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How important is a photographers’ equipment?

Cellular phones such as the iPhone 7 and Samsung Galaxy S7 have on-board camera systems which produce beautiful consumer grade images. I am very happy with my S7. Most people are happy with the camera on their phone as well. However, I’ll bet that you wouldn’t hire a wedding photographer that used an iPhone to photograph your wedding. I wouldn’t either.

The equipment a photographer uses to photograph your wedding is important. Yet, its not as important as the photographers’ skill and experience. What’s most important when considering an individual is to examine their body of work. Look for multiple shot types such as detail, wide, portrait, landscape, and group portraiture.

When examining these images consider exposure and composition. Think about the focus and how the image itself guides you through a journey looking at it. Do the images pop or are they flat? These are the things that matter most.

The equipment is only a tool. That being said, as a photographer develops their technique and style, they will likely seek out lenses and cameras which will help them be more creative. It is when equipment helps the photographer express their creative vision that the equipment becomes a tool and not just some expensive toy.

Photographers have the notorious belief that the more gear they have, the better they are, this is called the “Gear Acquisition Syndrome”, better known as GAS. This usually pops up in new photographers. A master photographer can easily pick up any piece of photographic equipment and create art with it.

When looking for your photographer, look for an individual that understands the camera system they chose and how it helps them create beautiful work. You should feel free to ask about their creative process and the equipment used. An experienced photographer will talk about their gear as a tool, not as a toy.

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