I receive questions about photography & about being photographed almost daily. I share some of my favourite questions on the blog, so that everyone can benefit from the answers.
Q: Do you feel that in order to start charging for photography I should have the highest quality of gear? I work with a Nikon D80 as it was all I could afford, and feel guilty about charging people, even though I do a good job?
It depends a lot on what you do. It’s definitely a fact that the equipment doesn’t a photographer make, and I know cases where, for example, people have sold pictures taken with a compact camera (or even an iPhone!) for huge billboard ads. I think if you’re doing editorial or fine art, or even portrait sessions, you can definitely start with low-end gear and just make sure your work speaks for itself (that’s what people pay for – your eye – not your megapixels or the paper pictures are printed on).
Another matter altogether is if you do something such as working as a photojournalist out in the field or shooting weddings. Weddings demand a lot from your gear. You need fast lenses and you need high ISO capacity for dark churches and dimly lit receptions. You need flashguns to be able to shoot in any conditions, no matter how dark or rainy it gets. And most of all, you need backups for all your gear. You’re in charge of the memories of a once in a lifetime day in your client’s life, and if you’re charging money for capturing those memories you will have to be able to guarantee that your gear is appropriate and that failure of any equipment is not going to stop you from doing your job.
Probably the most challenging thing about weddings is to somehow manage to not think about the challenges and relax. It’s really easy to feel the pressure of everything that could go wrong on a day that’s so important to the couple, but if you feel stressed about it, you’re not really able to fully concentrate on bringing your A-game. The trick is to be well prepared, of which good quality fully working equipment is a big part of. On the day you know that you are prepared for anything and then… let go. Just can then go with the flow and concentrate on finding the best frames you can.
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