What is it about photography that everyone asks what type of camera you use to explain the quality of your work? Even photographers do it. Often the first thing they look for when viewing a collection or even a single image, is what camera and lens did they use. It's always baffled me why this is one of the few professions people do this, when it's not the camera that all that important but simply the photographer.

It's the photographer's experience, knowledge and talent, hence the EKT acronym, that explains any photograph or photographic collection. It seems it's only in the advencements in technology in photography, especially in the digital age, that this distinction seems to be more in the forefront in reviewing and evaluating a photographer's work. And while we seem to gain ground dismissing this criteria, it always seems to sneak back into the discussion.

Before you ask the questions about the photographer's equipment, photo editing and production hardware and software, and printing equipment, ask about their philosophy on photography and their work. What the goals and plans for the project, their thinking through it, and their views afterward. Get a feel for them about their work. Then ask about how they got there, their knowledge and experience, listen to their story.

Then you can look at their talent from their perspective. Remember photography is almost entirely subjective and views are based on the viewer experience with, knowledge of, and values on photography. It's not better or worse, just different and theirs. And the discussions about camera equipment is just that, and not on the photographer's work.

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WSR V2.8, January 2013