What Really Matters in Photography?

When starting a career in photography, there are a lot of obstacles and challenges. While some may demand that you have a proper education and a degree before you start being paid well, there are others who’ll obsess about what gear you’ll be using to get the job done. But is all of this really that important? Photographer Lauren Tepfer shares her take from her journey as a photographer:

Technical Skills in Photography

We’ve all gone through a phase where we tend to obsess about the technicalities and skills involved in taking an image. Some are more inclined toward the qualifications you have to land a job rather than getting the job done. You may have the right skills to achieve a result but if you don’t have a degree, you either won’t get the job or won’t be paid enough. Schooling does help in the field of photography.

“With photographers, it’s always what skills do you know? What equipment do you have? How long have you been doing this? How much experience do you have to get this job?”

technicality in photography


“I never had a good camera, and I usually use the kit lens. I don’t really care about the equipment that much, which I know breaks a lot of people’s heart. For me it’s always been story and concept and what I see.”

If you have a creative vision and a story in mind, don’t let the equipment you use be a barrier. With the right concept and composition, you can take brilliant images even with your smartphone camera. Gear doesn’t matter, but concepts and stories do.

professional portrait with a kit lens


Tepfer’s photos have a lot of colors in them. They are bold and vibrant–her signature style. And she credits her crazy imagination while growing up for this.

“I can’t even imagine what it’d be like to be in the 1920s and have to shoot sepia or black and white. I’d rather pick another profession.”

Whenever taking photos, Tepfer actively looks for colors to include in her compositions. There are colors everywhere, and being in a colorful city really helps. Just look for vibrant subjects and surroundings to include in your photograph.

“There is color everywhere if you look for it.”

colorful image of woman on subway


“Post is as important to me as the shooting process.”

Many people, including photographers, are stuck with the notion that post-processing is cheating. They believe that photography should always be a true representation of what the camera records. While this is true for journalism, it’s not totally valid if you see photography as a form of art.

Just like when you’re a painter you get to choose the colors, the details, and the composition, you have the right to make those choices as a photographer. As a creator, you have the ability to imagine what your final image should look like. And post-processing is an aid to get to that creative vision.

post proccessing in photography

How well are your concepts in agreement with Tepfer’s?

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