How to Get More Creative: Throw Your Camera Gear Away

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I’m Haoyuan Ren, I’m a photographer currently living in Los Angeles I mainly shoot portraits and editorial today and I also do a lot of personal shooting wherever I go. These days, we are constantly told by manufacturers through advertisements and reviews that having the next best thing will bring us better pictures.  In reality, it’s not always the case… Throw Away Your Camera Gear; Haoyuan Ren on

Killer Kit Awards

In My Bag



Professional Photographer: Yes

How to Get More Creative: Throw Your Camera Gear Away:

As a photographer, it’s important to have the right equipment for the right job, but here’s what I discovered. Having too many technical choices actually stifled my creativity and became a demotivating factor. Here, let’s first look at three amazingly creative photographers; other than me; with very little gear: DANIELLE TUNSTALL horror photographer

Danielle Tunstall – Horror Photographer

Andreea Retinschi photographer

Andreea Retinschi – Fashion photographer

Sarolta Bán photographer

Sarolta Bán – Digital Artist

MEETING CHANGE Over time your style, tastes, skills and business needs develop and change. Let’s be honest, these changes often help us justify those long anticipated purchases. After a while you end up with a more and more gear. Some of this gear fully delivered on its promise, but other items didn’t and now carry all of it. BEING PREPAIDRED What I’ve come to realize over the years, is that I want to be prepared for whatever may happen. There has been a number of times when my shoots were cut short and interrupted because I was missing something important, but this also drives us to carry even more equipment! Throw Away Your Camera Gear; Haoyuan Ren on TOO MANY CHOICES You may wonder why that’s a problem. Too much gear will slow you down, not just physically, but you’ll have too many technical choices. The benefit is that less gear gets you thinking creatively, in both problem solving & shooting. Push you from your comfort zone, get you trying new things, this in turn helps keeps your style fresh.   THINK AGAIN Challenge yourself to start again. Think about what you really use and I bet you can significantly reduce the amount of gear you need. What you’ll discover is a new agility and freedom. Stop thinking about gear and start thinking about photography Haoyuan-Ren-06 MY GEAR You can still be prepared for whatever may happen while still staying small and compact. What you see here in my bag is what I would grab to take on a plane at a moment’s notice and be ready for 95% of all photographic situations without any reconfiguration.   LETTING GO OF THE GEAR: Personally, selling the older gear that I no longer use is ceremonial, as it signifies the beginning of the next step in my personal photographic journey. As my style change, I sell the subsystems that I have out grown, in order to fund the next subsystem that gives me a different way of thinking and working…it’s all a creative opportunity.

My Philosophy

I built up a large collection of equipment over time, slowly it became troublesome to carry and utilize everything. Finally through discarding and reorganizing, I have arrived at a kit that will accommodate anything that I travel internationally with to produce the images I love.

My Influences and Inspirations

  Throw Away Your Camera Gear; Haoyuan Ren on