On Penis Envy | Best Food Photography

We’ve done a lot of posts recently about food photography gear. That’s mostly what people seem to want to read. Which is totally understandable: for those just starting out in food photography, and struggling to achieve the kind of photographic results they see others producing, it can easily be seen that the answer to their quest lies in technology and technique. If only you could tell what special gear the pros use, then your photos would look like theirs too.

Except that’s not really how it works.

To be sure, struggling with equipment that doesn’t fit, doesn’t work, or is simply of poor quality isn’t going to make things any easier. However, easy is not always the best option. As photographers (indeed, as humans) we learn by making mistakes. Not only mistakes, but also finding solutions to problems, or by compensating for the lack of proper equipment with our ingenuity and inventiveness.

The risk of having everything at your fingertips from day one is that you may not understand what the equipment you are using actually does. Whereas, if you’ve spent several years sticking with a less-than-ideal kit, you’ll be in a much better position to put your tools to good use – and with a deeper understanding of what’s going on – once you finally have access to all that is needed. you need. This puts you in a much stronger position as a technical problem solver: which, as a professional food photographer, is one of your main responsibilities.

There are effectively two types of photographers in the world:

• People with cameras

• The person taking the photo

Often these two categories overlap. But almost as often, they are fairly separate entities. Indeed, some professional photographers don’t even own their own equipment, but simply rent it whenever they need to shoot a job – passing the fee back on to the client.

On the other hand, there are countless people who call themselves photographers, but are actually equipment enthusiasts, nothing more and nothing less: avid readers of technical reviews; an expert in sensor types and lens coatings; owners of excessive numbers of camera bodies; and worrying about being fixated with a very long lens. We can only assume that such an obsession reveals a deeper psychological deficiency.

Of the latter type, I have yet to meet one that has ever produced photographs of any artistic value. Of course, their photos will be perfectly exposed, and the depth-of-field just right for the subject, conveys an astonishing level of fun. bokeh. But creative, original, dynamic, thought-provoking, challenging, avant-garde images? Not.

We want to encourage our readers not to be like these people. But most likely such words will be in vain: someone does not “become” a machinist, someone just is a gear addict.

Most active and innovative photographers don’t care about equipment. Of course, they learn how to use their tools, to achieve the results they need. But no as an end in itself. No one wants to bother working with inadequate equipment. But no serious photographer would use the fact that they simply have access to inadequate gear as an excuse for not getting their job done and doing it well.

Screwdrivers with worn heads are a pain to work with, and if they are really worn out then there’s clearly no hope in hell that you’ll ever get a screw to fit in. But if it’s at least half working, you can be sure that the average professional contractor will apply some force and get that screw moving no matter what.

However, what the average professional contractor doesn’t do is sit at home all day reading about screwdrivers on the internet.

The equipment you used is what made your photograph possible, no what makes them attractive. We have nothing against gear-geeks “lensturbating” their $3,000 prosthetic penis, but if you want to be a food photographer, take food photos. That’s all there is to it.

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