Do People Hug Their Tools?

Photographers are a weird bunch.  We carry around little boxes with holes on the front that make pictures.  These boxes let in light, tell us how much to let in, and how long to let it in for.  That’s it.  But many of us have a strange and unexplained love for them.

As a professional photographer my camera is essentially a tool.   It’s the same as a carpenter using a hammer to build a house, or a seamstress using a sewing machine to make a dress.  The only difference is my tool makes the photos that I license to make a living.

If my cameras are simply tools, then why do I love them so much?  And when I say love, I mean love – like the way I love my kids.  I like to sit and stare at them.  I like to hold them and smell them.  My Russian rangefinders (some older than I am) smell like I’d image Russia to smell.   My workhorse, the Canon 5DMKII, feels like an extension of me when it’s in my hand.

In my spare time I sometimes put together elaborate lighting setups in my studio and take shots of them – I don’t even do that with my little ones.

Below is a shot of my beloved 1971 Yashica Electro 35 GS.  I spent about three hours shooting and editing this shot.

So I ask the question: Do people hug their tools?



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