A number of years ago, I blogged a lot about the specific camera gear that I was using. Gear can be fun, but it can get in the way of a photographic vision. Too often photographers get swept up talking about the lens, camera, and light they use—as if it made them a better photographer. When I redesigned and nuked all my old blog and website, I stepped away from mentioning gear. At most I might drop the word Canon or Fuji. But for the most part I would just mention my portable lighting kit, to indicate that I use flash photography for most of my photography.
Well, I am going to geek out a little bit. I work at Nu Skin for my day job. It pays the rent and the bills, yay! It is a fun work environment and lately I have been doing more and more photography for the company. For most that time I used my own camera gear. But this past week we invested in a bunch of new camera and lighting gear, hooray! Now I don’t have to cart my gear from home. If there is an emergency photo shoot, I’m prepared and I don’t have to go fetch gear from home.
Here are the results of a 5 foot octabox… beautiful lighting on the face. Soft light that brings out the best of the subject. This was a surprise portrait. My coworker and friend Brittany was working at her cubicle when I snapped this portrait with little to no warning. Although, it is difficult to be a ninja with a big light like this. The camera is also 50 megapixels! Now I want a 50 megapixel for my own work. So many pixels! Yet at the end of the day, this photograph has been sized down for the internet and it is no longer 50 megapixels.
Here is a selfie I created with the 2 feet from my face. I should have groomed the beard a little bit more. I look like a disheveled Santa Claus. But the lighting is beautiful and soft. I look pretty good.
Why is gear important? Better gear helps a photographer focus on their vision. It gets out of the way so an artist can make their subject look their best. Gear is just a small part of the creative process, and it doesn’t determine the final result. I could create awesome portraits with my iPhone, but the hassle becomes a huge factor.
Looking through the photographs I have created through the years, the more I photograph the better I get. Old photographs I shot make me wince. Photographs from even a year ago give me doubts, but I know I’m improving because I am constantly shooting more and more. The only way to improve your photography is to give yourself practice and projects. Shoot constantly, and you’ll see yourself improve.