Anyone can buy some gear, and go out, point and shoot. But there are more to being a photographer than just using an auto-mode.
Having the right knowledge of lighting and settings, putting your passion into what you are learning and doing what you love, and taking time to produce a piece of art.
Don’t just follow a manual. Use your own imagination, your own creativity, your own perspective.
To be an individual, go out and experiment.
Find your passion and your strength.
Then decide how you want to pursue photography, portrait, landscape, sports, etc. Take pictures of what makes you happy, it’s the only way to excel.
This will make it easy when choosing the right lens.