Know Your Equipment


I had a someone ask me a question the other day about equipment. This person said they wanted to take great pictures and wanted the best camera out there. To be honest a little piece of me died inside when I heard that.

It’s always nice to have the latest and greatest when it comes to photography equipment. What a lot of people don’t know is just having the finest equipment doesn’t guarantee the final product. What is important is telling a story and the creativity of the photographer who is capturing the story. For the majority of my career, I seemed to use old or equipement no one wanted. While that equipment was not unique, except for being unwanted, it did have its own set of idiosyncrasies. I had to learn each set of distinctive features like one lens produced a “warm” image under certain color temperatures. I remember gear number “three” from when I worked in Phoenix, I had a camera that would balance color better on Filter One than Filter Three; it made no sense according to the laws of technical photography.  I share that story with you because my best work came from out of working with the worst equipment.

I will say what is important is that your equipment must always be second nature to you. You must operate the camera without thinking about it. Your equipment should be your arm and your creative thought process.  If  I didn’t follow those rules I would not have been awarded all the countless awards I’ve won for my work.  Bottom-line, new is not always better you just need to know your equipment.

Matt Knisely

Matt Knisely is an Emmy Award–winning visual storyteller, creative director, and author who loves telling stories of the extraordinary. Make sure you check out his book Framing Faith, it helps connect the seemingly unconnected, see the beauty right in front of us, and revealing how to be present in the moment.

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