Bigger is worse.
Why bigger is worse
I can’t speak for you, but I’ve been brain-washed by the American “Bigger is Better” culture.
For example, when it comes to cars — bigger is better (SUV).
Or, with food — bigger is better (‘Jumbo’ sizes at McDonalds).
Or, with money — bigger is better (the more zeroes in your bank account, the better).
More is less.
We think that more will bring us more.
More possessions, more happiness.
More travels, more joy.
More friends, more popularity.
But in reality — more is often less.
Do we really want a bigger bank account?
I know with traveling, the more shit I carry with me, the more miserable I am.
With more money, comes more problems (as Biggie Smalls said, “Mo money, mo problems.”)
Why I prefer small
In photography, the smaller my camera, the more likely I am to carry it with me, and the more likely I am to shoot pictures.
And for me, the more pictures I make, the happier I am.
When Cindy and I lived in Kyoto for about a month, we lived in a tiny airbnb. But for me, I preferred the smaller size for the apartment. Why? Less needing to move around, and less time wasting trying to access things.
And less movement meant more creative focus.
Smaller cameras in street photography
I’ve also found,
The smaller your camera, the less intimidating you look when you’re shooting street photography.
And also the smaller your camera, you can get closer to your subjects, and shoot candid pictures of people without them noticing.
Why I am anti-DSLR
DSLR’s are great cameras — if you are doing commercial work.
For the streets, stay light and nimble. The smaller you are, the quicker you can move, and the more agile you are in the streets.
Smaller is cheaper
Also, usually smaller cameras are usually cheaper. For example, the RICOH GR II is small, compact, and only around $600.
My idea: spend less money on your camera, and more money on experiences. More money on books, not gear. More money to attend workshops, and meet other passionate photographers.
I know in the past, the reason I wanted a bigger camera was because I was insecure about my photography, and I thought that by having a bigger camera, I would feel more ‘pro’ and have other people acknowledge me as being more ‘pro.’
But in reality, the bigger my camera, the more miserable I was.
The bigger my camera, the more strain I had on my neck, and the more pain.
Another example: when I had my first DSLR (Canon Rebel XT, I tried to make it look bigger by adding a zoom lens, a battery grip, and a flash). It was true that when others saw my big camera, they said: “Wow your camera is so pro!” but nowadays, I’m seeking to subtract the superfluous from my photography and life.
HENRI WRIST STRAP: Never Miss the Decisive Moment.
How to apply the ‘small is beautiful’ philosophy to your photography and life
- With traveling, travel with a smaller bag.
- With your photography, opt to use a smaller camera.
- When buying a new car, seek to buy a smaller car.
- Keep your expenses small, to enjoy more freedom, flexibility, and profits in your life
- Keep your inner-circle small, to enjoy deeper relationships with your close friends and family.
Small, simple, and meaningful — this should be our trifecta in our photography and life.
Keep it simple,