I used to own Canon cameras. Loved them. Every button was where it should be. I learned the ins and out. I installed Magic Lantern (firmware that installs features that the cameras don’t have natively) and became proficient at that. I even threw some YouTube videos up about it. But I felt limited. So, what did I do? I went out and bought what I thought was the perfect camera.
The Sony A6000 came out and, in many ways, for me, it was perfect. I could take my old SLR glass and mount it, and breathe new life into those old film camera lenses. It was muchsmaller than my old Canon. Plus, the video codec was better. I was in love. I am done buying cameras, I thought. This is the one, I confessed.
Surprisingly, it was after acquiring this “perfect” camera that my creative focus and experimentation began to wane. I allowed my focus on impressive specs take precedence over the enjoyment of how the camera felt in my hand. I was proud of myself for knowing what made a great camera, as far as I was concerned. I didn’t realize at the time that I wasn’t shooting photos as often as when I had my Canon. Sure, the Sony had more focus points and better video features, but what good does this do me when I leave the camera at home?
My new camera was much smaller than my old camera, so I should have been carrying it by my side as I do my cell phone. But in reality, I wasn’t. All the fancy video features and massive amounts of focus points couldn’t make up for the reasons I left it home. The ergonomics (including dial placement), the non-stabilized old lenses, and the fact that I am left-eye dominant on a camera with a viewfinder on the left side (picture a nose pushed up against the LCD screen) essentially caused me to stop taking photos.
So what did I do? Sold my Sony, and bought an Olympus. The new Olympus OMD EM-1 Mark 2? Nope. The EM-10 Mark 2. But….why? No 4k video. No flat picture profile. Not even a million focus points. But a stabilized sensor for those old lenses and those top dials. Those lovely dials I was missing from my Sony. It made me realize that I could not pretend to call myself a photographer if I wasn’t actually using my camera. As feature-packed as the Sony was, it wasn’t making me passionate about photography, or even giving me business, and that’s because I chose the wrong camera, for me.
Never, ever let gear be the cause of your passion disappearing. Your creativity is always with you. Take walks. Watch people. Buy a camera that you want to grab. Don’t let the absence of gear in your bag limit you from trying new things or experimenting with what you have. Enjoyment feeds creativity. Enjoyment feeds experimentation. Experimentation feeds proficiency with that camera. And that means more focus on your subjects when shooting, getting better results, and in the end…falling back in love with photography.
David Andrade is a Rhode Island-based portrait photographer, wedding videographer, and budget filmmaker. His passion is in post production – such as color grading in Davinci Resolve and compositing in Photoshop. Dave also has a passion for music as a long time guitarist, and an avid fan of blues music.
Brooke Shaden is known for her hauntingly dark, surreal self-portraits that urge the viewer to take a closer look at profound themes. We talk to Brooke about how she creates worlds in which she sees herself living.
The f-stop can be a pretty daunting thing when you’re trying to wrap your head around the math and how it affects aperture. But, it doesn’t have to be so confusing. This guide will walk you through everything you need to know about f-stops so you can take perfect exposures every time.
Dog photographer Anne Geier has a knack for capturing each pet’s unique personality, and her stunning portraiture truly showcases the energy and spirit of man’s best friend. Anne tells us what gear she prefers to use to bring her portraits to life.
Astrophotographer Geoff Moore tells us how he pre-plans his night sky shoots by researching meteor showers and scouting locations free of light pollution to capture amazing, clear shots of the Milky Way and shooting stars.
Jefferson Kent York was only having fun with photography when he started on social media a few years ago. He wasn’t expecting to become an Instagram suggestion or get featured by HuffPost as a must-follow Instagram photographer. Now, his audience is over 200k.
The key to understanding aperture is knowing that it’s all about harnessing light. This in-depth guide goes over everything you need to know about aperture and how it makes up one side of the exposure triangle, along with shutter speed and ISO.
Ready to make the leap from photo enthusiast to pro photographer? In the first installment of our two-part series, we discuss easy and effective practices for attracting clients and keeping them… like a pro. Plus, we talk about how to meet other pro photographers and the benefits of finding a mentor.