I don't understand the need for so many systems. Is it part of the "bigger is better" attitude to impress clients or is their a genuine need for it? Is it hard to keep track of all those cases? What happens if an assistant hands you a Nikon when you wanted the Canon? What does your client think? One minute you are shooting with a Canon, the next with a Phase back on god knows what kind of camera, then you are shooting with the Leica than a Nikon. If a client was astute enough to know and understand different formats, would they not question the need for you to have so many different types of cameras.
Seems like overkill to me.
Obviously we do try to impress clients, but then again the studio, the portfolio, the resume, the dinner reservations all play into it. Impression is sometimes as valid as reality and whether any of us admit it or not (not just talking photography), we all to some extent make an effort to impress, because if didn't Armani, BMW, or even Banana Republic would not be in business.
At the end of the day it's the final photograph that matters and though we would like to all believe it's ONLY the photograph that matters, in business and life the results are not the only element in making an impression.
Given all of this, I don't really drag three camera systems around to make an impression, I just have them as specific tools for specific functions.
Right now I'm deep in heavy production in Europe and today will be quite intense, running two sets on a high profile subject that may give us 6 hours of set time, or much less. It may be beneficial to have the images on a 24" monitor or may lead to interference. The subject may run or jump or just be static and given these variables, our Phase, our Canons and our Nikons will all be used, if to provide different looks as much as their ability to capture high/low iso, or just work under certain lighting.
In other words regardless of what is thrown at us, we should have it covered. Actually we better have it covered and when you have 4,000 lbs of grip and lighting, a few hundred pounds of cameras really doesn't get in the way, or become a burden.
It's a funny business and we are what we shoot, but more importantly we better get the shot.
Few clients care if I'm holding a Nikon, a Canon or a Contax, but they do care if the final image is what they want and they also care if it will reproduce to the size they need.
I wish one camera would do it all, probably medium format because I'm most comfortable with that system, but what I wish is not that important, what works is.
Now would I like to shoot everything with just one camera?. . . maybe, uh sure, that would be easy, could be fun . . . defiantly less stressful, but I haven't ever heard a client concern themselves on what is easy for me and when I think about it, they shouldn't.
As far as stress, well if stress, lack of sleep and the resulting adrenaline rush wasn't something that I thrived on, then I picked the wrong business.
This is not a convenient business and you know when your career is moving forward because your always uncomfortable. If I'm rested and relaxed I'd better start calling agents and clients to fill up my schedule.
Sure there are photographers like TR that use one single camera and lens and maybe that's part of their style, or charisma, or maybe they just like that camera. ˇhat is something you would have to ask them, but I doubt seriously if one single camera makes anyone more or less creative, though certain cameas can stop you from working as much as allow you to go further.
Then again I'm not the final judge of my work. there are many people up the food chain that make that ultimate call.