The most dangerous place in the world for any photographer or filmmaker is a camera shop. If you're anything like me you've been there. You think to yourself, "I'm going to just stop in and look at modifiers." Next thing you find yourself looking at your bank account to justify the purchase you are in the process of making.
Coincidentally, this happened to me a few weeks ago. I had a shoot coming up and it was my first time working with a model and I wanted to figure out a way to get solid lighting. Instead I ended up buying a new octabox. This is a trap that I've fallen into far too many times. We romanticize gear and put projects off thinking that a certain camera or lens will take our work to another level. I've been shooting since I was 16 and I should know this by now, however I find myself in the same traps time and time again.
Recently I have begun to think about how as photographers, filmmakers and creatives we need to spend more time investing in things other than gear. At the end of the day, cameras, lenses, lights and editing equipment are tools that help us facilitate our vision and voice and the things that we are trying to say with our work. I think it is incredibly important that we keep this in perspective and focus on how we can get more out of the gear that we have.
At the end of the day gear doesn’t matter as much as the vision that you have as an artist. Gear just allows us to facilitate our ideas and bring them to life. If you don’t know what you are trying to say that fancy camera is just a nice paperweight.
I encourage you to set your camera down for a moment and really think about what you are trying to say as an artist or with that project that you have coming up. What do you hope to walk away with and what do you hope the final film or images to be like when you finish the project. By focusing our time and energy here we can begin to really create work that really matters.