You should simplify your photography gear. Yep, I know what you’re thinking… “Wait, what? But I’ve worked and saved sooo hard to buy what I have!” I get it. Back when I was shooting portraits and weddings, I felt like I was constantly considering which lens/camera equipment I should save for next.
I loooove buying new camera equipment, just as much as the next photographer. However, from early on in my business, I also quickly saw the value in simplifying what I carry in my camera bag and how much that has actually helped my business. To help explain this, let me tell you a little back story.
I started working from home full time in 2017, and I knew almost immediately that I needed to simplify some areas of my life. I was overwhelmed by the physical stuff inside of my home due to the fact that I was now spending more time there. The more time I spent at home, the more often I dirtied/cleaned and worked around the things in my daily environment. After a good declutter, I really started to see the value in simplicity.
To put it simply, I fell in love with simplifying. After applying these principles to my home and life, I started to consider how the practice of simplicity could be really beneficial in business and photography as well. When I became a full-time photo editor, I saw first hand just how harmful a complicated gear list could actually be for a photographer. In fact, I would go as far as to say that the best photographers I edit for, use the least amount of equipment.
Are these photographers more talented? Not necessarily. They’re simply benefitting from the perks of having a minimalist gear list. Let me walk you through some of these perks, and I promise by the end of this post you’ll be making plans to sell off some of those extra lenses you have lying around!
SIMPLIFY THE EDITING PROCESS
As a professional editor, of course I have to start with this benefit. I may be a bit biased, but in my personal opinion, it’s the biggest one. Did you know that different cameras, lenses, and brands all create different color reproduction? You’ll see the most drastic difference when you use multiple brands, but cameras and lenses within the same brand can also cause this issue.
The more altered your colors are amongst the different gear that you use, the more complicated the editing process becomes. A consistent gallery straight out of camera, can quite literally save you hours in terms of editing. It’s possible to alter colors to make them more consistent, however, it can be difficult to create a close enough match that you’ll feel fully satisfied with the end result. Rather than spending time on things that really matter, photographers can find themselves spending time trying to fix a problem that they actually created with their equipment.
CREATE CONSISTENCY WITH YOUR STYLE
As a photographer, one of your goals should be to create consistency with your shooting and editing style. This will help you to curate a polished portfolio and build trust with your clients when you deliver what they’re expecting. Simplifying your gear will not only create color consistency, but it can also help provide a more consistent shooting style.
Over time, a lot of photographer’s decide on a “favorite lens.” Why? Because they often find that there is a particular lens length and depth of field that they love, and their brand is built around. Obviously that means that when you’re just starting out, you may have to try a few different lenses until you find one that fits your style. However, once you find it, try to stick with 2-3 lenses max that help you achieve consistency while shooting. For me personally, I shoot in more of an editorial style with wider lenses, and almost always shoot at a very wide depth of field.
MANAGE GEAR AND FINANCES EASILY
Naturally, as a wedding photographer, there are lenses you will want for certain situations. Thankfully, some lenses can be useful in multiple settings. Think outside the box as you make purchases and consider carefully how each new item of equipment will add value to your gear list, not over complicate it. By doing so, you’ll simplify two areas that will help make your business more manageable!
The obvious one, be simplifying your gear you simplify what you have to manage. This means less equipment to maintain, insure, and physically carry with you during sessions and weddings. The second benefit, you’ll feel a financial impact that any business owner can appreciate! It’s always wise to invest in your business. But it’s even more important to invest in quality equipment, that you can build up over time. Furthermore, this will allow you to save in areas where you don’t need to invest, in order to spend in areas where you do.
THE BIG PICTURE
As a new photographer, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the idea of feeling as if you need to have the best of the best gear in order to be successful. Unfortunately, that idea of always buying and upgrading is something that can stick with you throughout the years. In the end, it can cost you dearly in the form of both time and money. Time spent learning how to use new gear. Time spent correcting editing that has been overly complicated with multiple cameras and lenses. Time spent organizing and maintaining equipment. Time spent on equipment and editing, that could have been invested in client experience, marketing and selling. And of course, none of that takes into consideration the actual financial investment of always investing in new gear.
Photography purchases are fun and exciting. However, it’s important to simplify the process by creating a plan, investing wisely, and doing thorough research before upgrading any equipment.