Whenever I’m running a course or workshop I’m inevitably asked about what is the best camera someone to buy. What is it that they need that will enable them to get some great shots.

I get it, that people want something that will do a good job for them. But would you rush out and buy a Ferrari before you even have a driving lesson? Or worse still priced the insurance for a learner driver? What if you found you hated driving? What if it’s getting on a bit by the time you pass and it’s not what you wanted anymore?

The same thing can and does happen with cameras.

I do have to come clean here though and own up to the fact that my first camera was a pro camera.

I’d been ogling it for some time though and I knew a lot about it and exactly what I wanted to do with it. I spent hours and hours with that camera. I never did use it on auto, I was adamant from the get go that I’d shoot manual, and that’s exactly what I did.
But I’m also a bit of a crazy eccentric when it comes to photography. Most people aren’t and most people don’t have the time to put into something that I did back in the day.

So if it’s a whole new thing to you, I’d stick with the camera you have at the outset. Why? Because if you learn what you can now, with what you have, you’ll have a far better idea of what camera (if indeed any camera) you’d like once you’ve learnt to drive one.  Until then the best camera is the one in your hand, or stashed away.

Cameras tend to come with manual and automatic options inbuilt. Personally with cars I favour automatic as it’s less for my ADHD brain to cope with at once. But with a camera I’d feel like someone had tied my hands behind my back if I had to use it on manual. And I’m sure most other car drivers prefer manual too, unlike me.

You can make learning how to use a camera really complex and very technical, but it doesn’t have to be at all. And you won’t be getting any of that complexity or tech speak if you come to learn with me.

I remember having my first driving lesson and the instructor seemed to think that he needed to convey to me the entire working structure of the internal combustion engine! Wow was that boring. All I wanted to know was how to turn the darn thing and and propel it in the desired direction with the least hassle possible. But no…..

I flatly refuse to bore anyone to tears like that, with regards to photography, it’s just plain cruel. You do not need to know how the camera works to use it, you need to know what the various bits are and what playing around with them gives you.

So if you think what you need is a camera, have a long think about what you already have and what you can learn from that before you splash out.  You may decide you hate photography with anything other than a phone, or you may love it and want to splash out on something really good.  Either way, make sure it’s an informed decision and not a spur of the moment one that you’ll come to regret.

The best camera is the one you have in your hand. The Food Photography Coach, Sue Todd - Specialist Food, Drink & Hospitality Photographer.

The best camera is the one you have in your hand.

Come along to my studio later next month and see how easy that can be on My Getting Off Auto Workshop. Dig out your camera and come along to find out how easy it can be to take control. And remember the best camera you have is the one in your hand.

I’ve also got a food photography workshop running a day later – and if you book both, you get a hefty discount, so what’s not to like?