#481. A 5-step methodology for choosing photo gear (webinar with Ming Thein)

By pascaljappy | How-To

May 28

<tl;dr>At the end of next week, Ming Thein and I are presenting a webinar focusing on gear choices that you’ll probably find interesting. You can register at the bottom of this page.</td;dr>

Long version below inaugural fireworks!

Cause for celebration

Cause for celebration

So, tell me! Have you ever:

  • felt frustration when viewing an ad for, or reading the review of, a new lens / camera you can’t afford?
  • bought a pricey piece of kit, only to realise your photographs aren’t a step closer to that creative Nirvana it was meant to open up?
  • felt sooo disappointed with a piece of kit that came highly recommended and just didn’t tick the right boxes for you?
  • wished you could jump to another system but are stuck by investment in your current one?
Happy frogs

Happy frogs

Well, the most frequent difference between happy togs (above) and … grumpy tog (below) is very often (dis)satisfaction with gear.


Leave grumpy dog alone !

Some of us choose wisely and live happily ever after, some of us build up a need for anger management with every new step in our gear acquisition ladder.


G.A.S. central!

The truth is that great gear brings a smile to our face that not a lot can wipe out but bad choices can, and often do, make us miserable. Not to mention broke.


The pressure of brand marketing and peers

Photography is a creative pursuit that requires a subtle bond between our right and left brains and purchasing gear following blind faith in brand marketing or forum fan wars can greatly detract from the enjoyment of this hobby and hinder our progression to higher levels of mastery.

In plain English, gear has one job to do: get out of the photographer’s way! We’re all different and what suits a reviewer or your best buddy won’t necessarily suit you.


Of course, deep inside, we all know that. But choosing gear is hard and reference points hard to come by.

On this blog (and others) we do our best to provide insights into what owning and living with a piece of gear is like, how it renders, how it handles. Other websites follow a very different approach, focusing on lab reports and other consideration that we find of no practical value but can be useful for some types of photographer psychologies and uses.

Others still simply repeat what brands ask them to providing no value at all for the reader.


As for forums and social media, well, it’s easy enough to see the uniformity of opinion within clans and sterile debates (a kind word) between fanboy factions. It’s as if your gear defines you, not the personality of the photographs you produce with it.

All this to say that, if you’re not a very experienced photographer, making the right choices is really, really, tough.


Don’t mess with Mr Mouse

Time to maybe make up your own mind in better conditions, mebbe ?


The solution? Know yourself and work methodically!

What we lack when buying gear is the sort of repeatable methodology we would apply when buying a house or business vehicle. We need to analyse out needs, our natural style, our aspirations and match gear characteristics to that to reach informed decisions that please on a long-term basis.


And that’s precisely what we’ve set out to help you do much more easily! (We will tackle world famine later. For now, our focus is on happiness and creativity).

I’m doing this with Ming Thein. You’ll probably know him as a great blogger/reviewer but the reality is that Ming is a pro photographer who works for the most prestigious brands on the planet. Plus, in my eyes, Ming possesses that rarest of combinations:

  • A very analytic mind
  • True creativity and art
  • A huge experience of reviewing and shooting with most of the photographic gear the world has produced in recent years.
Ming, by Ming (c) Ming Thein

Ming, by Ming (c) Ming Thein

Together, we will be hosting a 90 minute webinar that describes precisely how to analyse your style, needs and aspirations, how to evaluate what is important in photo gear (cameras and lenses) and how to match the two intelligently while still letting that inner child voice speak its dreams freely.

We will illustrate all these aspects of gear selection with a wide range of our respective photographs and our own experiences.


Claire your mind

A 30 minute Q&A session will allow you to ask your most pressing questions so that Ming can guide you in a very practical manner. This will not be a case of is brand A better than brand B (it is, or else it wouldn’t be brand A 😉 ) but a matter of matching systems with your context and your wants.


Expand your horizon

After this webinar, you will be able to perform a series of tasks to map your style and needs accurately and understand how current camera and lens characteristics match what you have found out about yourself. You’ll no longer be a headless chicken running between forums but and informed and independent thinker. It’s also quite likely you’ll save pots of money, since some of the best gear around can be found used at ridiculous prices.


Hats off to the tog

We are opening this webinar up to 100 people on two different dates so that you can choose the time and date that best fits your day. And we sure as heck look forward to discussing this with you on that occasion. Be there 🙂


Creative choices

So, for less than half the price of a cheap filter and less than 1% of the price of a high-end lens, join us for this course and jump of the disheartening gear searching hamster wheel.


Two Dates, convenience for All Continents


Note: If you purchase but cannot make it on the day, a recording of the webinar will be sent to you.


Friday June 3rd, 8AM GMT, for Europe, Africa and Asia

[cc_product sku=”wbn-mt-gc-0603″ display=”inline” quantity=”true” price=”true”]


Saturday June 4th, 2PM GMT, for Europe, Africa and the Americas

[cc_product sku=”wbn-mt-gc-0604″ display=”inline” quantity=”true” price=”true”]


REMINDER: ** Only 100 seats are available for each date.
Act quickly to get in! **



Blow me, gear gurus!


Clear the smoke to see the light


Bite me, fanboys

  • PaulB says:


    Please make a recording/transcript of both sessions for later download, even if a modest charge is necessary. I’m not sure I can make the June 4th session, as 6:00 am PDT is a bit early for a Saturday; the US west coast is 8 hrs behind GMT.


  • gerner christensen says:

    Hi Pascal

    Watched the webinar today. It was really a very positive and enlightening down to earth experience.
    Substantial, important and clarifying it its essence. Just great to hear you two guys talkin the whole thing over.

    Thanks so much to you both.


  • >