I am no longer a pro with a m4/3rds camera

Started Dec 16, 2009 | Discussions thread
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I am no longer a pro with a m4/3rds camera
Dec 16, 2009

I have been shooting for a long time with SLRs. I, like some other people on this forum, decided to dump my SLRs and move to the micro four-thirds format. It's not a more for everyone mind you, but to me it was the most 'liberating' change I have made in a long time. I don't know how to explain it, but with an SLR I honestly spent more time thinking/worrying/etc about my gear and less time using it.....

Over the last few years I did some 'pro' work here and there. I don't consider myself a pro, in fact I kinda hate the term. I like to consider myself a hobbyist and artist, or one who just has a passion for capturing light (or moments in time).

I have received quite a bit of flack from my fellow photog friends who don't quite understand why I would sell a nice SLR body for a camera like my EP-1, but then again I believe like many others they have become more about the gear and less about the hobby these days. When I talk with them, it's all about having the fastest lens, the most expensive lens, etc - to me those things don't matter, I could be a happy shooter with even a point-n-shoot because it's all about taking pictures, bottom line. Other people look at an image full of noise and see a problem (everyone is nuts about high ISO these days), I look at at an image full of noise and think this would be a beautiful b&w, in other words I never fault the camera for taking a bad picture, I fault myself for not being creative enough to make the most out of a situation and as such the gear doesn't really matter to me....

What took me by surprise is when I arrived at a clients club over the weekend for a holiday party. I have done paid work there many at times. My client asked if I could take some casual shots of the party for his website and thus I pulled out the EP-1. I was turned down to take the pictures, my client said the camera did not look 'professional' and as the club has a 'no camera policy', people will think I am walking around with a p&s thus giving people the impression that they too can take pictures. He said with a big Nikon around my neck, I will be respected as a professional.

Yesterday afternoon, my friend turned me down as a backup for a wedding. He said and I quote "people won't think you are a professional with that camera in hand, it will make my business look bad".

I am not bothered by either situation, and I understand people's concerns. These days I am trying to exit the paid business and just enjoy the hobby. What I do find rather disconcerting is the fact people judge your talent and capabilities by the body in hand. I have a friend who has little to no interest in photography and when he does take a picture it's typically out-of-focus or composed poorly. He just purchased a D3s (just because he had the money to do so) - so who do you want shooting as a backup at your wedding ? My friend with the D3s who doesn't care a thing about taking pictures or someone passionate about photography who has been shooting a long time albeit using the unprofessional m4/3rds format ?

These days everyone has an SLR and everyone claims to be a pro. The other night I went to a Christmas Parade and saw kids with SLRs, grandmothers with SLRs, everyone all shapes, sizes, and ages with little black bodies and kits lenses dangling from their necks. Me I was humble with my silver EP-1 in hand and I paused to look around and smiled - I was no longer 'one' of these people - i am the person you never see coming, the person who loves photography beyond normal measures, yet doesn't need a $5000 SLR to prove so. I am just your humble, unprofessional, m4/3rds owner....

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