Equipment & Talent

As photographers we get asked the same question over and over again:

What kind of camera do you use?  

While this is a legit question I sometimes feel there is a underlining statement that says:

You have nice pictures because you have a nice camera.
Anybody ever feel this way?  Well yes I have nice pictures because I do have a nice camera but if I kept my camera on Auto my pictures would look just as good as shooting with my point and shoot.  My pictures look good because I know how to properly expose them.  My talent, not my equipment makes the photo.  HOWEVER, I do believe good equipment is a must.  You just need to know how to use it!

Lets think about what we are doing as photographers.  We are being hired, payed for, be these moms and dads, these couples, that want us to capture, to freeze in time the memories of what they see in front of them and have that photo stand up to a true life comparison.  We as photographers want to deliver.  It is our duty as professionals to deliver the best we can.  Now let me ask you.  If someone hired you to take professional photos would you bring your point and shoot to the scheduled session?  Of course not!    Would you feel fine taking a Rebel with a kit lens?  I’m going to say maybe if you’re doing this for a friend and not getting paid.  But would you feel comfortable enough using that equipment on a wedding you’re being paid for?

Canon Rebels or a Nikon D3000 are great cameras but they are not in the professional bracket.  If you’re just starting and you have one of these cameras you are doing great!  Learn all that you can, learn every function of that camera and rock it out!  Look into getting a better camera?  If you’re thinking about buying a camera you don’t have to buy a kit at all.  I would recommend buying a camera body and a better lens separate.  A great starting prime lens that is on the affordable side is the 50 mm 1.4.   As you start to grow with your knowledge of your camera your need should grow too for better equipment.  If you want to take it in steps, look into getting 40D, 50D, or 7D and I think the Nikon equivalent would be D90 and D300s if I’m wrong please forgive me, I’m a Canon girl, but we want to outgrow our equipment.  I’m going to say it again, if you are still shooting in Auto do not upgrade or else your new camera will be like a big point and shoot.  Better camera does not mean better pictures.  A better more knowledgeable YOU means better pictures.

 And still these cameras are not full sensor.  A full frame camera has a sensor that is 35mm like original film cameras.  Cameras that are not full sensor are cheaper but you pay the price in quality.  Cameras that are not full frame have more vignetting, barrel distortion and the crop factor when shooting wide angle.  Now say you have a small sensor camera because that’s where you’re comfortable, maybe all you can afford at the moment, you can still take amazing photos with your camera coupled with a more skilled you and sexier lens.  Yes a sexier lens!  Some amazing lenses are 16-35mm 2.8, 24-70mm 2.8, 70-200mm 2.8 and they will all have the quality you want even with a Rebel!  But I suggest to you as a fellow photographer to work your way up to a full frame camera that is in the professional bracket, a 5D or 5D Mark II and up.  I promise you will see a difference.  Don’t settle and in order to work your way up in equipment you need to work your way up in skill.  In this day and age everyone has a DSLR but not everyone can be considered a photographer.

Which are you?

Can you tell what camera I used?

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  1. Maryanne says:

    I was looking for this article to show my husband as it had points in a discussion we are having.

    Our conclusion is better equipment can give better sharpness, ect. and ease the editing load.

    BUT… BIG HUGE BUT…

    I have a Rebel (older model) with a kit lens. I just upgraded to a Tamron lens recently. I have no problem considering my work professional. I’ve also successfully marketed it to a few magazines and online sites along with portrait sales as time allows.

    I came across this quote this week that really resonated with me.

    “If most of us are ashamed of shabby clothes and shoddy furniture, let us be more ashamed of shabby ideas and shoddy philosophies…. It would be a sad situation if the wrapper were better than the meat wrapped inside it”. Albert Einstein

    I think we tend to forget the photographer greats of the past where working with what we would consider nowadays inferior equipment.

    I just can not state how wholeheartedly and passionately I disagree with being labeled unprofessional by the equipment used.

    • Leah Remillet says:

      Completely agree with you! I actually didn’t write this post, it was written by a friend of mine Noelle R. I would advise anyone when thinking about upgrading not to do so UNLESS you can a. pay in cash and b. your skill set has brought you to know the limitations of what you’re currently using.

  2. Maryanne says:

    “your skill set has brought you to know the limitations of what you’re currently using”

    Excellent way to put this! Thanks for the reply!

    • Leah Remillet says:

      You’re very welcome! 🙂 My honey and I have had similar conversations! Particularly when I was ready to go up to the Mark II.

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