Workhorse; Or How I Learnt Not To Be A Bambi And To Be More Flexible.

by Adam Rowney


I’ve been using Nikon for just over a decade now. I started out with a film camera, a Nikon F65, and spent most of my final teenage years traveling and photographing the people around me. It wasn’t a great camera, but it got the job done. I was new to the photographic scene, a hobbyist at best, and the F65 offered me something light, portable, and easy to use. Traveling and photographing those around me was the catalyst for my love of photography.

When I got home, I applied for a university course in photography, and moved over to digital. I stuck with Nikon purely because I already had equipment from that brand, so it made sense, and it still does make a lot of sense to do this. Sticking with a brand allows you to upgrade without upgrading your entire system. This much is obvious, but by sticking with one brand, and never using or experimenting with other platforms, you can lose flexibility.

I work in commercial fashion and ecommerce, and depending on the job, you can sometimes use your own camera, or you have to use one that is provided, or with certain clients, you are expected to rent out (at their cost usually) a certain system / platform. This is where it pays to be flexible within the industry. There are certain expectations that everyone will realise when coming into the industry. The need to know how to use RAW, how to tether to Capture One, how to use Photoshop and so on. These are the cited industry standards that every studio will use. But what is often not talked about is knowing how to use the different camera systems.

When I was a Bambi first starting out in the industry, my workhorse was my Nikon. I loved my camera, but I personally found that more often than not, a great many commercial studios use or prefer the use of Canon. For myself, having never really experimented with Canon, I was put into the deep end. I had a lot to learn, and it made me realise how inflexible I had become. In a short space of time, I had to research the camera I was using, so I could be as quick and efficient with it as possible. In the middle of a shoot, I don’t want to stop and think about something, stopping the flow of the team. The camera at the end of the day is just another tool, and I needed to know that tool off by heart.

Fast forward to today, and I am far more flexible and ready for what the industry can throw at me. I can use multiple platforms, and with every aspect I learn from a new system, I can often mirror what I know to other systems.  I’ve come to realise that research and experimentation is key. Different brands have different layouts, and more often the not, even the menu systems between different cameras of the same brand can often be different.

So in short; be more flexible, and your field of expertise will be that little bit easier to conquer. Do your research, and by all means, don’t be afraid to experiment.