What you use to create content doesn’t matter as you think. What matters is what the content is about — what is the content saying? What story is it telling? You don’t need a gold pen to write golden poems.
I bet you have listened to the speech of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The sound in that speech isn’t the best, the video quality isn’t the best [black and white] but the content in there is meaningful that decades have passed and the world still listens to, and watch that very same speech he said: “I have a dream”. Amazing, isn’t it?
People today are so locked into devices and gears that they do not focus on creation — on creating content they care about. All we’re focused on is the latest camera. Have you been asked this question? “What camera do you use?” When I’m asked that question, I freeze and if I’m using the latest camera, the recipient is going to say, “Oh, that’s why your photos are so great.” No, no, no. Not at all. My photos are not great because of the device I use, my photos are great because of me. Because of the hard work, I put into content making. Don’t be asking what Canon or Nikon or Sony is the latest on the block. That is YOU asking the wrong question. The real question is in the “hows” and the “whys”.
Devices don’t create meaningful content, the Artist does. I lost my camera some months back and do not have enough funds to purchase another so I go about borrowing cameras from photographers who are willing to lend. Most times now, I use a Nikon D3400, an entry-level DSLR and it’s not the latest gear on the block. It’s very old. I used to have that same mindset of getting “the best camera” [which ever that is]. Now, I don’t focus on my gear anymore [in a way I still do, I wouldn’t shoot with a Canon camera, I’m stuck with Nikon].
Fancy is meaningless, content is meaningful. People don’t create because they lack devices [which is understandable to some point]. The problem here most times is that most people don’t create because they feel insecure. Yes, insecurities. They are so focused on “quality” [whatever that is] that it turns out to become resistance. They never start because they have red pens instead of blue. They never start because they have an entry-level DSLR with a kit lens instead of a full-frame with a 70–200mm lens. Hell, I’ve shot a 6hour wedding with an entry-level DSLR camera. I started shooting with a Motorola G phone.
A photographer friend; Sylvester Brobbey started shooting with a phone and a reflector. A phone and a reflector. Prince Gyasi still uses his phone to create stunning images, and he’s shot a commercial for the BIG tech company; APPLE and your excuse is, “I don’t have the latest gear?” You can have the latest gear and still create nonsense. It’s not about the gear, you don’t have a right to blame your device. Have you ever heard a Chef say “to cook the best noodle, I’ll need a saucepan that costs not less than 5000 cedis?” That’s insane, right? Well, you just got your answer. If a Chef has no right to say that, what right do you have?
Use whatever gear you have and create out of your heart. Create in your own image. Don’t let the device do the creation, let the Artist in you do the creation.
You’ve heard this quote probably a thousand times — “you’re not a photographer until you start shooting in Manual [M]-mode.”
You’re not an Artist until you stop blaming your device. Artists make the best out of what they have.
Remember, the Greatest Artist [God] had only sand and he created man. With His creativity, He created woman from man. He didn’t need a vibranium [you have not watched the Wakanda movie? They spoke a lot about vibranium] — He used things available at His disposal. Man wasn’t spoken to come to life like the birds of the sky, the man was formed.
Oh yes, before I forget, my new book: The Art of Photography: Reclaiming Creativity is going to be coming out soon! you’ll love it.
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