Asker Avatar
Anonymous asked:
How is it that many professional photographers rarely follow their own advice? I see SO many pros giving advice to people aspiring to make photography a career by saying "it's not about the equipment, you don't need expensive equipment". Yet you're out there with expensive lighting, $10,000+ medium format rigs, full frame DSLR's. Eric Kim says "buy books, not gear", yet he walks around with $10,000+ worth of Leica gear. If he followed his own advice, he'd be shooting with a P&S. What gives?

Because we got to medium format gear and Leica’s with crap gear. We started somewhere. Most of us got caught up in chasing the gear instead of the light, the moment, the photo. I had more gear at one point in my life than I knew what to do with. 

Give me a Canon Rebel and a kit lens and send me on a job and I can get the job done. Is it the camera I most want to use? No. Is there a place and time to upgrade? Yes. You build up to that. The reason I preach that it isn’t about the gear is because I finally learned… that it isn’t about gear. Great photography isn’t about the gear. It just isn’t. 

David duChemin has a great quote… “Gear is great. Vision is better.” 

So I have a PhaseOne hanging around my neck and I’m telling you it’s not about the gear. I got that PhaseOne by having to work my ass to the bone with minimal gear that was held together with gaff tape and the Holy Spirit. The PhaseOne didn’t get me here. The crap gear got me here. I’m also not shooting the same stuff I was with the D100 and Vivitar 285 that I used to shoot. The level of work I’m doing is rising and the quality of what I want to produce is rising. Gear helps. It does. It doesn’t make you a photographer though. That’s the stuff between your ears that makes you a photographer. That’s why Kim says to buy books and not gear. 

If you can do a lot with a little then you will grow. You’ll prosper. You’ll get to finally own some decent kit but I swear you’ll look back and realize that it wasn’t gear that got you to where you are. 


46 Notes

  1. stewartuy said: been on a 20D for the past 7 years. I still come up to the challenge with my 20d when people call me out for having a 5D now
  2. mthphotography said: Well said Zack
  3. nsullivanphoto said: Listen to Zack! I built my studio with a canon rebel & a promaster lens! but I understood every technical aspect of photography I could, constantly learning. I have slowly saved & gone up the change to pro quality, & its wonderful but I can do amazing w/o
  4. zarias posted this