Stories, Travels and Photographs

What I Shoot With and Why It's Time to Invest In Yourself

"The best gear isn't always the right gear..."


I get asked this question more than anything else (what "preset" I use to edit is a very close second) : "What camera do you shoot with?"  Gear is and always will be a big topic for any type of creative person.  I tend to fall with the crowd that thinks gear only does so much, good technical skills and being able to tell a story goes much further.  If you have no story or feeling in your image it doesn't matter if you shot it on a Phase One or a Barbie Disposable. 

While reading a blog recently I was really into a thought process multiple photographers seemed to echo; if you are investing heavily more into the gear you shoot than in yourself and education then it might be time to reevaluate.  Things like workshops, online seminars, college or Ebooks can make you a better story-teller.  Something as simple as a single college course to learn the fundamentals can drastically improve your outlook..  At the end of the day, if an image doesn't have a story to tell then honestly what's the point?

My set-up is fairly minimal.  Part of it by choice, part of it by budget.  I tend to upgrade certain items when I've outgrown a current piece.  Here is what I have in my set-up:

  • Sony A7 MKi - Full Frame Mirrorless Camera, Main Body
  • Nikon DSLR - Backup body.  Only used if needed
  • 24 F2.8, 35 F2, 50 F1.4, 135 F2.8 and 28-70 F3.5-5.6 Lenses.  Canon Film FD Mount Primes and Sony Kit Lens to use with Video. Rokinon 14mm 2.8 Lens for Landscape and Architectural. 
  • Fotodiox Canon EFS to Sony E Mount Adapter.  Used with Rental Lenses
  • Phantom 3 Standard Drone with Extra Batteries and Blades
  • Pentax 35mm Film Camera with 50mm F2
  • Manfrotto Tripod with Ballhead Mount

It's far from a lavish set up but it gets the job done for me.  I have a few items that I would like to purchase in the near future to upgrade. Mostly lenses and a new drone eventually.  The best thing about this set up is it can be versatile for the way I shoot.  If something is needed for a job that I don't own I can always rent it.

My advice is to get the best gear you can get within your budget.  Things like quality lenses will be more of an investment than a camera body will. Learn how to use the gear to its full potential then upgrade when you've hit your ceiling. A good analogy I got was: date the body, marry the lens.  I'd be more than happy to share outlets that I've used to further my education with anyone that may be interested.