Why Using Less Photo Gear Is Often Better Than Using More: The Photographer’s Paradox

The below video from photographer Daniel DeArco is a little different from the ones we’ve featured on Shutterbug in the past. It’s not exactly a How-To video but you may learn a lot about how to get your photos noticed.

Titled “The Photographer’s Paradox (What Is It?),” DeArco tells a fascinating story about how he was able to get portraits of athletes, acrobats, and acroyoga enthusiasts he shot near a park in Santa Monica the attention they deserved. And no, it was not because he brought a ton of high-end photography gear to the park to do the shoot. In fact, he did just the opposite, stripping down his kit to just the essentials and then sharing the relatively unpolished images on Instagram in a smart way.

“Perfectionism is one of the most costly traits if it isn't strictly necessary,” DeArco says. “Often times we get caught up hyperfocusing on the wrong things – making us unproductive as photographers and creatives.”

Or, in other words, don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good, as the old expression goes. And don’t get bogged down with worrying about how much gear you think you need to use. Just keep it simple, stupid, as another famous principle of life goes.

Since the video is a little bit difficult to explain, just give it a watch and tell us what you think in the comments. We hope you find it as enlightening as we did.

You can watch more of DeArco's ideas and musings on his YouTube page.

Raymond Muzika's picture

Thank you for your video. I have been making this point for many years. While we may desire new equipment and even see a benefit to buying it, photographers often DO try to justify the purchase, it isn't always as necessary as we would like to think. Yes, a pro needs dependable equipment and the right tool for the job, but knowing when to simplify is often lost in a camera bag crammed full of goodies.