Forgive yourself for having photography gear lust

How come nobody gets it – Photography gear means nothing


Better photography gear means nothing! However, no matter how much most people are told that gear will not help them get better photographs, they still go out and buy the latest and greatest photography equipment thinking that their photography will improve.

People jump on the bandwagon even though those same people will confirm and even broadcast the fact that if you give a shitty camera to a great photographer, you will have great photos.

Aerial hoop artist posing in splits

Photographers are obsessed with Results


What is this nonsense and why does it occur? Well, the answer is pretty darned simple. It has nothing to do with photography skills and more to do with the diversions of life. Throughout, the history of modern man, we have always been obsessed with two things. Results and how we get those results.

Looking at a result is simple. Check out a photo and love what you see. Done! But the obsession of knowing how a person got a given result (in our case; a beautiful photo) can be endless. So the gut reaction of seeing a really captivating photo is say to oneself “How did they do that?”

Questions like: “What lens did that person use? Was that shot done with a flash? What Photoshop technique was applied?” can consume any photographer wanting to get better. The drive is necessary if you ask me. It is a drive that just needs to be understood and controlled. Wanting to be better at your craft is a good thing. Thinking gear is the fix is a bad but understandable thing.


Modern Leica M camera

Leica…You might want one but it will not change your photos when you get it

Gear Lust: Forgive yourself for having it


We must be able to forgive our gear lust because it is just a symptom of being in a modern world and wanting to be better.

Almost every skill set in the modern world has a level of gear lust. This is even more present in 2020 due to the idea that many skills and crafts involve the dependence on specific technologies. The janitor wants the latest mop that claims to pick up 50% more dirt with each sweep. The carpenter whats the saw that cuts a sharper edge. It is a reality ingrained in all crafts and skills.

Diversions that are technological: The source of gear lust.


These two things, blended with the fact that all people find meaning in diversions that are subject to technology, make for a lust for more that is really hard to resist. So, even when you are happy with a camera and producing exceptional photos, you always get that part of you that tells you that your edge will come with the new spec. Having an image-stabilized or back-illuminated sensor, having quicker focussing, more megapixels becomes THE things that will take you to the next level and make YOU stand out.

Common things never stand out


If there is one cold observation that I can make to combat gear lust it is this

All photography will only stand out with the undeniable faculty of having shock value, evoking an emotion, and being “not common”. Your photography will only be upgraded by coming up with unique angles and outlooks on what you see. One would be tempted to believe that a camera’s technical upgrade will only be yours but one must remember that a whole population of people are proposed camera upgrades. The last thing that is unique is a new camera spec.

Stick to defining your vision and try your best to ignore the next upcoming thing out there. Avoiding the mistakes that beginner photographers make can be done by just concentrating on your craft and asking yourself the question “How can I communicate emotion that captivates.

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