You Have A Really Nice Camera

April 15 2013

It is one of the biggest frustrations for photographers to have someone say "Great picture! You must have a really nice camera."

Us photographers have egos that urge us to scream "I took that photo! Not the camera!"

Do you tell a cook "Wow, that was such a nice dinner, you must have an amazing oven." No, you give credit to the artist, not the tool. But most people seem to think that they could take the same photos you can if they just had a nicer camera.

Here's how to solve the problem: Admit they're right.

Admit that you are nothing without your camera. Without it, you could not take photos.

Here's the thing: If you can fight the urge to seek recognition for yourself, you can accomplish something far greater: you can be a good teammate.

What is the nature of the relationship between teammates? They support and rely on each other. They understand that they are nothing without their teammates and their teammates are nothing without them.

That is why I believe you and your camera are on a team.

That is why when someone compliments my camera instead of me I go out of my way to give my camera all the credit it deserves. I will actually wing-man my camera for as long as they'll listen and say:

"You got it SO right, this camera is sick! I've gotten 250,000 actuations and it's still going strong! Man, I was out at night without my 580exII and this baby rocked 3,200 ISO like it was native. You can't beat the bokah on the 85mm f1.2 unless you're actually shooting 35mm, but why would you do that when you can be holding this bad-boy, full-frame, 22.3 mega-pixel, 61-point AF, HD 1080/30p, Duel CF/SD, 3.2 LCD, 6 fps, durable magnesium-alloy bodied instrument of precision."

And that, is when they realize that you may have some skill.

By being a good teammate and putting the spotlight on your camera, it becomes apparent that it requires a skilled technician to operate that camera.

Without saying a single word about yourself, you proved your worth and earned your spot on the team.

Now your nice friends who complimented your camera understand that to be a photographer you need more ability than index-finger dexterity. Its like that awkward moment when you realize that in order to be a doctor you're going to have to work with blood. In order to be a photographer you're going to have to understand f-stops, aperture, shutter speed, ISO, and depth of field.

You're going to have to get your hands a little dirty.

So from here, I see you having two choices. You could either be a team player and acknowledge the value of your camera, or, the next time someone says to you, "Wow, that's a great picture, you must have a really nice camera," you could just say:

"Wow! Thanks. Your mouth gives really nice compliments."

Game on.

- Nathan