Everything you know about photography is wrong!

(C)Allan Castle 2018_2683.jpg

One of the interesting and sometimes irritating things about being a professional artist is that people are always asking what camera should they should buy.  Do I like Canon or Nikon? Maybe Sony? 

They say what kind of camera took that picture? I tell them that an artist took the picture, not a camera. It's like asking what kind of typewriter wrote that novel? Or is Microsoft word better than some other program. Of course, what’s most important in writing is the words you use.

Cameras are tools. Photoshop is a tool. Lights are tools. Nothing more. A photographer with a vision is a hero and can take incredible pictures using even poor quality equipment.

I attended a wedding a while back, as a guest. The bride came up to me and asked me to take a few photos of her cutting the cake. I only had a $8 disposable camera. It was on the table for the guests to use. I said to the bride, ok let’s cut the cake. I pushed the little button to charge the flash. I took a shot. Then I said, let me take a couple more photos. At her request I took a few more shots, including a bridal portrait.

Two weeks later, the bride called. We chatted about the honeymoon and she mentioned that my pictures were much better than the other photographer who was hired to cover her wedding! How could that be, she said? The photographer the woman hired had used a $5,000 camera, with a big flash, expensive zoom lens, etc? I had an $8 camera. Well I guess I have better timing on when to take the picture, what’s the best angle, etc. And I have taken professional photos at about 200 weddings. Experience helps.

Do I use professional equipment? Yes, because it makes my life easier. The camera focuses faster, has more accurate exposure. The lights have consistent color, etc. When you take 100, 200 or more photos per day, that’s important.

What do I use? Whatever works for the assignment. To get me the right look for the picture. Mostly it is a digital camera, but sometimes it might be a an old fashioned film camera. It depends.