As photographers, we’ve all come across the never-ending debate on gear - Does a Great Picture translate to ownership of Great Gear. Some of the greatest photographers have had heated debates that have ruined life-long friendships and estranged colleagues due to their difference in opinion on such topics.
Photography is one of the few art forms that is heavily dependent on equipment and Tech. If you’ve recently discovered photography, and feel passionate about the art form, you’ve probably thought “If I had that Camera... If I had that lens… If I had that Lighting Equipment...” and/or you’ve already bought all of those things that you’ve thought about. Don't worry, you’re not alone, this is a very real phenomenon. The industry term for it is Gear Acquisition Syndrome and because we as photographers are quirky beings it is often referred to as G.A.S ( definitely accompanied by poverty, less likely to be accompanied by indigestion)
What we often mistake as a weakness in technical/gear issue is often a weakness in the techniques or skill-set we failed to invest in. I know it can be frustrating when every photographer on social media is showing off their brand new, shiny gear and you’re stuck with your trustworthy yet worn out camera body.
Buying new gear often feels like the quickest way to improve your photography, but, it is the lack of education that is holding us back instead of the gear. Rather than buying new gear, there are several things you could work on such as Composition, Lighting, Posing subjects, etc. The more we learn and grow our skills, the more confident we become in our craft and gear.
Knowingly or unknowingly as photographers, as artists we tend to be biased towards creating certain kinds of images or compositions. While similarity is great for work as a series, in your portfolio, it would become repetitive and eventually uninteresting. Break away from the pattern, break away from the mundane, take your trusty gear and go look at the world with a fresh pair of eyes.
Whether you prefer to use speedlights, strobes or you are a natural light photographer, you should learn how to add and manipulate light. You could try experimenting with different lighting conditions such as open shades or window light or play with coloured lights.
POSE & DIRECT YOUR SUBJECTS :
As wedding photographers, this is the most important asset you can have. Imagine this - Great location, great light, you’ve composed brilliantly, but you’ve got the bride and the groom in the frame looking like a nervous wreck ( because let's face it, we’re not all Tyra Banks, we can't pose on cue ). While as a photographer you may think, I’ve done my part by creating a great composition or capturing that amazing light, you’ve completely overlooked the possibility of how much better that image would be with the right expression on your bride and groom, maybe even add more sales to the photography business in terms of print orders.
While we believe that the permutations and combinations of the right equipment can help the creative process, the image-making process is not restricted by the gear. At Studio 31, We truly believe that gear is not what predominantly defines the output produced by a photographer <insert line about how we don't own any gear>.
In conclusion, whether you have amazing gear or you use your modest phone camera, the image making process starts with the single most important gear you own, your vision.
Authored by Soundarya Murugaiyan.