Gear Acquisition Syndrome (GAS) is relatively common among amateur photographers.
The basic definition of GAS is the compulsion to keep buying additional cameras, lenses and associated paraphernalia, even when you already have more than enough to be able to enjoy photography and make satisfying pictures.
Online forums and blogs often speak of GAS alongside feelings of guilt, or embarrassment.
But I say there’s no shame in it all.
Unless, GAS in your life means –
- You’re spending most of your time looking at new (to you) equipment rather than enjoying what you have.
- Your physical collection of gear is having a negative impact on your enjoyment of your home – and/or others you share it with.
- You’re putting yourself under unnecessary financial pressure to attain stuff you don’t need.
- Having so many cameras to choose from actually causes anxiety, rather than a sense of freedom.
- Whichever camera/lens you choose, you then spend the photo session wondering if a different camera/lens would have been a better choice.
- Your relentless collecting of gear is putting strain on close relationships that are important to you.
- You’re using it as an excuse to avoid and deny your own limitations as a photographer, insisting if you just had this new camera/lens/flash/bag/etc your photography would reach a whole other level.
We’re all friends here, and I don’t want to come across like a preachy ex-smoker.
Your GAS is your business.
But I’ve been in a place myself where I had way too much kit and wasn’t enjoying any of it, and nearly all of the above rang true. I know how limiting it can be.
So I also know how liberating it can be to radically strip back to just a few cameras, rather than a few dozen, or a few hundred, and just get on with your photography.
If you’re a collector more than a photographer, and that’s where your passion and enjoyment lies, then great, collect on!
But if the gathering of gear is inhibiting your love of photography in any way – as well as crippling your development as a photographer – it might be time to rethink, and simplify.
How about you? What are your experiences of GAS, and is there anything you’d like to change?
As always, please let us know in the comments below (and don’t forget to tick the “Notify me of new comments via email” box to follow the conversation).
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