You don’t need anything fancy! It’s not about the Gear!

This post isn’t anything new it’s just common sense. Over and over again I hear friends claim they’ll get started when the new gear comes out or when they finally learn how to use the gear they already have. Mainly talking about photography gear, but it really could be any kind of gear. Running shoes, hiking boots, bicycles, etc., you get the idea.

I remember thinking, my camera isn’t good enough. If I could get a new camera that was easier to use i’d take more pictures. I should take a class. Ultimately, my desire for new gear wasn’t about the new gear, it was the warped thought that it would somehow magically create beautiful photographs without me.

The problem is that there is always new gear. Sure there are features about the latest gear that makes it easier but in the end it really doesn’t matter. What I’ve been amazed as I’ve embarked on year two of taking a photo a day is the wide diversity of what people use for their pictures of all skill levels. Some have great, expensive gear, many just use the gear they have on hand at that time. Maybe that’s a phone with a camera or a polaroid, not really, but you get the idea! Most of the time I never notice what equipment was used to capture the image, I notice things like composition, color, focus, textures and a slew of other things that have nothing to do with what was used to capture the image. My camera is over 5 years old, it has it’s quirks, but it still works for me and keeps me going. Photo communities are everywhere online today. Instagram, Google+(hint use the search bar to search for photography, or whatever), Smugmug(I love smugmug, use code:8v0X3g7f8J58s for $5 off), and Flickr are great places to find inspiration.

For the longest time I hesitated using portrait photography in my dental practice, because I didn’t have room for a portrait studio in my office. Honestly, it wasn’t the fact that I didn’t have room for a studio, it was fear of not knowing how to properly set up lights or use a flash or the correct background. Finally I decided it was time to forget about what I didn’t have or didn’t know and think about what gear and skills I already had. So I started to take portraits in my office. I still have lots to learn, but i’m learning along the way. As I’m learning I’m also learning about pieces of gear that are helpful along the way. Adding gear as necessary, not waiting until I have all the gear I think I need. Here’s a photo from a recent portrait photo shoot.


So what are you going to start doing, I mean learning today? If you’ve already started what got you started?

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  • Powerofthesmile Jan 10, 2012 @ 15:28

    Very nice Doug!!!!   Glad you are finally taking pictures at the office.

    • Doug S Jan 10, 2012 @ 17:30

      Thanks! It’s actually lots of fun, now. 

  • Mtupa2 Jan 13, 2012 @ 10:00

    Great Doug.
    First, I congratulate you for the beautiful series of pictures of  your “Photo a Day” projects you embarked as of Jan 1, 2011. I saw all of them. Some of them are simply magnificent.

    Second, your comments about the “gear” I can’t agree more with you on that. Many times the “gear” we claim we do not have to launch a project is not more than an excuse to put a project off.

    Should we apply Stephen Convey’s “First thing first” . we should not be worry about the “gear” we claim we do not have to get started. We should just do it and along the way, as you did we can start adding the necessary “gear” to excel in our projects.

    Congratulations for your projects.

    • Doug S Jan 16, 2012 @ 10:35

      Thanks! I agree with “First things first”