And so it was when I was prepping a test product shoot in my kitchen. I had a circular tin that I wanted to stand up for a test shot, and it wasn’t going to stay up on its own. So what did I do? I used the nearest thing to me that could be hidden behind the tin.
Just like the tons of gaffer tape, clips, wires and lighting that isn’t seen in the final advertisement in Vogue, the Photographer’s Grape™ is invisible in the final shot. I’ve probably broken the secret photographer’s code (also ™, no doubt) telling you this, but I’ll take the risk.
But why am I telling you this? Well, just like the behind-the-scenes-and-not-in-the-shot sneakery that is used to make some images work shouldn’t detract how you view the final picture, neither should the camera.
A cliche, but true nonetheless: The correct reply to “what is the best camera?” is “the one you have with you.” If the first thought people have when they look at your photograph is, ‘what camera was that taken with?’, then your image isn’t that effective! For example, if your first thought on seeing Nick Ut’s famous shot is about the camera, there’s something terribly wrong with you…
Which is a long way of saying, don’t worry about your camera. Use what you have, to the best of your ability, to capture the pictures you want. Most of the time, this will probably be your phone camera - it’s usually always with you, and modern ones are technically better than many specialist cameras from 10 years ago. And we were amazed by those then. My holiday shots last week were almost exclusively taken on my phone (there’s no way I was lugging a dSLR around a mountain...); when I shoot my next professional session tomorrow, I’ll use my Canon because it gives me more control. But it won’t necessarily give me a better photograph.
Go out and enjoy the camera you have.