A few weeks ago I was shooting a client when I showed her an image off the back of my camera. Which I will say I NEVER do. Not because I like to keep things secret, I have just learned over the years not to do it. (Ask me about that later.) Anyway I broke my own silly rule and gave her a peek. She let out a squeal of excitement for what she was seeing then she said it, ”Your camera is so good!” I’ve heard it before “oh my, you have such a nice camera.” “what camera is that? It takes great pictures.” ”your pictures are beautiful, what camera do you have?” Yes, I do have a nice camera. I spent a lot of money on not just one “nice camera” but two….and a slew of ‘nice’ lenses and lighting and every other gadget. But do you want to know what else I have spent a lot of money on? Education. I have spent thousands of dollars on workshops, education, learning materials and I have spent countless of hours engrossing myself in photography and learning everything I can possibly learn. My camera is nearly the vessel to take a picture, yes it is nice…and I do believe that good equipment is important…but if the operator of the camera doesn’t have the knowledge and skills to create a beautiful photograph the camera can’t do it.
Now I’m not mad that my client said that…no not at all. As a matter of fact I found it a little humorous and it got me thinking. I know she didn’t mean it in a way that was offensive and I wasn’t offended at all. But I think it’s a huge misconception that if you have a ‘nice’ camera then you can make a good picture.
This would be like telling a talented dancer “wow those dance shoes are amazing.” Or saying to a hair stylist “oh my goodness, those scissors are so good.” What about telling a baker “wow, this cake is so good! Your oven is amazing.” Or even a painter “what a beautiful painting, you must have good brushes.” Noway Jose! Granted……the dancer will spend money on quality shoes, the hair stylist will have the best shears, the baker will have a top quality oven and the painter will have the best brushes…but that doesn’t make them good. What makes them good is the time they have spent into learning, growing and really perfecting their craft.
So it got me thinking…I wanted to give you a visual as to what I mean.
So this evening I decided to put a cute little dress on my Ava and I handed my little sister my camera. I set it on auto for her and I told her to stand in one area in my front yard. I then asked her to take a few picture of my Ava. She then said “will you pose her for me?” And I said ‘nope, you do it.” So she had her stand in a spot under the tree and said “Smile, Ava.” A few clicks later this was the image that she took.