Of course not. Just about every, if not every great artist uses models. A photo reference is a single dimensional model. +++++++++++ I felt the same way when I was in art school. A professor then pointed out to me that if I could retain all the knowledge I would need as reference material, I would be the most sought out person in the world. I would know everything!!! Also, just think about how much more you're learning as you do your research. You might want to carry a camera around with you too. It's amazing how much we see and don't take notice of on a daily basis. This will enhance your own personal archives. Your photos will be your reference material.