It’s not just the camera that takes the photo

I came across this fantastic post from US photographer Erin Farrell a while ago, which demonstrates perfectly that just because you have an expensive camera, it doesn’t make you a great photographer. 

I am constantly asked by friends and clients what camera they should upgrade to, or what lens or bit of kit they should buy so they can take better photos. Many people assume that by spending money on better kit will somehow make them take better photographs. But they’ve never actually taken time to learn how to use the camera they already have! It’s like asking what car you should upgrade to when you haven’t even learnt to drive yet! Instead what people should be asking is how to find the best light to shoot in or what are the best settings are to have their camera on. 

The truth is that you don’t need mega expensive equipment in order to take photos that you’ll be really proud of. You just need an entry level DSLR (see my advice on what camera to buy here) and then learn the essential things you need to know about taking great photographs and the best settings to use the camera on. 

In preparation for the first of my photography workshop for parents which is this Saturday, I decided to try a little experiment. Similar to the one on Erin Farrell’s blog, but flipping it around. So instead of handing a non-professional photographer a professional camera, I wanted to see what a professional (me!) could do with an entry level camera and lens. My brother-in-law kindly took me up on my challenge and we took the kids for a walk down to the local corner shop near my parents house and took photos. I told him to use the camera how he normally buy amoxicillin dubai does and shoot how he normally would. Here are the photos he took…

Non-professional using a non-professional camera (Canon 400D, Canon 50mm F1.8 lens) 

Then I took his camera, using the settings that I teach in my workshops and below are the images that I captured. Please note that these images are straight out of the camera, which means I haven’t done anything to them in post processing. I would never normally show un-edited photos on my blog, it feels a bit like going out for dinner without a scrap of make up on (which I could never do!) 

Professional using a non-professional camera 

So this is at the same time, on the same day, same location, same camera and same kids. And I haven’t used any extra equipment. I really hope you can see quite a difference!

Now I’m not saying that professionals can set up a business using non-professional equipment and hardly any experience (please no!); there are a whole host of reasons why professional equipment (and a huge amount of experience) is necessary to become a professional which I’m not going to go into here.

But I’m passionate about showing people that these entry-level DSLR cameras (which so many people own) are capable of fantastic results if you know how to use them. And hopefully this little experiment will also show you that you won’t become a better photographer just by splashing out money on better kit. Remember that old adage, it’s not what you’ve got, it’s what you do with it that counts!

I hope you liked my experiment and it’s made you see that it’s really not just the camera that takes the photo. A huge thank you to Nathan for letting me use his camera and his photos! 


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Vicki Knights is one of the leading family photographers in the UK and started running her popular 'Photography for Parents' workshops in 2010 (the first of its kind in the UK!)  

Since then Vicki has developed a 'next stage' workshop, an online photography course for parentsa retreat for professional photographers and co-hosts a podcast for photographers. 


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