Why do we put ourselves in a box? Why do we limit ourselves to what it is we want to achieve, but tell ourselves we can’t because we aren’t properly equipped?
Any photographer (or insert any other vocation) knows this all too well.
If only I had that lens…
If only I was shooting on that camera instead…
If only, if only, if only…
At the beginning of the year, I gave myself a personal challenge to create more portraits, constantly, no matter what gear I had at hand. After all, the best camera really is the one you have with you.
Which leads me to this portrait of Mike, a case study in using what you have at hand. A fellow coffee aficionado and news junkie, we ran into each other one Saturday at my favorite local coffee spot, and I had to create a portrait of him in that light. My gear? My trusty iPhone 5, coupled with the fantastic Moment Tele lens, and, oh, the white side of a menu I was holding just out of frame to bounce a little light back onto Mike’s face. I shot it with my go-to app, VSCO Cam, in which I applied some mild post-processing.
This was one of the earliest images I shot with the Moment lens, which I received as a Christmas present. There are a lot of iPhone photography accessories on the market, but this lens is by far one of the best and worth every penny. With high-quality craftsmanship, optical-quality glass, and ease of use (it twist-locks onto a small adhesive plate you affix to the back of your phone), it’s a great way to step your game up when shooting photos with your phone.
Here’s the thing. The skill to create a strong portrait comes from being able to see a strong portrait, not because of your gear.
Our ability to achieve, to rise above, and to succeed? It’s helped by various outside influences and resources, to be sure. But do you have within you the fire and the drive to do something in spite of circumstances?
What’s limiting you today?
"I'm not going to believe that only a few people are permitted to be gatekeepers or creators or generous leaders. I have no intention of apologizing for believing in people, for insisting that we all use this moment and these assets to create some art and improve the world around us."