I often get asked,”Which camera should I buy?” or “Which one is the best?” For most people these seem like the simplest and easiest questions to ask and have answered. As a photographer, there are many answers and even more questions. This is no easy task.
I usually start by asking people what it is they want to take pictures of. The trouble is most people answer the same thing,”Oh, just stuff really.” or “My family.” Sometimes you get a complicated answer where someone has done a little research and has an idea but is not sure of any way to accomplish it, “I want to shoot landscapes and photos of my family”. Most people expect an answer which will give them the exact camera or camera and lens combination that will give them perfect results every time. The problem is such a beast doesn’t really exist.
Trying to understand what people want to shoot is one thing but you also have to understand what they want the images to look like. These are two very different things in my opinion. It’s one thing to want to point a camera at a landscape and take a photo; it’s another to want to shoot a great landscape image to frame and display in your home.
So where to begin? Which camera? Which way of shooting? How can you start to put things in order and together in a way people will understand? How about these questions; what do you know about photography? Do you have a camera already and if so, do you know how to use it?
When I’ve asked these questions to people I often show them a couple of images. Maybe asking if this is the sort of thing they want to achieve. Most of the time I show images from my phone; I have an iPhone 5s having just changed from a 4s. People are often very surprised when they see my phone images. The point I’m trying to make is that you don’t always need a fancy expensive camera to capture great images. Sometimes the best camera is the one that you have with you at the time.