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Size DOES Matter…

05/22/2012

Yes I’m going to go there. It must be said. I’m sorry who I hurt but its true….size matters.  Guys you’ve worried about it for a long time. Sure you may be blessed to have a spouse like mine who reassures you with a generous…“It’s how you use it. And YOU know how to use it”.  You may even tell yourself “I may not have the biggest but I can hang with the big boys.” I understand that feeling of inadequacy. I’ve been there. I know the feeling….You’re standing there, everything is just right…the timing is perfect…you reach and pull out your…camera.

What did you think I was talking about? (Re-reading what I wrote) Oh…you blog readers are sick. This isn’t that kind of show. I’m a filmmaker, of course I’m talking about cameras. And in society the size of your camera does matter.  It gives the people around you a sense of trust. It tells them that you are a “professional”. Trust me.  So I’m here to tell you size does matter…to THEM. It shouldn’t matter to you.

I have two examples that I’m pretty sure a lot of my fellow cinematographers and photographers have gone through.  Honestly you feel really dumb for feeling “inadequate”, but it happens.  I always go through it when I’m doing photography for some reason.  It’s usually when I’m outdoors and other photographers are around. Now, I’m not now nor will ever call myself a “photographer”…although a lot of people around me like to argue with me on that. I just do it for the fun of doing it. Usually I’m taking pictures of people I know, no big deal. Being outdoors you’re bound to see other photographers around, especially during the summer and “prom” months. Recently I took engagement photos for a family member. It was downtown Chicago…beautiful. My wife was with me, which is always nice. She tends to “fix” the things I don’t see on women. Hair is the wrong way or is in the eyes. The dress needs to be moved. Stuff I don’t notice, being an incompetent “dude”. How am I supposed to pay attention to that anyway? I don’t know about dresses and makeup….anyway I digress. As we were taking pictures, this “professional” photographer was taking pictures nearby of a “model”. I happen to notice he has the whole photography “getup”. He’s got two cameras; one sling around his back. He’s got the big lens. He’s got it all. There’s where the inadequacy comes in…my camera isn’t as big. My lens isn’t as big. My camera bag is a cheap one you get at your local Target (not getting paid for advertising). Either way you feel less “worthy”.  You feel like the person you are taking pictures of thinks you’re not as good. Luckily I have my wife there to pick me up from my thoughts of stupidity. I call it stupid because it is…
Anyone who knows a little about cameras will tell you that the size of the lens doesn’t matter because it depends on what you use it for. Sure there are different “quality” lens…but the SIZE doesn’t play a role. So why feel inadequate? Because of the perception.

Another quick story. I was doing an interview for my recent documentary. The person I was interviewing is no stranger to cameras. Not like he’s a “celebrity” but he’s a little “known”. Either way I was interviewing him for my project and was setting up my equipment. As I was setting my little camera up a thought crossed my mind…”this guy has done many interviews for different news studios and journalists; I come in, by myself, with this little camera. I have to be a joke to this guy. He can’t be taking me serious right now.” Again, it was all in my head. Although I have had situations where someone asked why my camera was small, he never asked. It was all in my head. That’s where the inadequacy comes from…your head.

Truth is…size matters to some “industry” people; mostly those that don’t know that much about cameras.  You know that it isn’t the size but “how you use it”.  You can have a Panavision camera worth more than your house (or a Hasselblad for the photography) and it doesn’t mean you’re going to have a good end product.  I’ve seen people do amazing things with these “little” cameras. I’m talking cinematic stuff equal to what’s in theaters now. For now though, we have to fight through the perception and “feeling” of inadequacy. Know your equipment. Know what you can do with your equipment. Do your best. You will get noticed eventually. Then you will be “hanging with the big boys”. I tell you what my wife always reminds me… “It’s not what the size is; it’s how you use it.”

Happy Shooting….

ArtisticWC

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