Mustafa Davis



I’ve always been a firm believer is using whatever you have at your disposal to create your art. I have been shooting photography and making films for many years. I didn’t even own a flash for my camera until about 10 years ago. My first first reflector was a large piece of cardboard that I wrapped aluminum foil (tin foil) around. 


This worked for me for a couple years until I could afford the $25 it cost for a real reflector. I had probably spent that much in replacing the aluminum foil after it would tear. But the point is, I used what I had and I made it work. I even did paid work using this makeshift reflector. For years I didn’t even own a camera. I would borrow a friends camera to use for shoots. 


It was no different in my filmmaking. For years I used shop lights that I found in my father’s garage… he used them when working on his car. The halogen light was very directional and harsh. So, I just used my trusty aluminum reflector and bounced the light off it in interviews. I did this for many years.


My first boom mic was a broomstick with a shotgun microphone taped to the end. It was the ugliest most embarrassing piece of equipment I ever used…. but it worked enough to get the job done. (I spray painted the broom pole black so I at least didn't' show up with a bright yellow broomstick boom pole). 


So, really what all this means is the same thing professionals have been saying for many many years… “The best tools are the ones you have with you.” It might not look pretty, you might not feel like a pro… but if it works, it works and that is what matters. Too many people get stuck on what camera to get, what lighting kit they should buy, what editing program they should use. Most of them get the newest tools and never ended up using them for anything noteworthy. 

Having the best tools won't make you the best artist. Being creative, using your imagination, and using whatever you have at your disposal to create your art will do more for you than having the newest 5 zillion megapixel camera on the market.


Bottom line…. equipment doesn’t make the artist… proper training and creativity does.

Brian Davis