Do Professional Tools Matter?

© Ana V Ramirez IMG_1782-Edit-2.jpg

When it comes to being creative, do professional tools matter? Those [evil] marketing people want us to think so! But a lot of times what our creative work needs to improve isn't a shiny new gadget. A recent conversation brought up the topic of photography tools. In order to claim the title of "professional" do you really need "professional" tools? If you're good at what you do, how much do professional tools matter? I have often heard comments from those I consider professional about how the tools don't make the art; the artist does. Personally, I agree. For instance, if I had top of the line kitchen appliances that wouldn't make me a master chef. And I believe it's more important to have an understanding of the tools we have and use them in creative ways in order to achieve more rather than relying on the excuse that if we only had a [insert fancy and expensive equipment] then we could really succeed.

red metal door with chains

red metal door with chains

It is true that high quality professional tools matter because render a better result to those that know how to use them. Professional cameras and lenses would mean I could print bigger, clearer images and not have to correct for things like noise and chromatic aberration. Given the best of the best equipment we would all likely improve what we can do. But no amount of gadgets can make us great artists if we don't put in the time and practice our craft.

Rather than worry about not having the right gear, I work with what I have. The equipment I have is good but it is not considered professional-level. Don't get me wrong, it's not that I wouldn't like to own said gear... I have a wishlist of all sorts of neat new toys. But until I stumble on that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow I do what I can with what I have. :-)

In my humble opinion, at the end of the day your tools are just tools. It's all "stuff" that could be lost, stolen or damaged. Then what? All you would have left is your skills.