make money from photography

But I need a better camera …

Mark Lait

Mark Lait

Come here! let me slap you! …

You do NOT need a better camera. I can tell you that you don’t!

Cameras these days are so sophisticated that you can get everything you need to create great sales with a $500 midrange camera, whatever your favourite brand is.I want to show you a couple of photos, and I want you to guess what kind of camera they were taken with.

I’ve got a point to make here so bear with me. This is the first one

and this is the second one.



I hear a lot of people saying ‘but I need a better camera … I need a new lens … have you ever heard the saying ‘the best camera is the one you’ve got in your hand?’ well – it’s true.

When you see a photo opportunity, you haven’t always got time to go and get that ‘better camera’ because by the time you get back, the moment will be gone, think of a toddler and how quickly they can go from happy to crying – we all know, these are fleeting moments of spontaneity, and you need to capture them at all costs – because that’s the stuff that people buy, that’s what they pay big money for.

Use what you already have because it is good enough. If you are just starting out, whatever you have will do. People can use the ‘I need a better camera’ thing as an excuse – but it’s a lack of confidence really and that’s okay, everyone is different and you’ll be ready when you’re ready – there’s no rush but just use what you currently have.

I started shooting on location and outdoors and it was only when I could afford it that I set up my home studio. That studio was so rudimentary, it was just a shed in my backyard … I used paper rolls for backgrounds, they were always tearing ang getting crumpled, but they worked, I got some cheap flash units, installed an opaque window for natural light and made reflectors out of bits of foam and wood … and I’m still using them today, that’s them behind me!

As your business grows, then you can start buying new toys, and the best thing is that they are tax deductible because they’re a business expense.

That first photo was taken with an iPhone and the second one was taken with a $13,000 Canon rig, so the point is, nobody can tell what camera you took the photo on – of course, as a pro shooter you might look a bit out of place at a wedding with an iPhone but that first photo is my daughter in law and the reason it exists at all is because I could see all these great photos that the wedding photographer was missing so I whipped out the iPhone and grabbed this one, she loved it so much that she has it hanging on the wall in her home.

I remember an industry peer once telling me how he had told his wife that he needed a more expensive camera, she asked him how much more money he was going to make if he bought it – and that was the end of that argument.

Everyone goes through this ‘is my equipment good enough’ dilemma – it’s normal to think that but I think the real question is ‘are you good enough’

There has always been a divide between art vs business in this game, the artists will tell you that they are in it for the craft – and they are brilliant at their craft, but the people who need an income will tell you they’re in it for the money.

I’m on the money side but the craft is very important to the end result, if you can’t take reasonable photos you might be in a bit of trouble but I’ll say again, no-one knows … one in a thousand people will ask you what camera you are using – it doesn’t matter. People are buying themselves and their beautiful family, not the camera you are using.

I started with a canon 400D and now use something 10 times that price, but I don’t get 10 times more for the photos.

So to summarise


  1. If you have a working camera, it’s good enough.
  2. Make sure you’re competent at your craft, especially posing and lighting and that stuff is all free on the internet anyway.
  3. Don’t spend money on gear you don’t need, there will be plenty of opportunity to buy more toys later when the money starts coming in.