Panic set in full force about 8 hours ago when I began to run through my usual shoot preparation checklist. Batteries charged….check. Lenses cleaned…..check. Flash batteries replaced…..check. CF cards formatted….check. Test shots fired….check. Wait. NO. No check. The shutter was stuck on my D700. No biggie. This has happened before. A simple series of “tricks” helped to “unstick” my shutter like it always did. But wait, now the rear LCD screen was showing me a terrifying display of black and white lines. Here it was, the moment I’d been dreading. My camera, for lack of a more technical word, was “broken” after getting smashed while traveling last weekend. A series of classless obscenities escaped my lips as I checked and rechecked everything that I thought it could possibly be. Of COURSE I have back up cameras. In fact, I have 3…but none as advanced (or expensive) as my primary camera.
I have 14 shoots scheduled in the next 7 days. One of which is in a matter of hours. There wasn’t even time to pick up a rental from my local lab.
What. Am. I. Going. To. Do? The answer to that is probably exactly what anyone who knows me is thinking….”POST IT TO FACEBOOK“.
I quickly got a slew of sympathetic “OH NOOOO”‘s from fellow photographers who felt my three thousand dollar pain…and then a non-photographer friend piped in with the following comment: “It’s the photographer- not the equipment- that makes a great picture. You could have a 1980′s Polaroid in your hand and your pictures would still be amazing!”. While I don’t have quite the faith in myself that Miss Kimmy does, she is right. She is SO right. Sure, there are major perks to having nicer equipment (mostly of convenience)…but when it comes right down to it…this is a first world problem and if I can’t create Click-Chick-Quality-Images with a slightly downgraded camera, than something’s not right.
SO–I had a little conversation with myself. It started out with “Ok Kara. You shot with THIS backup camera as a primary camera for 2 years. You’ve done it before.” Then I gave myself a little pep talk. And yes, this all happened out loud, by myself, in my office. I continued to complain and whine in the confines of my office. Eventually hearing myself, I finally ended the conversation with “SHUT THE #@!% up and SHOOT!”
I packed my bags with 2 functioning cameras, 3 awesome lenses, and the phone number for Nikon, and headed off to my first shoot of the day. And do you know what? I shot more focused, with more care and special attention to each shot because I did ACTUALLY have to think about it a little harder. It’s amazing the tricks you can pull out of your hat when things become a little less convenient for you.
I am a photographer….whether I am shooting with a D4, D700, D300, D5000, or a flippin’ Polaroid. It’s good to have reality checks like this every now and then. But a physical check for about 3k would be nice right about now too ;) I’ve got a camera to buy.