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We live in a world where images rule the roost. While it is possible to have a successful blog and social media following without good images, it’s also rather rare.

It easy to look at some of the most beautiful photographs online and assume they are well out of your reach. Photography is a wonderful hobby, but it is not without its frustrations. Whether you’re constantly battling for good lighting or are still struggling to master the basic PhotoShop editing elements, there is always another mountain to climb to try and make your photographs as good as they can be.

The Disillusionment Of Photography

While the plethora of images online can serve as inspiration for your own photography efforts, things don’t always work that way. Rather than viewing these images and finding yourself desperate to get behind the camera, you instead feel put out by what you’re seeing.

Those beautiful images, it’s easy to conclude, must be so good because of the huge amount of money spent on photography equipment. If you don’t have a studio, light diffusers, an expensive DSLR camera – how can you possibly keep up? Is it even worth playing with photography, given you would need secure loans and items bought on credit to have the equipment that can take such photographs?

The Realities Any Amateur Photographer Has To Understand

It would be disingenuous to imply that good equipment doesn’t make for good photographs. It’d be nice if this could be an inspirational moment, reinforcing the idea that a photograph’s quality is as much about the photographer as the equipment they’re using. Sadly, that’s simply not the case. There are always benefits to having expensive equipment, a vast array of lenses, and a PhotoShop subscription. That’s just fact.

However, that is not to say that you need these items to take a good photograph. Smartphone cameras are still relatively weak even when compared to the cheapest digital cameras. Yet smartphone cameras – in the right moment – can help to capture an array of truly amazing images. So if that’s what a smartphone can do, if you own any actual specific camera at all, you are going to be able to take amazing photographs.

The Photographer Matters More Than The Equipment

You could give a random person the best photography equipment in the world and ask them to take a photo. What would result from this will inevitably be a decent image, especially if they have a tripod to keep the camera steady for them. However, they are unlikely to take a truly beautiful image – because they just don’t have the eye.

It’s vital to remember that you are the most important part of your hobby. It’s about your eye, the way you compose a shot, the way you can play with angles and use the light to its best advantage. A good photographer with poor equipment will almost always be able to take a better image than a non-photographer with the best equipment available.

Practice, Practice, Practice

If you find yourself comparing your work to the images online and feeling you come up short, remember that you don’t know exactly what you’re seeing. The stunning image you’re admiring might have been the 312th image taken that day; it might have been edited to improve problems that the photographer included accidentally.

The only way to guarantee success – regardless of your equipment – is to practice as often as you possibly can. Take photos of anything and everything, working on your eye and your ability to compose an image

Spend… But Only If You Want To

Hobbies, in general, have a tendency to cost money; photography is no different. If you want to invest in good equipment, then that’s completely your choice and it may help to keep you interested in photography.

It is important to note, however, that doing so does not guarantee your images will improve substantially. Will it help? Yes, but it’s not a golden ticket to the promised land of award-winning photography. There is no photography equipment in the world that can transform the photos you’re taking overnight, and you’re still going to need to ensure you know how to use your new equipment to get the most from it.

Finally,  remember that you’re still going to need to practice and work on your eye. By doing so, you will find you step ever closer to being able to produce your own high-quality images. Photography can be a frustrating hobby at times, but when you get it right, it will be worth all the hard work you have invested into getting to that point.