I love my camera. The images are great, it's easy to use, intuitive, and looks and feels fantastic. The lens selection is vast, and nowhere near as expensive as some other systems, and overall, the quality is nothing short of topnotch. However, sometimes I walk around and see people using a giant Canon or Nikon full frame camera and I begin to feel nostalgic. I start missing the big, bulky, heavy kit I abandoned a few years ago. I mean, you walk around with all that "impressive" bulk and truly feel like a pro. People see you and think, "wow, that guy is for real." Or at least that's what most of us think they think… for the most part.
Then, quite suddenly and like a sign from beyond, today happens. The day was slightly snowy and Times Square was miraculously empty, as if a deep winter's silence fell with the day's serene ivory dusting. So naturally, I take out my camera and shoot around a bit in an attempt to capture this sense of calm not often associated with the place where the apple drops. Then, right next to me, I begin to hear an argument between a photographer with his model and a Times Square security guard. The photographer was livid. The security guard was asking the photographer to move along from the central part of Times Square, explaining that this specific part was private, and that professional photography was not allowed without a permit. I mean, this was going on about 2 feet from where I was shooting! The photographer even singled me out and said, "look! This guy is shooting here and you aren't saying a word to him!", to which the guard explained it wasn't the same. Aside from myself, there were people taking pictures of each other with their cell phones, also unbothered.
In that moment, I was reminded of why I love my kit so much. The angry photographer had 2 enormous camera bodies and gargantuan lenses hanging off of him. You'd think he were at a shoot for Cosmopolitan with a cover assignment of Taylor Swift! Overkill much? Meanwhile, I had my unobtrusive Olympus OMD-EM5 Mark II with a wonderfully capable tiny lens. I remembered that I didn't want to be pointed out as a pro. I wanted to move in and out of spaces without being noticed or given a second thought. I want to capture events, people, and scenes without altering them in any way. Also, I want to not have back problems from carrying 25 lbs. of gear for no reason what-so-ever. I don't miss my old kit at all.
Moral: You don't need to "look" like a pro. Let your work speak for itself.