This is me, Roger Alderson.
I'm a professional photographer. Professional in the sense that I earn money from photography, not in the sense that I'm any good at it, or know what I'm doing, or even act in a professional manner.
My first camera, which I got for my 13th birthday, was a Russian made Zenit E with a Helios 58mm lens. It wasn’t the most sophisticated camera on the market, in fact, it was quite possibly the least sophisticated, but it was a constant companion to me during my early teenage years and it isn't an understatement to say that I loved it. I credit this camera with teaching me the basics of photography and I still pull it out to play with from time to time. That's a picture of it down there.
Of course, today my equipment is very different. Up until recently, I was 100% Nikon. In fact for most of my life I’ve been a Nikon user except for a brief period in the early 2000’s when I flirted with Olympus for a couple of years. I still have Nikon gear but most of my pictures today are taken with Fuji equipment. I also use GoPro, SJCAM, Ricoh, Panasonic and Motorola and I’ve learnt that my best photography isn’t a direct result of the quality of my equipment. Yes, a Nikon D6 will take substantially higher quality images than a Lumix LF1, but a great photographer with an LF1 will take better pictures than a mediocre photographer with a D6.
In fact, some of the best photographs today are often taken with a mobile phone and that’s because the best camera is ALWAYS the one that you have with you.