If you are a photographer at any level and have made a great image, you have no doubt been praised with: “Wow your photos are great! Your CAMERA is AWESOME!”
Your typical, humble response is, “Yes, you are right. My camera is awesome. Thank you.”. If you are like me at all, there is another internal response that occurs (Thank God for inner monologue!) it goes something like this: Inside you have the sudden urge to hand them your awesome camera and say, “Yes my camera is awesome. Here ya go. Take it for a spin. You just have to point it in your preferred direction, push this button and wala… You instantly have great photos! It’s really that easy. I am enamored that people actually pay me money to use this thing, when they could just pick one up themselves and do the same thing. Crazy I tell ya!”
Come on, you know you have felt like that? Truly it’s OK! You are normal.
I have been in this scenario more than a few times in my life. The devil in me wants to respond without humility and filled with sarcasm, however I know that is not the answer. It’s best to bite your tongue, smile and move along. The truth is, people don’t know any better. They love your photographs and they just don’t know why. The default is to go right to the tangible item of your camera. They can see that so it must be awesome right? Chances are it probably is. We, as consumers, are inundated every day with “the next awesome camera” announcements and all of the other gear that comes with it. So why wouldn’t they think that.
I get asked at least once a week, what is the best camera to purchase that will make great pictures. The camera and technology helps, but YOU need to drive it. Auto pilot just won’t cut it.
I have seen photographers suffer from “My Camera is Awesome” as well, where market themselves solely on the gear they possess. It goes something like this:
“I have over $30,000 in photography equipment, so I can guarantee I take good photographs for you.” (Full Disclosure: I have lots of $$$ in equipment too, but the only thing that guarantees is that I can spend money :-))
Now, I can see a laser eye surgeon touting his latest, greatest and expensive equipment in his marketing materials, because he is touching your sense of vision through your eyes. I know I would feel more comfortable going with more advanced technology when it comes to laser eye surgery, than something that was 10 years old. Photography however is not laser eye surgery. (though the internets and forums may want you to believe that!). You can quickly find photographs through all of the eras of photography where imagery and vision are just as beautiful and timeless today as they were when captured. Imagine the cameras from the 1960’s and 70’s compared to today… The advancements are incredible! I guarantee that someone with heart and vision could pick up one of these old cameras and make beautiful images with it, just as they could with today’s latest camera.
I may sound like a broken record, because I say this all of the time, but… It’s not about the camera, it’s about YOU! Maybe you have listened, maybe not. Hopefully you are on the journey with the intention of never reaching a final destination. I am on the journey my friend. I am enjoying the journey and hope that I never reach the destination. The journey keeps me growing, learning, sharing and most importantly encouraging others along the way.
I am more interested in using this site to develop ourselves as better photographers, visionaries, and creatives, sans the camera and gear. This does not mean that gear is bad or that it will never be discussed. I mean, I am a guy and a geek! I love gear and gadgets. It’s fun to try something new and create. However, I speak from experience…. Thinking the next piece of gear you buy will improve your photographs or make you happy could not be further from the truth. The new gear is great for today, but tomorrow you will be in pursuit of the next piece…. repeat. It’s a vicious cycle and very expensive to boot!
What matters most is between your ears (your brain) and in your chest (your heart). We want to develop these two most important pieces of gear you own. Let’s exercise our brains for technical strengths and your heart for vision and purpose. I promise that if you exercise and feed these two crucial pieces of gear, that your photography will never stop improving.
I actually have the domain awesomecamera.com reserved. I don’t know if i will ever use it, but i have some ideas for it. There is no reason the ideas can’t be shared here. The name Awesome Camera has a bit of satire tied to it because to me, Your Camera IS Awesome, but YOU are Way Better!
Welcome you to the journey and look forward to enjoying it with you. Have a great weekend!