There are many things one can say that will put people off. Most times, we don’t realize that it’s the most innocent of questions that will get us “blacklisted” from many established photographers.

As we all know, I preach the greatness of having mentorsmentors and more mentors, I didn’t talk about what not to say to them. If you find someone you like and want to reach out to them, do not EVER ask “What camera” or “What lens” they’re using. It’s all the ingredients for having the convo go south in seconds. When I got serious about photography, model photography, I reached out to several people. One of them was and still is my mentor today, David Hickey. I loved his work right away and was captivated by the colors and connection he had with his clients. I sent him an email asking him how he did what he did and he replied with a simple one liner “Jay, no time to tell you via email, call me tomorrow” Of course I called him the very next day and it turned out to be an AMAZING four hour convo! David took me through every single photo on his port page and told me the lighting. If you’ve ever attended a Jay Kilgore Workshop you’ve worked extensively with a beauty dish. David Hickey is the sole reason I use beauty dishes! Either way, After getting his lighting setups on a full notebook as well as other amazing ideas, I asked the dreaded question;

“So what camera do you use?

His response?

“Who gives a fuc! what kind of camera I fuc!ing use?”

At the time, it was an innocent question, but as he explained and I learned later on in life, it’s not the camera that makes the shot but the vision, connection and ability to finish the photo that makes the shot. Again, it was an innocent question and I had assumed that the colors were due to the sensor and photoshop and David’s attention to detail helped push the image over the top. It was at that point that I realized Hickey was someone I needed to stay good friends with! I love a person who lets you know where you stand, and because of his response, I sought out to get colors and connection like him.

Today when I get that question, it bothers me for a few seconds then I realize that the person isn’t saying that the camera makes the photo pleasing, but that it helps in the process. Today, I understand what David was saying; the camera is a tool, but one small part of the larger picture.

To answer the question, I shoot with a Canon EOS 40D and Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 pro grade lens.

So don’t ask the question and keep everyone looking like this:


1 thought on “What kind of camera and lens did you use?”

  1. […] is the discussion moronic? WHO CARES! As stated before the camera is a tool and the person using it is what makes it a good or bad shot. To say one is […]

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