How Important is the Right Photo Equipment?

I think we’ve reached the point in professional photography wherein people automatically assume that if you have the right tools, you will get the right results. If only things were that easy. If only things were that formulaic, basic and mathematical.

As you probably already know after living on this planet for several years, life is not science. You remember science right? In high school, you may have been given equations where you plug in some variables and the answer will always be the same. It doesn’t matter how you’re feeling that day or what side of the bed you woke up on, the answer will be the same. The answer is the same regardless of where we come from, regardless of our mood, or the stuff we ate. In other words, there are some biological constants-in terms of requirements and needs and activities that apply across the board. These don’t change. They will always be needs. They are required for people to go on living.

There is something reassuring about that – the consistency. There’s something almost comforting about the predictability of science, but life doesn’t work that way. There are many great things that sound good in theory, but once we let life get in the way, things get ugly really quickly.

This is why it’s really important to look at the whole idea of equipment leading into some sort of high-quality photography with a tremendous amount of suspicion. Now, I’m not saying that just because I’m cynical and I’m not saying that just because I have nothing else better to do. I’m saying that just because people need to approach the issue with a very healthy level of skepticism and doubt.

If it was really just a matter of having the right equipment and being at the right place, at the right time, then everybody can become amazing photographers overnight. As you can probably tell, this is far from the case. It’s really important to look at the right photo equipment in the proper perspective. It’s just a tool. That’s really what it is. Whether we’re talking about the processes, the photos, the lighting, or the camera itself, ultimately at the end of the day, they’re just tools.

What’s more important is the software. The hardware can only take you so far. What software am I talking about? I’m talking about your imagination, your inspiration, and your passion for things bigger, more profound, and more sublime than yourself. It really all boils down to your personal hunger for raw, crystal clear, and unstoppable creative expression. It’s not about having the right equipment. The right equipment only gets you invited to the party, but whether you become the king or queen of the party is all up to you.