My Camera Gear

Porto, Portugal

Porto, Portugal

Every photographer starts somewhere. It is easy to become obsessed with camera equipment and gear that is behind a beautiful photograph. In our world, social media makes it even more difficult to find your identity. Anyone with a camera is a photographer, and their recognition and technique creates an unnecessary pressure to replicate rather than discover your own. It can be very discouraging, and excuses sprout from these insecurities. I do not believe equipment is ever a limitation. Maybe your camera is an older model. Maybe you do not have a lens for the shot you want. In my opinion, you can obtain the shot you want with patience and drive – regardless of the equipment.

Your time and energy should be focused on composition and technique, because the gear you own does not define you. Composition is key, because you can always fix a well-shot photograph in post-processing over and over as your editing technique changes. Programs like Lightroom make it so easy to revisit those past shots and apply what you have learned over the years to old images, bringing life back into them. However, you cannot change the composition from the past and process it later into a great photograph. A poor photograph will always be a poor photograph, no matter how much post-processing you do in an attempt to “save” it.

Boyaca, Colombia

Boyaca, Colombia

I have owned many different cameras in the past with superior image quality. However, you can have the most optimal technology, but if it deters you from shooting, nothing else matters. My Canon 5D Mark II produced beautiful portraits when I shot wedding photography. This camera was powerful, and the results showed. Last summer when I explored Chicago for a week, I was miserable with this camera. The photographs were fantastic, but at the end of the day, my wrist would cramp up from the weight. I felt like a typical tourist and often missed the shots I wanted because of its obvious profile. Ultimately, I had everything I could ever want in a camera, but it did not add joy to the experience. I knew after this trip that I needed a change.

I love my Fujifilm camera, and I do not benefit in the slightest for saying so. It does not weigh me down and pushes me to go out on an adventure. It has become part of my identity - an extension of myself. Since the settings are all physical dials, I can analyze a situation and determine the best configuration without looking through a screen. The profile is discreet and aesthetically beautiful, one that exemplifies the photographer I want to be. It has a feature that allows me to use my phone as a remote to capture street photography without disturbing my subject. It has its drawbacks – poor battery life and slow processing speed to name a few. There are components that I missed when I had a Canon and Nikon, but ultimately, this camera makes me excited to document my surroundings. This to me is crucial component to choosing a camera.

Our world has changed so much that the technology in our pockets are capable of wonderful imagery. Cell phones are not dedicated solely for photography and yet it is readily available to capture our lives. When someone asks me for advice on getting a new camera, I always tell them to get a camera that you feel comfortable with – one that inspires you to go out and shoot. The quality of your photographs will be fantastic, regardless of the camera brand and model. The expensive price tag of new models are trivial upgrades to an otherwise excellent device. Upgrading your camera will not fill the void, and your older DSLR is more than capable of producing quality photographs. I make do with what I have, and I think you can too.

Fujifilm XT-2 (Body)
Fujifilm XT-1 (Body)
Fujinon 10-24mm f/4
Fujinon 55-200mm f/3.5-5.5
Fujinon 35mm f/2

Thank you to the following patrons for your support:
Alice Schlotte, Ang Schaefer, Cailie Kafura, Casey Benish, Cindy Luttenberger, Dena Rose, Evelyn McLean-Cowan, Joe Truesdale, John Currier, Joris Hermans, Julie Balson, Nicki Halopka, Sara Beggs, Tonya Geldbach.