Beginner Photography Anti-Gear Guide
Let’s unpack it together in this photography tutorial.
Beginner Photography Anti-Gear Guide
Key reasons obsessing over photography gear might be slowing your progress
When you’re starting out in photography, it can be super tempting to start buying as much gear as you can afford! Gear is fun & it seems like the simplest way to improve our photos.
But there are some big reasons you might want to focus on skills and not the gear you have as a beginner
Consider this an anti-gear guide for beginner photography
Alex Kilbee of the Photographic Eye shares the ways that you can grow as a new beginner photographer and why gear won’t solve all your problems!
Beginner Photographer Gear – Don’t Sweat it!
As a beginner photographer especially, you should focus on your skills, creativity and making mistakes! You don’t need and shouldn’t need all the fancy gear to make yourself a great photographer.
Beginner Photography Gear Guide: The Myth of Gear – It’s all Marketing
The answer to the question ‘how do I become a better photographer’ isn’t what gear you have.
Especially as a new photographer, there is so much to come to grips with from the technical understanding and lingo, to the conceptual and creative.
It can be easy to listen to all the ads and think ‘if i just had that lens or that camera then I will succeed.’
The only thing you need as a beginner photographer or any photographer for that matter is a willingness to learn. Here are a few points to help you on your photography journey!
Getting over ‘New Gear will solve my problems!’
Gear is simply a tool to be used for a purpose.
Especially as a new photographer, you don’t need any fancy gear. What you need is the willingness to learn how to use it to its fullest – all the ins and outs.
When you have really learned something to that level and you find it is holding you back or not doing something you need it to do, then look to invest in new equipment.
The appeal of new and shiny gear will distract you from putting the time in to grow your craft to learn how to take an excellent photograph. People were making excellent photographs a hundred years ago with cameras that would seem very basic by today’s standards.
These excellent old style photos still appreciated today are not the result of amazing cameras, but rather of photographers spending time building up their aesthetic, or the ability to see the world as a photographer.
Gear is not the answer, it is simply a tool for your creativity. Gear doesn’t necessarily make great photos – the photographer behind the lens does!
Get Inspiration, Not New Gear!
It’s so important to your creativity to look for sources of inspiration that make you want to pick up your camera and get out there and take photos. No matter what camera you use, you can get inspired and practice your craft!
Looking at the work of photographers you love is good as well as work from new photographers you aren’t familiar with yet.
There are many other avenues of inspiration as well, cinematography is great for inspiration as well. Everything from music videos to movies and TV shows.
The use of composition and cinematography here is excellent for ideas and inpsiriation. If you feel stuck creatively looking at pictures, watch movies and tv you love and analysing how they are utilising technique and equipment to create different looks.
Paintings and other forms of artworks are great for inspiration as well, any form of visual expression can be inspiring. The more you draw from other sources, the richer your ‘visual vocabulary’ will become.
The more you look with a studying eye at things, the more you will understand what resonates with you.
When you match your personality with inspiration that resonates with you your images with have more of your soul in them and feel like stronger images.
This skill has nothing to do with your gear – its all YOU!
Why not Worry About Your Beginner Photography Gear? You Should Make Mistakes!
Whenever you learn a new craft or skill, you are going to make mistakes. It’s human and it’s how you learn!
As a photographer, you need to be comfortable with the idea that you are going to make mistakes. The fear of making a mistake or of someone pointing out a mistake stifles creativity and limits your work.
If someone is willing to offer constructive feedback, that’s great because that is a part of growth. Try to ignore haters who just want to put down your work, because you don’t want to let that affect how you see your work!
It’s natural to aim for something and not quite hit it. Reflecting back on that piece and thinking on what’s missing is really helpful for growth.
Also, happy accidents have led to much greatness and sometimes not nailing what you were going for leads to something else even better.
If you are too concerned with mistakes you might never show work that can lead to your growth or other things you might have missed. Alex looks at this photo that didn’t turn out how they wanted to learn from the mistakes:
The most significant thing you need as a new photographer is a willingness to explore, to get out there and try things and learn.
The answer to photo woes is not the gear, it’s your growth as a photographer!
Want to learn more about photography? Check out these Essential Photography terms EXPLAINED for beginners!
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