A month or so back, I got an email from a man who needed my help. He had some fitness products he wanted pictures of, and wondered if I could help him out. I had never tried product photography before, so... Naturally I accepted the challenge. I gave him a heads up, and offered him to take the first round of products for free if he decided that the quality wasn't good enough.
And just the night before he would come with the first shipment, the photography meet-up group I'm part of had a -- you guessed it -- a product photography meet-up.
Couldn't have come at a better time. I took the bus to the meet-up twenty minutes away, and met up with other enthusiastic photographers. I came with a fresh mind, although I did get a slight shock when I listened to the lecturer and looked at all the set-ups... They were using soft-boxes, multiple flashes, umbrellas, tripods, you name it. And out of those, I have--mm, let's count... none.
I felt pretty screwed. My reaction for the rest of that evening was: "I have to cancel this. Who was I to think I could take proper pictures without a flash? It's not even worth a try."
But then the next day came, I didn't cancel, and the man came over with the products. At this point I was back on track after a good nights sleep, and thought that everything is worth an attempt. "If you've never failed, you've never lived", right? So I gave it a shot. Multiple shots even. And you know what?
They turned out great. The guy who sold the products LOVED the pictures, and I've been taking more and more pictures for him ever since.
So for the photographers out there who feel held-back by your amount of gear; who think you have to get the latest of everything to be able to take good pictures... Think again. It's not the gear that makes you a photographer; it's the way you work with what you've got. It's your mind. Your determination. Your creativity.