How To Make The Most Out Of The Photography Gear You Own
How much photography gear do you own?
What camera do you use? And how high is the quality of your photography equipment? This and similar questions are asked a lot in the photo industry. The amount of megapixels or AF points doesn’t really matter though because at it’s heart photography is about emotion, narrative, and memory. In this regard the question becomes not about equipment quality, but the quality of the artwork produced. Specifically, what makes a picture a quality photograph?
It’s not reserved for 100MP+ cameras or even for photoshop users. But for everyone that has a camera and some creativity. So what is quality in a photograph? To us, it’s the ability for the photography to tell its own story. Without this aspect of story telling, a photograph merely becomes a visual representation. So questions about how much gear you own, how you haul it, and even how you use it become almost null and void. They are only aspects of how the story gets told, not the actual story. So let this inform the rest of this post:
“The story is everything.”
Most natural light shooters, photojournalists, and traveling photographers alike travel light for a reason. They know what they need to get the shot, and leave all else behind. They know the gear, the general environmental condition, and most of all, themselves. This is how they can capture amazing pictures with confidence. And so can you!
This quick guide on how to make the most of the photo gear you own will push you in teh direction of getting intimate with you gears capabilities and pushing yourself as a photographer. Here we go!
1. Experiment, experiment, experiment!
Experimenting is the best way to get to know your gear, what it can do, and how you can use it to achieve your vision as a photographer. So think about YOUR LOOK, your visual goal, your creative vision and think about what you may need to make it happen and then experiment! Getting from point A to point B is a regular occurrence on photoshoots, and this is a window where creativity can really shine. Out of the box solutions will free you up to tackle larger more daunting creative tasks, like making the right work for a client, creating personal work, or stepping outside of your comfort zone.
“Experimenting is medicine for your sanity and your work.”
2. Less is MORE
The more you can do with less the easier many production aspects of photography become. From the size of vehicle you have to bring, to the amount of gear you will have to carry around, less is almost always more. Including more interesting, more natural, and usually more intriguing of an experience. Take advantage of the flexibility of photography and make your work incredible no matter how much gear you bring to the set.
3. Photo tools are versatile and so are you
It’s incredible what one can do with simple gear and available light. One way to explore this is to shoot constantly over the course of weeks or months, focus on a genre or specific subject of photography and stick to it. The more variables of your practice shoots stay the same, the better you will train yourself to be versatile. If nothing else changes, you as the photographer must change. This is an important step in the photographer growth process. After all, the most valuable thing that can be brought to a photo shoot is a well seasoned and keen photographer.
4. Shoot 24/7
Maxing out your gears potential is definitely a challenge. You have to push your gear and yourself to the max but it can be extremely rewarding and eliminate ever having to wonder about the capability of your gear ever again. This will also help you work out your particular style, your look, and your workflow. After all, the ideal creative process has a formula, and can be repeated as necessary. Creating the right formula can only be done when having a shoot is second nature, and can be handled in such a way that leaves room for error (or happy accidents), but not disaster.
5. Rent some gear
Okay, this isn’t how to use the gear you have, but it is a great way to avoid Gear Acquirement Syndrome. If you have been looking at a piece of equipment or a new lens, and you want it badly, chances are you’d be better off giving it a shot by renting than just purchasing. That’s one of the reasons that renting is such a great resource. It can save your life when you need something that you don’t have, or just save you from spending too much on something unnecessary. Either way, rent it first! Then decide if you absolutely have to have it in your kit.
6. Be brave
It takes a lot of guts to bring yourself to a shoot, put your creative process on the line, and hope that it churns out something amazing. So be bold with what you have! Take what you have and do unexpected things, try out some new stuff, do something you don’t think will work just to rule it out. Be on top of things, be the one in charge, and drive your photo shoot to the finish line as you’ve imagined it. After all, you’re the one with the vision!
7. Book a rental at Fill In The Blank Studio
This isn’t just thrown in here because we want you to rent with us, it’s here because renting with us can make you a better photographer. We have specific tools, knowledge, and the willingness to share what we know with you. Reflectors, apple boxes, c-stands, v-flats, and a Cambo camera stand are a few things that we have on hand and available to you during a rental. So take advantage and ask us how we can help to take your work to the next level!
“After all, we’re in this to see you succeed as a professional photographer”
So there you have it! Some things you can do to get the most out of the photo gear you own! Thanks for teh taking the time to read!
Are you liking what you’re seeing on our blog? RAD!
Have a topic that you would love for us to cover?
Let us know!
Stay tuned for next week’s post on Mood Boarding!