This is really for all of those beginning or are interested in getting started in photography. The common questions by beginners are:
1. What camera do you use?
2. Which model?
3. What lens should I start with?
1. Canon vs. Nikon vs. Camera X,Y,Z - The battle of the camera’s is only important to a certain extent. If you’re working on a job for a client then yes, you’ll want something top of the line. The make - is all your personal preference. The debate will never end as to which line is better and debating it is like talking about religion or politics. Shit will never be universal because it’s subjective. Got it? Stop arguing your point.
2. Here’s the deal. If you can’t make a beautiful/interesting photo with a disposable camera then you need to start there. The reason I say this is because you need to learn about fucking composition. At the end of the day, there’s a reason why some photos taken before the digital era are popular today. So before you start stressing out about saving $5,000 on a Canon D Mark III because you have to have top of the line - first focus on your skillset. Seasoned photographers like Jeurgen Teller use a Contax G2. Not very fancy but that sure as hell didn’t stop him from paying his dues and doing ads for the likes of Marc Jacobs.
3. Anyone that tells you to start with a 50mm prime is setting you up for failure. Sure, yes, it’s a standard lens that doesn’t let you think much because it’s how your eyes sees…ok. So you want to be another brainless photographer that just points and shoots? You should start with a lens few people are using. Give yourself options and start with a wide angle, a telephoto, macro…SOMETHING OTHER THAN A FUCKING 50MM PRIME. You WILL NOT develop any critical thinking or unique ideas following the trail that’s already been blazed. Sure, a lot of “photographers” boomed into the market after stealing the same idea as Bill Cunningham, The Sartorialist, and Garance Dore BUT the pond has gotten big…and all of those “photographers” are now a collection of small fish in a very big pond. I’m not making fun of them and I’m not judging because everyone needs to start somewhere but if you were to ask me where you should start I’d say: Start with what no one else is doing and doesn’t know how to. Be fearless - shit…maybe start with film.
Most importantly: Keep trying. “Fail” over and over again until you learn from your mistakes. Ask yourself questions with what’s not working with your photos. Ask yourself why it looked different to the eye and why it didn’t happen in your photo. Figure out how to make your camera see what your eye sees. It’s an extension of you. Your camera is an extension of you. Repeat that to yourself. Become a master.
If you’re looking to spend numerous hours obsessing over a fantastic photographer: Sebastio Salgado. Google it.
Photography is the celebration of all the small, medium, and big things that make our lives in this world. It helps us enjoy the journey more than the destination.