Gearing up a matter of personal preference
Is having additional photography equipment, gizmos and other paraphernalia — aside from your camera and lenses — essential to take good photos?
This is a question that most of us in the industry are always debating.
There are some who say no, because if you are a good photographer, you should be able take good photos in any given situation with whatever tools you have available. In short, you should MacGyver it.
Others will suggest that you should be well equipped, because that's why your clients are paying you — for you to be fully prepared in facing the battle of doing a photoshoot.
I believe that you should be able to take good photos with whatever photography instruments you have handy. That being said, you should also be able to take photos without limits in any given situation and at any given time.
When I go on a photoshoot session by myself, I bring with me the following, on top of my camera and lenses: my external Canon Speedlite 600ex-rt with battery packs, Illumi Octa Brolly Box with Dual Flash Holder, Hanson Posing Blocks and my step ladder. I have all of these because I do not want to stress out thinking I won't be able to capture any quality pictures since I’m short, it's too dark, or I have a small space. Bringing all of this gear is indeed burdensome, but I am willing to trade the comfort in exchange for knowing I’ll be able to take more interesting photos.
I have nothing but respect for photographers who choose to bring just their camera and assortment of lenses with them, and are still able to snap amazing photos with less. I admire these people. As for me, I choose to carry all of these extras with me because this is where I’m comfortable and it provides an assurance that I’ll be able to take pictures without over thinking it.
There were multiple occasions when my strobe and speedlites saved me because the location was too dark even for a faster lens. I was able to pose an individual or a group using my posing blocks and thanks to my ladder, I was able to take a variety of angle shots even though I am short. I would say to each their own.
This should not even be an issue among photographers. Each of us is unique and we all have different approaches and styles of photography. There are guidelines, but no rigid rules. If one chooses to just carry their camera or bring all of their equipment with them no matter how small or big the photo session is, let it be.
That is the beauty of art — we create and express ourselves differently to show our individuality.
So, either way, just keep having fun shooting and enjoy the creative process.