One of the common questions beginner photographers ask other photographers is ‘What camera/lens did you use to take this photo?’. The answer is, and always should be, the same. It’s the photographer that makes the photo what it is, not the equipment or subject.
Canon kicked off its The Lab YouTube series with The Lab: Decoy. Decoy introduces six photographers to a single subject in six different ways. The host tells the photographer that the subject they are taking portraits of comes from a different background; a millionaire, ex-inmate, recovered alcoholic, a lifesaver, commercial fisherman, and psychic.
How the photographers work with the subject and the final photograph they present is really thought-provoking to both beginner photographers and those that want to think differently about the way they approach their work. As photographers we have the choice to impose characteristics on people based off what we know. Equipment and the subject can’t do that for us.