I know the title of this article doesn’t suit me much. But, I wanted to say it anyway. It’s inspired by Sir Richard Branson’s famous book “Screw It, Let’s Do It.” If you haven’t read this book, I highly recommend it.
Here’s an acceptable version for photographers: “Stop Talking, Start Clicking.”
Alright, here’s what I wanted to tell you today. Don’t just procrastinate and “amass” the camera equipment instead of getting out and shooting. Notice the word amass in quotes. Here’s why.
I was talking to a friend a while ago about videography. And he was asking a lot of questions. A whole lot of questions, indeed. And all the questions were about the camera equipment and accessories. After a while, I bluntly asked him to stop worrying too much about the camera equipment & accessories and start producing something first with whatever he had.
There’s a reason why I said that. We had a conversation well over 1-hour several times about the exact same subject. It just wasn’t moving any further.
He Was Anxious
Basically, my friend was anxious. He was venturing into video and had a lot of doubts. In fact, loads of doubts.
So, my suggestion was to just stop worrying too much and start working with whatever equipment he had. The whole point was to get the ball rolling. As the time progresses, he would know what’s working and what’s not. The experience will teach him what equipment is necessary to make it work.
Let me tell you that “it’s fair to ask a lot of questions.” But, what’s not good is to ask the same questions over and over again. You’d not only get confused but also start to procrastinate a lot more. Because the solution to all the problems is in taking action.
You might as well be in similar situation and asking a lot of questions to your friends, experienced or professional photographers.
I say “Screw It, Just Do It.”
Before you start blaming me for this, let me tell you what I mean by this.
Calming down a bit….
Alright. I am good now. Let’s begin.
What Would You Recommend A Beginner in Photography?
If you have some experience in photography, which I assume you have, what’d you recommend to any beginner? What should he/she buy?
Would you recommend a pro-body, couple prime lenses, high-quality zoom lenses, a Gitzo tripod, Wimberley head, etc?
I am assuming you said “no.” Great. You’d rather suggest them to go with an entry-level DSLR and a kit lens which has good enough range. Right?
The reason is simple. To learn all the photography skills, all you need is a DSLR. Any DSLR with just one lens should set you on the journey. You might not be able to zoom far enough subjects, go close, get a beautiful bokeh, etc. etc. But, are they needed when you start? They are not.
Are you giving the right suggestion to the beginners?
If you don’t agree and think that “any” DSLR is not right, then you might be referring to a particular genre of photography. If so, that’s a mistake. You should avoid encouraging beginners to choose a genre from the very beginning. That’s a great disadvantage and also might frustrate the person quickly.
Diversify in the beginning
As a beginner, one should learn photography in general. All the fundamental concepts remain the same no matter what genre you choose. Basically, when you begin, you don’t know what you are really passionate about. You might be very moved by some other photographer’s work. But, it might not necessarily be what you want to choose. You’d be able to understand this as you gain more experience.
It’s simple in all other forms of learning, but somehow not true in Photography. If you want to learn anything, anything at all, you’d always learn the fundamental concepts first. Then once you master them, you’d go a bit advanced. Once you know every aspect of it, then you decide to specialize in a particular aspect.
But…not so true in photography. Why? I am figuring it out still…..:)
Pay more attention to learning the art
Instead of reading, discussing, debating, and arguing, with your friends and other photographers, it’s best to pay more attention to practice.
Here’s a something to remember:
The more you talk about photography, the better you become at arguing. Maybe you’ll be applauded by otheres. But, the only way to become a better photographer is by practicing it.
If you laughed at the above statement, I want you to give it a serious thought. Just check when you are on a photography trip with friends, when you are in a photography club, or in conversation with other photographers, you’ll invariably find people who are too good about every darn thing that happens in the photography world. They are extremely knowledgeable and beat you to death in an argument. But when you look at their work, you know what you’ll find. I am not saying that everyone is like that. There are several photographers who are both knowledgeable and have
I am not saying that everyone is like that. There are several photographers who are both knowledgeable and have a commendable portfolio. But one thing you can notice is, such photographers are humble and keep quite.
Be the Doer
Just do it. That’s it. Go out with whatever equipment you have. Use it to death. Are you frustrated that it’s not giving results? Just check if it’s the equipment or is it your mindset?
There are hundreds of examples of stunning photographs taken with inferior equipment.
I still wonder so many times when I see such photographs. But, it serves as a reminder to push myself more and understand the importance of fundamentals and photography skills.
Here are some of my photographs from my very early days of photography
These photos should serve as an inspiration to stop complaining about the inferior equipment and start clicking some photos. The more you click, the more you understand what’s working and what’s not working. The more you understand what’s working, the more you can strenghten your skills. And you can learn what’s not working from other photographers or from blogs/videos/eBooks.
The bottom line: “If I can do it, then you can do it too.”
Don’t Be a Perfectionist
I think I should remember these words more than you…”Don’t be a perfectionist.” Yes, that’s the biggest mistake you can do. Forget about being perfect, taking only the best photographs, using only the best equipment, etc. etc. just follow this simple principle.
Screw It, Just Do It.
Or, simply put, “Stop Talking, Start Taking.”
I think I should stop here and let you share your thoughts and experiences.
Talk to you soon.
P.S. Here’s the FIRST LOOK (if you missed my last mail) of my upcoming eCourse: “Waterfall Photography – A Comprehensive Field Guide.” This would be uncoventional course but the most practical course that’ll help anyone who is interested in waterfall photography.