Does having all this photography gear make me a good photographer?

Does having the latest gear, or the best or a large amount of gear make you a better photographer? Everything you see in this photo I use daily for my commercial work. This gear is an asset that helps me make a living. But does it make a good photographer?

My answer to this is no! Photography gear doesn’t make you a good photographer. I work as a studio photographer for a massive retail company. And I train and guide photographers that come into our studio. And I always allow them to choose and use the newest gear, and lights with the most current software like Capture One. And I can say without a doubt, that better gear doesn’t make a difference in quality.

Understanding the fundamentals of lighting, the physics of lens optics & composition does make you an amazing photographer. And the most important element that makes a great photographer is willing to try and willing to fail and ask for help.

Give me a window, and a cellphone or crop sensor 8mp point and shoot and I know how to make something look good. And that comes with experience and the understanding that comes with age; that gear isn’t everything.

I recently had to do an active sportswear shoot with models outside in the midday harsh sunlight. And I choose a 20mp camera over a 60mp camera. Why? Dynamic range and speed. I needed something fast to capture action and something that had the most dynamic range to push the shadows, so I choose larger pixels over the quantity of pixels. Was I using the best gear? Nope, was I using the right gear for me and my vision, yes.

So to sum up the question does all the newest gear make you a better photographer? The answer is no. Understanding your needs and what you want the outcome to be is everything. And understanding your limitations and how to use them to your advantage is everything. So the next time you see something shiny and new, ask yourself if you can achieve the same outcome with what you already have. Does that new model bring to the table what your old setup is lacking? 4k, 8k, more dynamic range that you need or a smaller form factor for ease of use. Nothing is wrong here, just know that mastering the fundamentals and your eye for lighting lasts a lot longer than any camera model will.

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