I will probably get a bunch of hate for this post but whatever. Hopefully, my message will help some of you. I realise this website is filled with enthusiasts, professionals, camera geeks, etc… but this post is pointed more at people that want to make it as a portrait or fashion photographer.
I’m a photographer that lives off photography shooting a campaign every few months and I just wanted to share some advice that I wish someone had told me years back.
I’ve met a lot of photographers in my time and they always break down into two categories. The ones that are artists and the ones that obsess over camera gear.
I find that the people that are obsessed with camera gear tend to be relatively bad photographers. I’m not saying they can’t take a nice photo, I mean generally these photographers are so tied up in trying to get the best camera setup they can, that they don’t focus on the art of photography. There’s nothing wrong with loving cameras but realise that practice shooting everyday for a week is going to improve your photos immensely as opposed to buying that new Sigma art lens. Stop relying on new camera gear to better your photography. Regardless of whether you’re using a top of the line Hasselblad or not, your photography is not going to improve unless your skills do.
When I speak to top fashion photographers, the conversation of cameras never comes up, it’s always about the art, the story and the image they’re making. Not what f/stop, ISO or shutter speed they’re using. In fact, the vast majority of fashion photographers are using relatively cheap slr’s with basic lenses. I used to be the kind of person that obsessed over camera gear myself but a few years ago when I really got into photography I realised that it just doesn’t fucking matter what camera you use, it’s 100% about the lighting that you’re working with. During the past few years I’ve used the same basic kit and haven’t even thought about changing my camera setup.
Start focussing on creating your own style and aesthetic that makes you stick out from the millions of photographers on flickr who’s photos all look the same and just be happy with the camera you’ve got.
Again this post isn’t meant to be a nasty dig at anyone but I just wish someone had told me this a few years ago as it would have helped me focus on the important part of photography which is the art.
About the Author
This article was also published here and shared with permission. The author’s wish was to remain anonymous, but we thank him for sharing his article with us.