I used to think the answer was “The best college for photography”. When I went to photography school, I was so convinced I had no need for photography at all because I was just a graphic designer. I never thought I would need photography for anything ever. That’s how I thought about it. But then I was fortunate enough to work with people who had a vision and were able to inspire me. It’s hard to describe what it is to work with those people, because they’re so focused, like they’ve learned their craft a thousand times.
Have any particular experiences helped you see past the obviousness of your camera’s shortcomings?
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve had to recognize that I can only use the gear that I’m willing to use. So I’ve turned my Nikon into a camera with the best lenses that I’ve ever used and I try to use as little as possible.
The thing that has really pushed me is the importance of choosing your lenses at the very beginning. Not knowing what lenses I want or how to decide between lenses makes choosing my gear really difficult.
One of the things that I love is that I can always switch things up when it comes to the cameras that I’m not sure about. I’ve learned many different camera designs now that I don’t own now!
What gear has the best camera ever?
I guess I’d have to say a Canon F-1.
I like how the camera looks now and have tried many different design and body combinations. Most of my pictures are taken with my Sony a6000 or a Canon EOS 1D Mark IV.
Have you ever shot for hire? If so, what was the experience like?
I didn’t try this at all until I was really old and started freelancing. I took pictures of people and I had one client, who got me to buy him a used Nikon F1, when it used to cost me over $20,000 to buy a Nikon 50mm F1. I ended up selling it and bought a digital one for the rest of my career.
What sort of advice would you give to photographers who are interested in working for hire?
The best advice I can offer is to get creative, try your best at everything you try, don’t be afraid to be outdone, or even give the people you work with what you think they need. This is how I’ve managed to keep climbing since I started freelancing!
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