How to get ahead when you’re poor (equipment woes)

by charistalbotphotography

Something of a common subject among photographers, or rather as I have noticed, a reason for some male photographers to try and outdo each other.  As someone who has worked in camera shops, repaired cameras, used film and is eternally without funds I have almost managed to fool everyone into thinking I have good kit.

I Don’t

well, no offence to Pentax of course, I adore them. “the wand chooses the wizard” and thus it is the same for cameras. I love Pentax and I have no want to use any other make. That said after 18 months I’ve outgrown my K-R . I barely use the kit lens because it is…errr slow, I mostly use my 50mm Pentax-A 1.7 but it’s rather old and originally used for a film camera so it’s manual focus and this results in me not always getting my shot. Especially as no matter what I do, the camera will say it’s in focus when it most certainly is not.  Although not bad for £30. I also have a 100-300mm lens which a friend very kindly gave me and can yield good results but at F4.5 again it’s not fast nor suited for the kind of shots I desire.

But they were all cheap.

as were my lights which a friend kindly loaned me and now I have purchased.

Don’t get me wrong, a full frame camera might be nice but I just don’t gel with Canon and though I do like Nikon cameras, they have a lot of features I don’t need and not so many of the ones I want. I’d love a Pentax K-5 and a 50mm1.4 with auto focus but as I cannot sing money from the trees I’ll just have to hope I’ll win the lotto. In the meantime I MUST stop beating myself up about my images- I get so upset sometimes because I know what image I want to make but cannot do it with my camera not matter how hard I push. The is an old saying a good workman never blames his tools which I try and remember and I work hard to compensate for my camera’s short comings, yet it is hard when 18 year olds prance around with their Canon 5ds making me feel a bit like the hand-me-down kid (“Charis!” I hear you exclaim “shhh people will think you have issues”)

I don’t even have a reflector any more because I left it at my old flat when I left my ex boyfriend.

but that taught me how to work without one. My agency took me on even though I have to increase pixels on photoshop and I get lovely compliments from people on my work. Not bad.

So my advice is: do not despair if you can’t afford the best kit, some of the best photographers started on on entry level DSLRs and recently an enitre wedding was shot on the iphone and looked great. One friend of mine is published often for his beautiful photographs of women…taken on a bridge camera. it’s what you know and not always what you own that counts.

Love Charis and Blanche the K-R

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