What do you shoot with?

There are many things in life I’ll never understand, like texting while driving or fans of the Chicago Cubs. Equally confusing is this fascination with comic book heroes starring in feature length films. Don’t get me wrong I love comic books, but condensing decades of knowledge into a two hour slot, combining it with more CG than any mortal should endure and expecting action to look real because of quick camera motion is a tragedy. BUT there’s one thing I find more confusing: when other photographers ask what I shoot with.

The answer is: a camera. That’s all anybody needs to know and should already be implied. Why not ask what I drive (or ride depending on the weather)? Since the vehicle delivers me to the shoot, isn’t that equally important if not more?  Asking what I shoot with suggests my imagery isn’t entirely mine, but a result of how much I spent on gear. A photographer is someone who works with light. They’re problem solvers and comfortable working in any situation and with any image capturing mechanism (except phones).

This isn’t to say I don’t love my camera, because I couldn’t be happier with what I work with. It’s just that anytime I’ve gotten into this conversation with another photographer, it goes absolutely nowhere.

“What do you shoot with?”

“X.”

“What do you shoot with?”

“Y.”

“Oh. Okay.”

If YOU have the answer, please join in.

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2 thoughts on “What do you shoot with?

  1. Even as an amature I’ve been cornered with this question. I do remember the camera envy I experienced when I first began this journey, but I was lucky enough to have learned quickly that the composition, the knowledge of how to use the light I have, and the problems I’d have to solve were what mattered most. I like the story told by a photographer who, when approached by a famous chef, was asked what kind of camera he was using. The photographer politely told the chef what make and model he was using that day. Upon hearing this, the chef said, “Oh, that’s why your images are so beautiful.” The photographer then asked the chef, what kind of pots he used to prepare their meal. When the chef answered, the photographer replied, “Oh, that must be the reason the food was good.”

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