My approach has been to use the camera I have and learn as much as I can. I rely on myself, my love for people and the human connection, my love for nature, beauty, my artistic eye, and my passion for photography.
For any aspiring photographers who are on a tight budget,
let me inspire you to use what you have!
That is what I have been doing, and if you love photography, your talent will shine through and you don't need that crazy expensive equipment. Take it from me... Everyone I know has a better camera than me!
Yes, it has been torture watching so many around me purchasing better equipment just for fun, or because they think they maybe, kind of like photography.
I get asked all the time via e-mail, and in person what camera and lenses I use. I used to get so embarrassed to give anyone an answer. Most of my friends and family all had better cameras than me. For the past 2 years up until around 2 weeks ago all I shot with was a Nikon D40 and the kit lenses that came with it! (Luckily the response I have had as I reveal my camera's lack of sophistication has been really sweet and complimentary, as well as shock. And I take in all of the compliments to heart.)
The simple reason I hadn't upgraded is I don't like to use a credit card AND I wanted to earn and save every penny from photography jobs to purchase my photography equipment (like an old zen approach to photography, if you will).
Let me tell you, it has been pretty much like TORTURE wanting a better, and crazy expensive camera and lenses.
I have known exactly what I wanted: A Nikon D700 camera, and a 70-200 2.8 lens, and an 85mm lens to start.
So guess what? I saved and saved and saved from all of my family portrait sessions taken with my little D40 and about $3,000 later I finally purchased my D700!
So far I have only used it on one shoot, my recent maternity session.
I can't wait to learn all about this new camera! The main thing I am excited about (I know this sounds funny) is the internal motor that focuses fixed lenses. I have a little nifty 50 that only works on manual focus on my D40- yes in past sessions, I have shot children this way-in manual focus!! Patience and luck with those shots!
I still love my little D40. It takes great photos, and has been with me, by my side on my creative journey and business in photography.
(Next I am saving up for a great lens!)
Anyway, just wanted to share my story of camera equipment in hopes to inspire any other aspiring photographers out there thinking they need the best equipment.
Now I want to share an inspiring article with you.
I read this awesome article awhile back and bookmarked it for future reading and sharing.
I just came across it in my bookmarks today and thought it would be a great reminder for us photographers moving into the new year.
It was written by CJ at PhotoDino.
What Every Aspiring Photographer Should Know by CJ at PhotoDino
These are my thoughts, nothing more and nothing less.
I get asked all the time, during workshops, in e-mails, in private messages, what words of wisdom I would give to a new and aspiring photographer. Here’s my answer.
- Style is a voice, not a prop or an action. If you can buy it, borrow it, download it, or steal it, it is not a style. Don’t look outward for your style; look inward.
- Know your stuff. Luck is a nice thing, but a terrifying thing to rely on. It’s like money; you only have it when you don’t need it.
- Never apologize for your own sense of beauty. Nobody can tell you what you should love. Do what you do brazenly and unapologetically. You cannot build your sense of aesthetics on a concensus.
- Say no. Say it often. It may be difficult, but you owe it to yourself and your clients. Turn down jobs that don’t fit you, say no to overbooking yourself. You are no good to anyone when you’re stressed and anxious.
- Learn to say “I’m a photographer” out loud with a straight face. If you can’t say it and believe it, you can’t expect anyone else to, either.
- You cannot specialize in everything.
- You don’t have to go into business just because people tell you you should! And you don’t have to be full time and making an executive income to be successful. If you decide you want to be in business, set your limits before you begin.
- Know your style before you hang out your shingle. If you don’t, your clients will dictate your style to you. That makes you nothing more than a picture taker. Changing your style later will force you to start all over again, and that’s tough.
- Accept critique, but don’t apply it blindly. Just because someone said it does not make it so. Critiques are opinions, nothing more. Consider the advice, consider the perspective of the advice giver, consider your style and what you want to convey in your work. Implement only what makes sense to implement. That doesn’t not make you ungrateful, it makes you independent.
- Leave room for yourself to grow and evolve. It may seem like a good idea to call your business “Precious Chubby Tootsies”….but what happens when you decide you love to photograph seniors? Or boudoir?
- Remember that if your work looks like everyone else’s, there’s no reason for a client to book you instead of someone else. Unless you’re cheaper. And nobody wants to be known as “the cheaper photographer”.
- Gimmicks and merchandise will come and go, but honest photography is never outdated.
- It’s easier to focus on buying that next piece of equipment than it is to accept that you should be able to create great work with what you’ve got. Buying stuff is a convenient and expensive distraction. You need a decent camera, a decent lens, and a light meter. Until you can use those tools consistently and masterfully, don’t spend another dime. Spend money on equipment ONLY when you’ve outgrown your current equipment and you’re being limited by it. There are no magic bullets.
- Learn that people photography is about people, not about photography. Great portraits are a side effect of a strong human connection.
- Never forget why you started taking pictures in the first place. Excellent technique is a great tool, but a terrible end product. The best thing your technique can do is not call attention to itself. Never let your technique upstage your subject.
- Never compare your journey with someone else’s. It’s a marathon with no finish line. Someone else may start out faster than you, may seem to progress more quickly than you, but every runner has his own pace. Your journey is your journey, not a competition. You will never “arrive”. No one ever does.
- Embrace frustration. It pushes you to learn and grow, broadens your horizons, and lights a fire under you when your work has gone cold. Nothing is more dangerous to an artist than complacency.
(You can find the original post here: http://photodino.wordpress.com/2009/05/27/advice/)