Why Your Time is More Important Than Your Gear

        I've been asked a million times, what camera I shoot on. I've been asked what editing programs I use, what lenses I use, etc. etc.

       Often it's asked because the person wondering, isn't comfortable with the means they have in front of them. They say things like "I only have a t3i" or I ONLY have this or that...

     They under value things because they haven't put in the time to understand them. More often than not, the person asking the question is just getting started. To those people I say this...

  Your time spent doing photography/video, will have a much greater impact on what you create, than the tools in your hands.

Don't take that the wrong way... Yes, having a Ronin to help with smooth shots, or having L Series glass and beyond, will most certainly change the look of a project. On the other hand though, would you notice which shots were with a T3i and which were a 6d? Because every time my main camera goes down, and I have to shoot on something of lesser value, my quality doesn't go away. The way I see a photo in my head, with the composition and all things considered... stays.

  It stays because it is part of me. It stays because over the course of my time doing this, I learned settings, and what I prefer. I know that facing the sun and dancing with it going in front of and behind my subject creates the flares I enjoy. I know that if I want more depth, I can just walk closer to my subject, or zoom. I know that I like my lines to come to corners, and I know that I like symmetry when at all possible.

 They are just personal decisions built upon shooting EVERY SINGLE DAY.

I try to stay optimistic about the gear side of things, and remember I could be taking advantage of the things in my control.

Here is a North facing star trail.. I knew the effect facing north has on long exposures, and have understood how to do it for 5+ years.

 

My problem was time, I was never willing to go sit out in a field by myself for 2-3 hours, then spend another 2 hours editing an image. I put it in the back of my mind and made excuses like

"I need wider lenses, or the clouds ruined it, blah blah blah."

It's easier to dismiss something than it is to act upon it. Remember that next time you tell yourself "What I have isn't good enough."

 

Use what you have, where you are, every single day... and THAT, is what will pay off.

 

How everything starts

Someone asked me today "How did you decide this is what you wanted to do in life?"

        The answer is ...

                  It makes me happy.

As simple as it sounds, it's something often overlooked. People fear many things when deciding on career paths. They tend to stress out and worry about stability. They worry about money, and they worry about what is "right or wrong" in society. They worry about pretty much everything you could possibly worry about, because after all, it is an important decision. More important than all of that though, is your own happiness. Will what you decide to do keep you happy every single day? 

My goals when i was younger were straight forward and aimed. I wanted to be a fireman. I wanted to save lives, or change lives, any way i could. As i grew older the same concept stuck. Still to this day all i want to do is help people. I might not do it by pulling someone out of a fire, but i realized i can do the same thing, in a different way. 

Just because this isn't a field where i have 100% job security, doesn't mean i have it in me, to just give up. Sure it will take 10+ years before your name is ever solidified, but isn't it worth it to try? I knew that with film, i could capture moments that would live long past my life span. I know that when i die, these things won't. I've always loved the fact that you can tell stories, and make people feel things, without being present. I loved even more that it didn't feel like a job. It was an avenue to travel, to explore, to inspire, and to do all the things i've always wanted to do.

So just like everything else starts,

I made a decision. .

 

This is what i wanted to do.

 

7 years in, and still not a rich man by any means. Sometimes i can't even afford coffee, but with this decision, I'll always be able to afford a smile.

-Austin