About

Love photography but not all the gear? Simpler Photo is about learning to create photos you love by knowing when and how to use the right gear – and less of it.

If you’ve ever been disappointed with your images, frustrated you can’t translate your vision or find all the talk about gear and technical stuff boring or not applicable, my goal is to make it easier.

Making beautiful images doesn’t have to be complicated. And it doesn’t require that you have a lot of equipment, either.

I hope to:

  1. Help you make photos you love.
  2. Show you it’s not so much the gear, but what you do with it.
  3. Share small & actionable tips to improve your skills.

 

How the Site is Organized

The Quick-start Guide is a good place to get started.

You can also dig into all of the articles, or pick a particular section:

 

Working With Less

Unless you’re a professional photographer, you probably don’t need a lot of camera gear to take beautiful photos. You just need a few key pieces based on what you like to shoot most.

Forcing yourself to work with less can really help you focus more on the picture making and being creative. It helps you more quickly learn what your specific equipment is best suited for and how it will help you achieve a certain look.

 

Living the Moment and Capturing It

I think a lot of us want to capture a moment (that’s why we carry our cameras around in the first place, right?), but we sometimes lose out on the experience of actually living that moment because we have so much gear that we end up messing around with it so long and forget to experience what’s going on around us.

The goal is to have just the right gear to be able to capture great photos without missing out on what’s happening around us.

Sometimes carrying all of our stuff isn’t exactly fun or viable, so we have to pick the best stuff and make do.

When we were hiking in the Italian Dolomites (below), I wasn’t about to lug around a bunch of lenses in addition to the food and water I was carrying. So I picked my favorites (usually just one or two) and that’s what came with me.

Kim Hiking in the Dolomite Mountains in Italy.

Hiking in the Dolomite Mountains in Italy.

 

My Story

When I first took up photography full time, I didn’t know exactly what type of photography I was interested in doing.

In the beginning, I assisted on some commercial photo shoots and quickly learned that wasn’t for me. Commercial shoots are big productions (lots of gear, staff and budget) and I prefer to keep things simpler.

I ended up shooting weddings and dog portraits, and while I really enjoyed doing both, I reached a point where I knew that if I was going to take it to the next level, I’d need to invest in more gear. At the same time, my husband and I were talking about becoming more mobile, and possibly becoming location independent within the next few years. Working as a location-dependent photographer wasn’t gonna mix well with our goals of being location independent.

Dog plays with Toy

In my heart I knew photographing weddings and dogs wasn’t something that fired me up and wasn’t a good long-term choice for me. I also wanted to stay super lean (meaning I didn’t want a bunch of stuff I’d have to cart around from place to place) so buying more gear wasn’t appealing to me.

My decision was made. I would transition out of weddings and portraits and start to shoot more of what I love: travel.

Vernazza Afternoon, Italy

Now that I know we would like to live a simpler lifestyle with less stuff, it’s become even more essential that I pare down my camera gear to what I actually need versus what I want (granted I didn’t have much extra stuff to begin with). But it’s been freeing getting rid of excess gear and working with what I have.

Sure, there are challenges that come with not having a bunch of gear to work with. I know some people swear by tripods, for example, but I’ve always found them too heavy, bulky and time consuming so I’ve learned to work around it and any other limitations I come across by having very little gear.

 

The Learning Process

There’s still so much to learn, but one of the best things about photography is that we can all continue to grow and improve pretty much forever. And  even if we may not be exactly where we want to be as photographers, the fun part is seeing improvements over the years and enjoying the process.

 

Where Else You Can Find Me

For travel stuff you can check out kimolsonphoto.com.

 

Happy Photographing! :)