Not For Hire

I make my living as a photographer but not all of my photography life is commercial. Choosing with whom I work is still my own exclusive decision. The same goes for the equipment I use and how I use it. To quote a guy, “I am the decider.”

There are many cameras, lights and lenses at my disposal for hired work but that doesn’t mean I bring them all with me. In fact, my best tool is not an object. It’s my experience and it’s always at hand. Accepting a gig means that I have to deliver my very best work. But “best” doesn’t intersect with a particular brand or type of camera and certainly not file size.

I can count on one hand how many times a commissioning client has specified or even asked about something as absurd as megapixel count. A megapixel is not an objective measurement of anything and is usually more hype than reality.

The latest tool in my arsenal is Nikon’s once mighty king, the D800E which produces a massive, giant and absurdly large file that none of my clients need and wouldn’t really want anyway. It’s 36 megapixels and when you see the files on a screen it’s a revelation.

This camera is just for me. Just for my personal work and nothing else. It’s a project camera, not a commerce camera. It’s used for experimenting and for purely personal satisfaction. That may sound selfish to the non-artist but my life isn’t guided by how other people feel. It’s not a line in the sand, but a border between my life as an artist and my life as a hired creator.

On the other hand, if you find yourself with me and this camera it means you’re something special in my eyes.

About the author: I am Stephen Kennedy, an experienced photographer with more than 2500 completed sessions in all 50 US states.

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