I’m a freelance photographer, visual artist, educator, and tour coordinator, based in Southern California. I am a firm believer that it’s not the equipment, it’s how you see and use the equipment you have to capture your vision. When I travel, I carry my Canon Rebel DSLR, but I also bring my iPhone and use it much of the time, as well. Before digital became mainstream, I often used inexpensive plastic cameras when I would go out shooting. I even took one as a second camera for a trip to Europe. I like the unobtrusiveness of them. You can shoot on the street and nobody will give you a second look when you’re using a plastic camera. Carry a DSLR and it will be an entirely different experience. If you want to be a “photographer”, don’t sweat it if you can’t afford a DSLR at the moment. Use what you have and shoot, shoot and shoot some more. Ask for feedback from someone who’s work you respect. If you don’t know someone personally, then check out a photo-sharing website like Flickr or even instagram. Look around, comment on photos you like, join groups that interest you, start dialogues with people who’s work you admire, and share your work. The more you do it, the better you’ll get. If you’re interested in learning more about photography, I’m happy to answer your questions. The best way to learn anything is to do it, and do it some more and do it again.