What’s in Your Bag?

So, here’s a question for you……as a photographer…..does it really matter what gear you are packing?

I mean, is there a set standard, a minimum amount of equipment that you should own before you can call yourself a pro?

The thing is, as with most creative professions, the range of available equipment can be extremely daunting. There is a vast range of cameras, lenses, lighting, tripods, flashguns, bags and cases, not to mention computers and software for editing. The list is endless. So what should you own to look ‘professional’? Which camera is the right one? How many lenses should you have in your perfect kitbag?

Well this dilemma held me back. It had a huge impact on my progress and my confidence, and no doubt affects countless other budding photographers. People who just love to take pictures. Who are passionate about their hobby and are desperate to move on to the next level, turn pro, and get paid for their hard work. Yet worrying about using the wrong camera, not having enough lenses, being ‘caught out’ by a serious proper professional, just puts a stop to things. Well if this is you, then maybe the following scenarios may help….

Consider this.

Yummycakes.com is a dedicated bakery kitted out with top of the range equipment, ovens and a team of fully trained staff. They were asked to bake a three tier pink and white wedding cake covered in handmade sugar paste roses. The cake was delicious, looked fantastic and the customer received a service they were over the moon with.

Scrumptiouscakes.com consists of a lady with a passion for baking, a mixing bowl, a  wooden spoon, and an old gas oven. She was asked to bake a three tier pink and white wedding cake covered in handmade sugar paste roses. This cake was also delicious, looked fantastic and the customer was over the moon with the service they received.

What this shows is that the important thing is to produce a product and a service that your customer is happy with. This really is all that matters. The equipment you use to get there, really shouldn’t matter and really shouldn’t hold you back from sharing your creative talent with the world. So don’t let it. Of course that’s not to say that you shouldn’t add to your kit. That’s natural. Do your research and search for something that’s right for your needs and your style. Just don’t get caught up in worrying about it.

If you are interested, I am currently using a Panasonic Lumix G3 camera. I absolutely love it, and always have done. I have just acquired a new 42.5mm f/1.7 lens which I am also absolutely in love with. Oh and the shot of the cake above (baked by my daughter with a mixing bowl and wooden spoon) was taken on my iPhone.

Happy snapping!

Just the Worst Year

DSC_0259editedStanley Duke

10th August 1933 – 6th December 2016

I lost my Dad. He passed away just before Christmas. Now free from pain and confusion.

I am still completely devastated. He suffered from Parkinsons Disease for a number of years, and more recently, Dementia. After suffering from a bad fall at the end of the summer, he went into hospital, and just didn’t ever recover. Looking back, all the signs were there. That he’d had enough. But when you are there, in the moment, you just don’t see that clearly enough.

Myself and my Mum stayed with him in the hospital for just under two weeks, whilst he slowly left us. I will never forget it. Not ever. The memories are still raw and still very painful. On the morning of his death, I held his hand tightly. I kissed him. I whispered to him that it was time to let go. I told him we all be ok, that he shouldn’t suffer anymore. So at just before 11 am, that is exactly what he did. He let go. I am sorry though Dad, because I lied. We are all not quite ok.

There were no sunrays from heaven. No angelic singing voices. No feeling of release. Just nothing. His empty, lifeless body, and it was impossible to leave him. My heart broke.

I adored him. The best father anyone could wish for. And he loved me to bits. I have surrounded myself with photos of him. Captured moments are more precious that you could ever imagine they would be when you take them. They make me smile and they make me cry. They help me remember clearly. They will be treasured and loved forever.

After just the worst year ever, he could not possibly want me to be sad forever. He will want me to get up and move on, and that is exactly what I must do. Get up and move on. So this I will do now.

Love you always.