5 min read

The Benefits of Working With the Camera Equipment You Already Have

5 min read

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Camera equipment can be very expensive. If photography isn’t your profession, you might be discouraged by the extravagance of this industry. Luckily, this isn’t something you need to worry about. Using the camera equipment you already have can be more of a strength than a weakness. It all starts with a little bit of courage and curiosity.

You’re More Inclined to See Potential in Simple Things

hand reaching out.
Limited camera equipment will allow you to focus on your surroundings more intensely. Light, shadows, and shapes are likely to stand out more to you.

Creativity has the potential to thrive in a limited environment. It’s natural for humans to make the most of what they have in restricted circumstances. Your limitations can force you to appreciate things that others overlook. This challenge can help you strengthen your imagination and come up with original ideas for your work.


Ask yourself questions like, “How can I make this subject look as artistic as possible with what I have?” This will encourage you to experiment with various techniques and effects. Ultimately, these experiments will lead to great pictures and a lot of helpful experience.

Once you have this experience under your belt, you’ll probably be more confident in your ability to find beauty everywhere. This is bound to encourage you to take more photos no matter where you go. The results? A diverse portfolio and a healthy boost of confidence.

Your Patience Is Likely to Strengthen Quickly

camera equipment double exposure of silhouette and nature.

Patience is crucial in photography. It can help you capture the perfect moment, be gentler with yourself when you make mistakes, and give you courage when you start new projects.

You can strengthen your patience by challenging yourself. What better way to challenge yourself than to work with what you have? No matter how limited your equipment is, you can use it to become a more inspiring version of yourself. The less equipment you have, the faster you’ll be able to strengthen your patience!

Keep Limits In Mind

We all have a limit when it comes to patience, of course. If you give yourself too many challenges, you’re likely to give up. Try to make this as realistic as possible for your unique circumstances. Make sure you have techniques that can help you take photos that you’re proud of. Give yourself as much help as possible. The point isn’t to torture yourself, but to appreciate everything you have.

The More You Practise, the More Impressive Your Portfolio Becomes

camera equipment girl looking through roses.

Treat your camera equipment like a superpower. The less you use, the more impressive it will be when you take incredible photographs. People will wonder how you were able to create something so creative with a simple smartphone camera or a little SLR camera. Your hard work will prove that you have powerful skills that don’t rely on expensive camera equipment.

Examples of Photographers with Limited Gear

There are many photographers with outstanding portfolios who don’t use a lot of camera equipment. Some of them have been using the same cameras and lenses for years. Oleg Oprisco uses a cheap film camera to take incredible photographs. Rosie Hardy is known for her editing work in GIMP, which is a free program.

These limitations have allowed photographers like Oleg and Rosie to thrive. Their limitations – which could technically be viewed as weaknesses – are the topic of news headlines. They are strengths in their own right.

You’re Forced to Focus on Other Elements in Your Photos

diptych of spring flowers and shadows.

Getting caught up in cameras, lenses, and accessories can be a discouraging activity. Some people get so caught up in settings and the latest equipment that they forget about the essence of their work, i.e. the heart of their photography.

With limited camera equipment, you don’t need to worry about wasting time on this. You just work with what you have. This gives you more time to focus on other elements in photography, such as storytelling, colours, foregrounds, lighting, and much more.

You have to get extra creative to make these elements work well together, but that’s the beauty of it. Throughout this process, you can quickly develop your style and improve as an artist.

You Have the Chance to Use Your Camera Equipment in Unconventional Ways

camera equipment tilt-shift effect wedding couple taking a walk.

Camera settings and tools don’t have to be used a specific way. Photographers have come up with all kinds of creative ways to make simple settings do incredible things. Here are a few examples of this.

Reverse Macro Effect

Even if you don’t have a macro lens, you can take extreme close-ups using this technique. You need to detach your lens from your camera body and flip it over. Carefully shoot through the other side to capture beautiful details.

Zoom in While Taking a Photo

Take a photo as you zoom in. This will keep the very center of your image sharp and blur out everything else. Typically, the effect looks quite distorted and out of place. This is one of many photography techniques that you can use to improve your abstract photography portfolio.


Freelensing is when you detach your lens and hold it in front of the camera. This creates a tilt-shift effect. Some parts of your photo will look very blurry, while others won’t. This is a simpler (and slightly riskier) alternative to purchasing Lensbaby equipment.

These are just a few of the many things you can do with a little imagination. A simple change in settings, no matter how unconventional, can help you elevate your photography.

When You Upgrade, You’ll Make the Most of Your New Camera Equipment

silhouette of girl with long hair.

Hopefully, there will come a day when you’ll have the resources to purchase more advanced equipment. When that happens, you want to be prepared. If you know how to see potential in any kind of equipment, you’re guaranteed to make the most of your new purchase. You’ll be able to make the most of your new settings and tools within a short period of time.

Before that happens, embrace what you already have. Today’s smartphone cameras are very advanced. Apps and editing programs can all give you incredible tools to enhance your photographs.


Many photographers believe that improving goes hand in hand with buying new camera equipment. While equipment is very important, it doesn’t have to define your work. Give a professional a cheap camera and they’re likely to find a way to take stunning photographs.

Don’t be discouraged if you can’t afford the latest equipment. What you already have can help you become a more creative and imaginative artist. No matter what you’re working with, you have the potential to take your photographs to the next level.

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Taya Iv is a portrait photographer, 500px ambassador, and host of Great Big Photography World podcast.
Taya Iv is a portrait photographer, 500px ambassador, and host of Great Big Photography World podcast.

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