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Photography skills vs kit: what matters most?

When it comes to taking great photographs, what matters most?

A lot of professionals and hobbyists say it’s down to the photographer. Without the passion and vision of someone who knows their aperture from their shutter speed, there's only so much a good camera can do.

There are still a few people out there who tend towards the equipment side of the debate. Granted, they’ll admit that the most skilled photographers can take decent photos using any camera, but they will also happily argue that a professional grade lens can be the difference between a mediocre photo and an extraordinary one.

So which is it to be: the workman or his tools?

It's not so clear cut...

Without a natural aptitude for photography as an artform, even the best equipment is relatively defunct. But that’s not to say equipment doesn’t matter at all. In many cases, buying quality gear will inspire you to take better photographs and allow you to achieve different effects, changing the look and feel of your photos.

Many professional and hobby photographers alike invest in expensive gadgets and gear to fuel their passion - and their income. Some do it for the right reasons; because they are keen to find the tools they’ll love to use, and want to progress as photographers. Others do it because they believe good equipment will make them more skilled. But that's not so.

Yes, more advanced equipment will make your life easier as a photographer. Using a camera that can manage fast frame capture rates or a lens that can zoom far, for example, will open windows for you. But believing it can save you time in perfecting your knowledge and understanding of photography would be a mistake.

Get out there and shoot

Your gear can only take you so far. In the end, honing your photography skills is going to prove much more valuable than any piece of equipment. 

'Learning by doing' will be your greatest asset as a photographer. Mastering the art of composition and lighting, picking up techniques and simply training your eye are going to make your photography what it is and help you craft your own style.

But experience won't just give your technical knowledge a boost. Depending on your niche as a photographer, you'll find your 'soft skills' naturally and steadily improve as well. Our freelance property photographers, for example, say that every FocalAgent job they complete gives them further insight into estate agent photography. They learn the fundamentals of homestaging, the best times to shoot for every season, and just how much customer service can affect their income.

Get out there and learn how to take the best photos you can with what you’ve got. By setting yourself new challenges, you'll find where your passions lie. That's the first thing to sort out. Then you can think about upgrading your equipment, when it makes business or tactical sense.

And when you're ready to take your freelance photography career to the next level, get in touch. We'd love to partner up and bring you your first FocalAgent job.

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