This headline reads as though you would see it featured on FOX nightly news with the sub-title: ‘A fatal illness plaguing photographers everywhere, no matter what stage they are in their career, stay tuned at 9PM’. But, all jokes aside, G.A.S, or Gear Acquisition Syndrome, is a made-up illness representing the idea that we as photographers always want more than we need. With Photokina announcements last week bombarding our news feeds and emails, this video from Mark Ryan Sallee of Michromatic couldn’t have come at a better time to remind us of a few precautionary steps to consider before taking the plunge into new purchases.
1. Acquiring Gear Can be Expensive
We all go through sticker shock when we initially lay eyes on the gear of our dreams, whether it be the new Sigma 85mm Art, or even Canon’s Flagship 5D Mark IV. Always consider your budget, alternative options, and whether or not the gear is a necessity to enhance the quality of your work.
2. Don’t Distract Yourself From Your artJoin Premium
Sallee brings up a point that hits home for us here at SLR Lounge, that education is truly your most powerful tool when it comes to progressing and succeeding in this industry, which is why we created our Premium membership to begin with. This obsession we have with having the ‘next best thing’ in camera tech lends to a vicious cycle and will continue to distract us from our work if we don’t find out what it is we really need to focus on.
[REWIND: 10 TIPS ON BUYING GEAR]
3. Don’t let Your lack of gear make you feel insecure
Petty arguments online regarding which gear is better breeds an idea of inferiority. If you’ve got a decent camera and lens, that’s all you need to hone your skills as a photographer. Upgrades will always be available, but growth stems from diligence, education, and experience. Incidentally, it’s frequent to find photographers who are getting published, whose work you love, using less and or less expensive gear than you,
4. There is no ‘magic’ gear
There isn’t one lens that will have clients flooding through your doors begging you to photograph them; that’s all dependent on your talent.
The one beneficial aspect of G.A.S. is that it helps educate photographers. Sallee claims that buying new gear cultivates your preferences as a shooter, whether that be the type of camera you use or your preferred lens focal length. The symptoms of G.A.S. plague us all at some point, but it needn’t be eternal.