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“Your Camera is So Good” ……

July 23, 2015

A few weeks ago I was shooting a client when I showed her an image off the back of my camera.  Which I will say I NEVER do.  Not because I like to keep things secret, I have just learned over the years not to do it. ( Ask me about that later.)  Anyway I broke my own silly rule and gave her a peek.  She let out a squeal of excitement for what she was seeing then she said it….”Your camera is so good!”  I’ve heard it before “oh my, you have such a nice camera.” “what camera is that? It takes great pictures.”  “your pictures are beautiful, what camera do you have?”  …..on and on.  Yes, I do have a nice camera.  I spent a lot of money on not just one “nice camera” but two….and a slew of ‘nice’ lenses and lighting and every other gadget.  But do you want to know what else I have spent a lot of money on?  Education.  I have spent thousands of dollars on workshops, education, learning materials and I have spent countless of hours engrossing myself in photography and learning everything I can possibly learn.    My camera is nearly the vessel to take a picture, yes it is nice…and I do believe that good equipment is important…but if the operator of the camera doesn’t have the knowledge and skills to create a beautiful photograph the camera can’t do it.

Now I’m not mad that my client said that…no not at all.  As a matter of fact I found it a little humorous and it got me thinking.  I know she didn’t  mean it in a way that was offensive and I wasn’t offended at all.  But I think it’s a huge misconception that if you have a ‘nice’ camera then you can make a good picture.

This would be like telling a talented dancer “wow those dance shoes are amazing.” Or saying to a hair stylist “oh my goodness, those scissors are so good.” What about telling a baker “wow, this cake is so good! Your oven is amazing.” Or even a painter “what a beautiful painting, you must have good brushes.”   Noway Jose!  Granted……the dancer will spend money on quality shoes, the hair stylist will have the best shears, the baker will have a top quality oven and the painter will have the best brushes…but that doesn’t make them good.  What makes them good is the time they have spent into learning, growing and really perfecting their craft.

So it got me thinking…I wanted to give you a visual as to what I mean.

So this evening I decided to put a cute little dress on my Ava and I handed my  little sister my camera.  I set it on auto for her and I told her to stand in one area in my front yard.  I then asked her to take a few picture of my Ava.  She then said “will you pose her for me?”  And I said ‘nope, you do it.”  So she had her stand in a spot under the tree and said “Smile, Ava.”  A few clicks later this was the image that she took.


Yes, she is cute…and her outfit is cute.  And well she is pretty center in the image…and she is kinda in focus…but when you zoom in close, she’s not tack sharp.  Not to mention that the composition is off.  Her feet are cropped and there is a ton of head room.  Let’s not forget that there is no compression to the background or cropping out my house or yard toys. This image was taken with my professional camera and  my professional lens.

Then it was my turn.  I kept Ava in the same spot.  Knowing that the background was unfavorable, I knew I had to approach the image from a different angle than having her just stand there.  So I sat her down in a pose that I could work around the background with, I put my camera back on manual mode and I changed my aperture, time value, ISO and white balance to reflect what I wanted from the image.    With a clear vision in mind (from the countless hours of learning) I was able to get this image…in the exact same location, lighting and with the same camera as the above image.


But for myself and the type of photographer and artist that I am, it just can’t end there.  So I pulled the image into photoshop and did some creative and artistic adjustments to it.  I turned this front yard photoshoot into something I could hang on my wall.


So what does this say to all of us?  It says that just because one has a nice camera does not make them a professional.  It also shows that a professional can take nearly any location and lighting and turn it into a spectacular photograph.  Even if it’s your own front yard.

To all your photographers out there and those who want to be photographers I want to encourage you to really learn everything you can.  I still learn something new EVERY SINGLE DAY that has to do with photography or business.  You can do it too…and the more you learn the more you will be prepared to meet ‘front yard’ situations with the confidence that you can create something beautiful…because YOU are a amazing photographer, your camera just helps you out!


*Camera used: Canon 5D Mark III

Lens Used Canon 70-200L II IS 2.8


  1. May says:

    Hi. i’m curious what workshops you attend. Are they local?

    • wishphotography says:

      May, over the years I have attended many workshops by professional photographers I admire. I also attend photography conventions. I will travel to where the workshops are to get the education I desire.

  2. Carli Hobson says:

    This is soo true!! And I have had it happen to myself a time or two as well. Thanks for doing the side by side comparison for us!
    So which lens did you have on your camera?

    • wishphotography says:

      Hi Carli, This image was taken using my Canon 5D Mark III and my Canon 70-200L II IS 2.8 Lens.

  3. Lyndsi says:

    umm.. can I just say how much I love this post! I’m getting a little burned out from the ‘compliments’ I’ve been getting about the “great pictures my camera takes”

  4. Jacqueline says:

    Ahh! This post made me SUPER happy! Way to go!

  5. Danielle Burfield says:

    YES! YES! YES!

  6. Eric Overton says:

    I have had the exact same experience. Love the fact that you backed up your opinion with a real life example. A picture is in fact worth a thousand words.

  7. Great article..Thankyou do much..

  8. Katie says:

    I am not a photographer and do not pretend to be, but it has been a hobby of mine for years and now that I’m able, I am interested in actually learning what I can about photography. There are SO MANY resources out there that it’s hard to know where to begin. Do you have any recommendations on home learning resources?

  9. Cindy Dimmitt says:

    Very good article.

  10. wendy says:

    what a great illustration of the truth. i’ve had the camera comments several times myself- it frustrates me and you just explained with photos everything i wanted to say about this subject. great job!

  11. Brittany says:

    Which lens do you use?

    • wishphotography says:

      I use a variety of lenses depending on what I am wanting to achieve. This image was photographed with the Canon 70-200L IS II 2.8

  12. Bev Vogel says:

    You are so wonderful for sharing, as I’m not a photographer and depend on others. I’am grateful for all their efforts. I teach another craft and can’t express how much practice and info. students need, other than buying more tools. you can get very far with basics. Thank you Bev

  13. Lana says:

    The oven analogy is exactly what my hairstylist/amateur photographer friend told me when I asked her what kind of camera she uses–explained it perfectly!

    I will never, ever (again) ask a professional what tools they use, unless of course, I am in the market myself. 🙂

  14. When people ask me what equipment I use, I tell them my eyes 🙂

  15. Thank you for sharing! I’ve heard this same statement so many times!! People just don’t realize how much we spent on, not only equipment, but education and not to mention lenses!! I have a great passion for photography and I want to continue to learn and grow every day!!

  16. Penelope says:

    Thank you for a great article. I loved the comparisons to a dancer, painter, baker and hairdresser as well as the visuals.

  17. Jeff says:

    Excellent read. Shared this on our Facebook page. With your permission, I’d like to share it on our blog this week.

  18. Tania says:

    Brilliant article! Every word is so true. If only clients knew just how much money we invest in training and the countless hours we spend refining skills to produce stunning imagery. I think not showing them the back of the camera is a great idea.

  19. Lexi Green says:

    Oh my goodness gracious!! I love this so much! I would love to share and credit you. I once had a client tell me I “must” be a professional because my camera was so quiet. I was so stupidly stunned my next two frames were out of focus.

    I know it’s incredibly harmless and at the heart of it all it hurts us as artists before the seconds of reality set in.

    Thank you so much for sharing. For posting. For your honesty.

  20. […] myself and secondly to tie in with what Kandis at Wish Photography explained in her recent post (go HERE if you haven’t read yet!) – it’s more about how a photographer uses a camera and […]

  21. Jill Smith says:

    Great message!! This is so true! I have heard this so much. Love the visual comparisons you gave!

  22. Wow that last photo is amazing! You must have a nice camera. 🙂

    Nice article Kandis. You’re talented with the camera AND with your words. Love you.

  23. Katie says:

    Ahh the dreaded “You’re camera is so good!” line. I think anyone with a DSLR from a hobbyist to a professional is intimately familiar with this particular unintentionally backhanded compliment.

    I try to take it with a grain of salt since I’ve come to understand that what most people are TRYING to say is “Wow, I see that the background of this photo is blurred in a very visually appealing way that I’ve never been able to accomplish with my most likely low budget non-DSLR camera of choice/iphone, and I am equating this phenomenon to your superior camera gear, while not entirely realizing the much larger role that your knowledge of lighting and composition play in the final image because you make it seem effortless!”

    They mean well, they just need a gentle reminder that the performance of a camera, much like a musical instrument, is directly related to the person using it.

  24. Lou says:

    This has happened to me multiple times as a graphic designer. I went to school and have worked for over 15 years doing design. I recently had a friend who I was helping not with some design work tell me they could do what I do, they just need the right computer programs. It made me laugh! Thanks for the post – fun experiment you did with your camera!

  25. Sharon Woodward says:

    Love this read. And thank you for sharing photos. Well explained .

  26. Neysha says:

    This is awesome! I struggle with this often. I usually take photos of my travels and a lot of them involve my friends. I love taking pictures of them and sharing them. Sometimes, though, I’ll have friends ask me to look through my photos and then point to ones they like and say “ooh send me that one!” Depending on the situation, sometimes that’s fine… but usually it’s really not. Those are photos I worked hard to get, and they’re taken for a purpose. I feel bad because it sounds so selfish… but photography is a craft. It’s not just about the camera I have.

  27. Michelle says:

    This is the most brilliantly eloquent response to this very important issue for photographers. I’ve often thought of blogging about this topic but I doubt my words would ever say it so well. I would love to share this with due credit of course 🙂

  28. Tara says:

    This is a great article, a beautiful Ava and a very talented photographer.

  29. Tara says:

    This is a great article, a beautiful Ava and a very talented photographer

  30. teelions says:

    I wish your article would shut down those comments for good, but it won’t. Unfortunately we will forever be hearing those “You’ve must have a good camera” comments in place of true accolades forever.

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