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If Your Photos Aren’t Good Enough, Your Camera Isn’t Expensive Enough

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Berkeley, 2014. Shot on a smartphone.

The best camera in street photography is the most expensive one.

If I gave myself advice in street photography if I started all over again I would tell myself, “Eric, buy yourself the most expensive camera out there for street photography. You are a newbie and not very good at shooting street photography. You are nervous. You don’t know any technical settings. You are afraid. You aren’t inspired. You don’t have any good work. Buying a really expensive camera will make you great.”

I think all street photographers should buy the most expensive camera out there in the market for street photography. The camera you currently own isn’t good enough. It doesn’t have enough megapixels, it doesn’t have good enough high-ISO performance, it isn’t sharp enough.

Whenever you are lacking inspiration, buying a new camera will alleviate that. You will go deep into credit card debt, but that’s okay — you are investing in your art. Your old camera is holding you back. It isn’t good enough.

Having a new lens will also make you a much better street photographer. Having a 50mm f/.95 will give you that creamy bokeh you crave. It will get you tons of likes on Facebook and Flickr. Also, the focal length you are currently using is too limiting. It isn’t wide enough, and it isn’t close enough. You need to buy at least two more lenses to cover the entire spectrum of focal lengths.

When you buy that new camera and lens, realize you will never need another camera in your life. You will own it and cherish it forever. It will be an “investment” and never depreciate in value.

That new expensive camera is also really quiet. A lot quieter than the camera you currently use. You don’t like being noticed when you’re taking photos of strangers, right? Buying that new camera with a quieter shutter will make you like a street photography ninja. You will never be noticed be taking a photo of a stranger again. You will never need to talk to, interrupt, or upset a stranger again.

So if you’re dissatisfied with your photography, buy a more expensive camera. Traveling and buying photography books are overrated. Material things are much more meaningful, and permanent. Experiences are just fleeting. When you’re on your deathbed, you’re not going to care that you spent your time and money traveling the world, seeing new places, meeting new people, and wandering the streets. Who cares about photography books? Books are overrated. The only thing that matters is how many cameras and lenses you owned.

That new camera is calling you. Just buy it already! You want people to take you as a “serious” street photographer, don’t you?

Just kidding.


About the author: Eric Kim is a street photographer currently based in Berkeley, California. He has been shooting street photography for nearly 8 years, and writing about it on his blog for 3 of those. You can see Eric’s work on his website or Flickr, as well as find workshops, advice, lessons and interviews on his blog. Or, follow him on TwitterFacebook or YouTube for more work, updates and information. This article originally appeared here.

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