. He’s an avid photographer and has started a blog dedicated to highlighting all the great pictures he takes on his BlackBerry® smartphones and BlackBerry® PlayBook™ tablet.

As a FOTM, he’s also no stranger to #TeamBlackBerry, often providing help, tips and tricks to the community online. Have you ever wondered how to make the most of the camera on your BlackBerry device? Chances are this FOTM has a tip that will take your photos to the next level. And with that, it is my pleasure to introduce you to our September FOTM, Jon (@nerdologist_jon). You’ll read below that he’s definitely got some tenure on the team and he’s eager to share what he’s learned over the years with you. Check it out in his interview:

1. How many years have you been on Team BlackBerry?

Seven years and counting.

2. What inspired you to purchase your first BlackBerry smartphone?

My wife at the time wanted a BlackBerry device because her favorite pop star had one. I inherited it shortly after and have been hooked ever since.

3. How many BlackBerry devices have you had in total? Could you list them all out for us?

BlackBerry® 7100t
BlackBerry® 7105
BlackBerry® 8700
BlackBerry® 7230
BlackBerry® Pearl™ 8100 (Black/Red/White)
BlackBerry® Curve™ 8320 (Gold/Titanium)
BlackBerry® 8800
BlackBerry® Pearl™ 8120 (Titanium)
BlackBerry® Pearl™ Flip 8220
BlackBerry® Curve™ 8900
BlackBerry® Curve™ 8520
BlackBerry® Bold™ 9700
BlackBerry® Storm™ 9500
BlackBerry® Curve™ 9300
BlackBerry® Bold™ 9780
BlackBerry® Torch™ 9800

I’m currently using:
BlackBerry® Curve™ 9360

BlackBerry® Torch™ 9810

BlackBerry® Bold™ 9900
BlackBerry® PlayBook™ (16GB and a 64GB)

So over 20 of them! I might be missing one or two.

4. Which of your current devices do you use most?

I mainly use the BlackBerry Bold 9900, but it depends on my mood. I use my BlackBerry Torch 9810 for pictures, apps and games. I use the Switch Device Wizard to go back and forth.

My 64GB BlackBerry PlayBook tablet has my entire music library on it. I mainly use my 16GB BlackBerry PlayBook for the Pacemaker® app and some of the other DJ apps. I also use it as my test device. My whole family is now a BlackBerry PlayBook family. My son has one, my brother has one and I have two.

5. Which BlackBerry smartphone and BlackBerry PlayBook tablet applications do you use most?

I have over 50 BlackBerry smartphone apps and well over 200 PlayBook apps. My favorite apps vary a lot because I live off my BlackBerry device and my BlackBerry PlayBook. I honestly don’t know where I would be without them. They go everywhere I go. If I had to try and narrow it down to a few, this is how it would pan out:

BlackBerry handheld: BlackBerry® Messenger (BBM™), Twitter® for BlackBerry, Camera and Foursquare.
BlackBerry PlayBook: Camera, Pacemaker, Corkboard, Blaq and all my games (I can’t pick one).

6. How many BBM contacts do you have?

Last count, I think I was at 120.

7. How do you keep track of them all?

Sometimes I don’t! Sometimes it’s hard to manage them all, but I break them up in groups. The most important people go in my “elite” group.

8. What is your favorite BBM emoticon?

:]xx Feeling Beat Up. It’s just hilarious. I like to randomly add it to my status or send it to people.

9. Tell us about the best BBM you’ve ever received. What did it say and who was it from?

That’s a hard one especially since I’m trying to think about all the awesome BBMs I’ve received over seven years. I think it would be from my buddy Mac when he told me he wanted me to write for his blog PocketBerry and when he told me that I was going on assignment to BlackBerry® World™. Every time he messages me about going to an event, I’m super stoked.

10. If you could BBM your BlackBerry, what would you say? What would your BlackBerry BBM you in response?

Me: What are we going to do today?
BlackBerry: Take over the world!

In a small way, I want to catch the world by storm. I want people to know my name, not in a cocky way, but I want to do something where people say “wow, he’s really doing something different.” That’s why I started my photoblog. How many people use their mobile phone to take really cool pictures? This is me taking a passion of mine, and using available technology in an innovative way.

11. You’re an awesome BlackBerry photographer and we LOVE that you’re always sharing your amazing BlackBerry photos on Tumblr® and Twitter®! How long have you been taking pictures with your BlackBerry devices?

Thanks! Ever since the BlackBerry Pearl 8100 came out. I started taking pictures with my BlackBerry and as time went on it became more of a therapy. A way to relax!

12. Do you have an all-time favorite BlackBerry photo? We’d love to see it!

To be honest, it is really hard to choose just one, that’s why I started I now have the ability to share all my favorite pictures. But If I had to choose just one, I would have to say the picture that you guys used for Five Pic Friday on the Inside BlackBerry Blog. It’s my favorite because that picture was an “accident.” I was chasing my son around the beach and had my phone in hand and while running I heard it snap. That’s what was produced. It was so cool. It goes to show there are no such things as accidents — everything happens for a reason, and sometimes out of that “accident” something awesome is developed.

13. Do you ever use any photography apps? If so, which ones do you like most?

Yes, I sure do! I use LensBoost, Pencil Camera, and PicStory on my 9900. On my BlackBerry PlayBook I use InstaPhoto, Pencil Camera and Tilt Shift. However, all the pictures I post on my photo blog are all-natural and raw -– no filters, no nothing.

14. Do you have any BlackBerry photography tips to share with Team BlackBerry?

Yes, of course.

1) Don’t be afraid to play with the scene modes on your camera — don’t just leave it on auto. If you’re at a concert, you’ll want to go with a party scene or a night scene to enhance and brighten up the photo even more.
2) Take multiple pictures with different scene modes. That way you learn how each setting works and what is the best setting for what you are trying to capture. Here’s an example: This was a picture I took at night. I tried both pictures with no flash, limited lighting. I tried one under night scene and one under action. You can clearly see the difference between the photos.

3) Megapixels mean how big a picture is in terms of resolution. Pictures are only as good as you take them.

4) Take pictures the way you see the world. That way you can tell your story through your pictures. Like this picture — it looks like you are seeing the world from my eyes and I’m peering around the corner.

5) You don’t always have to take a picture of something straight on. Capture a picture from different angles. Take as many pictures as you can and you’ll have a lot to choose from.
6) Most importantly, have fun!

15. According to your Twitter profile, you spend an inordinate amount of time on unpopular obscure activities. You’ve sparked our curiosity, tell us more!

I’m a huge nerd and to me, that’s the definition of a nerd. I’ve always been and will always be a nerd. Throughout high school I received letters just like the jocks did, but my letters were all for academics (that’s a bit obscure; usually you wear letterman jackets because you were on the varsity football team or basketball team, not because you were a nerd). What I do may not always be the most popular or coolest thing and may be different, but it’s what I do. I just do my own thing. That’s just me. I dance to the beat of my own drum.

16. Who are your #TeamBlackBerry BFFs? Feel free to give them a special shout-out here!

I think this is the hardest answer so far… there are so many people out there that are #TeamBlackBerry that are important to me.

Of course, all the people at RIM® that I have met at many events!
Mac at
All of the press contacts I met from all over the world
All the BlackBerry Devs
All the people I met at BlackBerry World
#Team “We’re talking about practice!”
Tom my BBM surfing buddy
All my BBM contacts!
Too many people. They know who they all are!

17. Do you have a favorite BlackBerry memory? Please share!

I have many memories. One of them was when I met former CO-CEO Jim Balsillie at BlackBerry World 2011 while the Goo Goo Dolls were playing. Another was standing next to CEO Thorsten Heins and enjoying the sounds of The Martinez Brothers at BlackBerry World 2012. I didn’t even realize it was him until a couple seconds later! If I were to tell you all my favorite memories we would be here for days.

18. Last but not least, are you prepared to handle the fame that comes with being our Fan of the Month?

You bet I am!

Be sure to check out the other awesome past members of the BlackBerry Fan of the Month club, in case you missed ‘em:

January – Brian (@newshutr)
February – Ivan (@IvanSHarris)
March – Jane (@photosfromabb)
April – Josh (@BBbrodyBB)
May – Mark (@AllAboutMyBB)
JuneJT (@AgentBlackBerry)
JulyKimberly (@kmcooley)
AugustMike (@flash0p)

Keep sharing your FOTM suggestions with us, either by leaving a comment below, tweeting to us @BlackBerry on Twitter, or posting on our Facebook page. Stay tuned – our October FOTM could be YOU!

About Donny Halliwell

Donny is a Senior Product Marketing Manager at BlackBerry and Former Editor-in-Chief for the Inside BlackBerry blogs. There's no disputing, #TeamBlackBerry is awesome. I'm pumped to have the opportunity to talk with you and bring you the latest and greatest from Inside BlackBerry every day. In my spare time, I can be found helping entrepreneurs and startup companies grow their business. I spend the rest, obsessing over the auto industry, or enjoying music. Follow me on Twitter or Google+

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