My cheap camera is the Pentax 67 with Takumar SMC 105mm f/2.4 which is the only lens that I use with it.
The thing I love the most about the Pentax 67 is that it allows me to focus more on the subject rather than on the settings. I usually make those decisions before I start shooting according to the location, light and model.
I always loved photography and I used to shoot with a Minolta Maxxum 7000 my father bought in 1986, then I stopped for a while during college. After a long pause I came back to it. I spend my days working alone in front of a computer so I needed a way to escape the daily routine and be around other people. That's one of the main reasons I love portraits. People don't realise they are the true art in this world and I love the challenge of capturing that art as simple as possible. Well, if they choose to be photographed by my Pentax 67.
I usually focus more on light, composition and location. A good location can be a game changer. I always choose my gear according to the location. Of course, gear helps, but ultimately it's not the most important thing if you really think about it. My Pentax 67 always goes with me everywhere.
Don't let the "likes" influence your work. Do your thing! Unlike other photographers I recommend shooting less and studying more. Read books, read other photographer's interviews, see and learn from other people's work. I spend more time looking at other people photos rather than actually taking photos. I think that's very important, not only to be inspired, but also to avoid being caught up in your own small world.