Photography 101: The Mind of a Photographer

If you give Tiger Woods the cheapest golf clubs from Walmart, he’d still crush you at golf. Similarly, with photography, there’s so much more to it than equipment. But many people forget that, photographers included.

Photographers are known to suffer from G.A.S. (Gear Acquisition Syndrome). We always want the latest camera. The best lenses. The sturdiest tripod. The nicest camera bag… and the list goes on.

But in the grand scheme of things, the differences between similarly priced cameras are negligible. But that won’t stop the Canon vs Nikon debates on various forums.

The technical differences between DSLR’s and mirrorless cameras are very little, but that won’t stop the DSLR vs Mirrorless debate.

And 99% of your clients probably can’t tell the difference between a $1000 lens and $200 lens shot at f8.

Don’t get me wrong. There are indeed differences. We know because many of us have upgraded at one point or another. Sensors are better than ever. Low light capabilities have improved drastically over the years. Auto focus is faster than ever, some cameras can focus on the eye closest to the lens for sharp as a tack photos. In-Body Stabilization. And of course more megapixels.

But you don’t need low light capabilities if the subject is properly lit. Auto focus is still an educated guess, I still manually focus now and then, or at least use AF + MF for the best results. You don’t need in-body or lens stabilization if you’re using a fast enough shutter speed. And even though we have a few new 40MP+ cameras, the latest 4k displays only display about 8MP.

And then there’s the subject of sensor size, where many believe you need a full frame camera to be a professional. Zach Arias squashes that debate here:

If you think gear is everything, you’re stepping on the graves of the photographers that came before you. Just a decade ago, photographers were using equipment a lot more primitive to anything out today.

There’s no doubt technology has changed, but the basics of photography haven’t. Let’s take a peek into the mind of a photographer with this infographic:

[Infographic] Photography 101 - The Mind of a Photographer

A wise photographer once said, “Expression over perfection,” and I couldn’t agree more. Shooting headshots, it’s easy to get a photo that’s technically right. The challenge is bringing expression out of a subject, bringing out their best self.

If you have a camera, you’re a picture taker. It takes a lot more to be a photographer. And of course there are many different levels of a “photographer,” because it’s a skill that takes a day to learn, but a lifetime to master.

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