As a photographer, have you heard of the term G.A.S.? It stands for Gear Acquisition Syndrome. In other words, the idea that the best kit must be purchased for you to be able to take the best photographs. Well, I’m calling bullshit on that. You don’t need the best kit to be the best photographer, and here’s why.
It’s the photographer, not the camera, that takes a photograph
I’m sure you’ll all have experienced something like this at least once in your life as a photographer. After figuring out your settings, getting your composition right and shooting your subject a few times, you show off the image on the back of your camera. And the response is, “Wow! You must have a great camera to get that shot!”
You’ve probably seen the memes around the internet, proving a point. The person who says to a chef, “Wow! You must have a great oven to make that food!” The person who says to a writer, “Wow! You must have a fantastic computer to write that book!” Need I go on?
Ok, so yes, a good camera does help. But I know plenty of photographers working with amateur kit who are taking extraordinary photographs. If you know your subject and your camera then what you do with them matters not about the model of camera, but on your skills as a photographer.
Striving for best is a constant uphill battle
The moment you buy the latest pro camera body, another is coming on to the market professing to be even better. It performs better in low light. It’s faster or more lightweight. Or it has other extra add-ons the kit you bought doesn’t have. When it comes to technology, the moment you buy a bit of it, it’s out of date.
As you well know, photography is not a cheap hobby. Good quality lenses come at handsome prices. Unless you’re earning a lot of money from your photography, being able to buy new kit whenever you want is a rare luxury many of us don’t have. So, why not make the best with the kit you’ve got?
Having the best kit won’t give you the best photos if you don’t know how to use it!
It’s all well and good having a pro camera body and a $2000 lens. But if you’re switching it to auto, or pointing it at your subject and hoping for the best, what good is it going to do you?
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m a big believer in shooting from the heart. I didn’t know much about exposure or f stops or any of that other stuff for a long time when I first started. But I also only had a point and shoot camera. So I started learning about composition and how to look at shapes and light before anything else.
Having a camera that does all the singing and dancing, when all you’re going to do with it is play YouTube videos is a complete waste of time. Start small, start basic… and so too with your photography. You’ll know when it’s time to upgrade. When you find your kit is holding you back, it’s time to think about something better!