Almost all photographers nowadays are familiar with modern equipment and use it to create, show, and improve their work. Some is necessary like new cameras, lenses, computers, and some is complementary. It all depends on your work style and the photos you want to create. But let's ask a question here. How much of this technology and knowledge do you need for being a better photographer in your genre?
Nowadays, technology is as essential for most people as air for breathing. And it has its cons and pros! While almost all of you are familiar with the pros of using technology to create a piece of work, there is another side of it.
We can easily get addicted to technology. There are many reasons. Maybe because it makes everything easier for our clients. We spend time to know every spec on every camera, lens, and accessory. Being a tech geek is not our job in the first place, however! We are photographers and creators of our reality. We show the way we see the world, and we should spend time on this. This technological addiction can be beautiful! But after a while, you will have difficulties creating anything without it!
Relying on It
By now you may think about this: "I like to create whatever I want, and my work style is based on technology." Which is right! That's why I say this article is not for every kind of photography genre! Sometimes, people are obligated to use it for the pictures they want. For example, many of us may not have not a big budget like Tim Walker to create an enormous surreal decoration for our personal work! So, we will use another photo of another object and bring it to our actual picture with Photoshop! As a fashion photographer, you can use your tech knowledge, but relying on it instead of your photography skills makes it an entirely separate method! Fashion photographers these days make a terrible mistake by spending so much time knowing every spec on the photography equipment market instead of learning about which fashion magazine has the similar style to their work for sending images to them! Spend time to improve your name, skills, your market!
I guess most of you are familiar with top famous fashion photographers like Mario Testino, Helmut Newton, Tim Walker, Guy Bourdin, Herb Ritts, David Bailey, and others. If you are not familiar with them, you should take a look at their work. What do you see? Personally, I see three common subjects: femininity, fashion, and story. You can complete an idea with a touch of technology, but you can't create it with modern digital knowledge in the fashion world. The lack of materials and right equipment will push you to think differently about the same subject, and finally, you may create the same idea with your skills based on what you have at that time! That was the way of creativity for many top photographers in their time. So, I guess making everything easier will not help your creativity. Also, the funny part is most modern fashion photographers are inspired by the work of old legends, which were based on their original lifestyle and point of view.
I'm not against using technology; I use it too for my photos. It's about how much of your work is mixed with it and whether it helps you to be creative or not. Most of my students are very strong in the tech side of photography, but weak in the fashion and photography knowledge part. Of course, you will be a more powerful artist when you know more about what is going on in the fashion world, who is who, which magazine is right to send emails and photos to work with, which editorial story is better to shoot, and more.