A new appreciation of money


posted on 23rd of march, 2012

I am an active photographer for more than 40 years now, always been an amateur. My parents encouraged me to spend their money on equipment. Later on when I started to spend my own money I continued the trend, never really thinking about cost. Of course I did not spend unlimited amounts but with each business trip to the USA I always left few hundred dollars or more at a photo store. Either a new camera, new lens a better strobe, there was always something cool to buy.

I had one of the first usable digital cameras that came out, a Toshiba, 3 Mpixel, a point and shoot in today’s parlance, for which I paid $1200 in 1999. Never thought twice about buying it or not. Fast forward to 2012, I have a GH1 micro 4/3 Panasonic camera and I live in the USA so no more shopping trips. On Dreamstime since 2007, I am slowly growing my portfolio and watch the dollars accumulating in my account, 42 cents at a time. I am making about $70 per month.

So what is the point in telling all this?

Since money started to be part of the equation I can’t stop myself of looking at this as a business. Each month there are new and exciting cameras hitting the market. Latest one the new Nikon, or sticking with the micro4/3 family the new Olympus OMD (EM5).

But should I buy? And since this is a business I am asking myself business type of questions.

How long would it take to recoup the investment? Will it make me a better photographer? And most importantly will my sales increase? The answer to these question is no. I don’t see how my sales will increase substantially and I think it will take years to recoup the investment. In other words I will work for free a few years just for the honor and privilege to show off with the new Nikon. In a few month it will not be that new.

Without the DT membership I would buy a new camera now use it few time a year and not worry about cost.

I am cursed.

Comments (5)

Posted by Hanbaoluan on March 27, 2012
I wish you a speedy buy according with heart of camera!
Posted by Egomezta on March 26, 2012
When I started taking photographs I buyed my own equipment and until I entered DT I made a commitment that all my equipment should come from my earnings...So it has been a new way to see and do things, because photography is my hobby but it returns the time that I spend with money to buy better equipment.
Posted by Bradcalkins on March 25, 2012
It seems along the same lines as why parents encourage kids to get a job. Earning the money yourself makes you appreciate it more, even though you may have more overall as a result of the job :)

I often find myself out buying something and think to myself that that purchase erased a whole day's sales, or week's, or month's :) I also agree on the cameras - I've posted in a many a forum that I don't understand how microstockers justify a camera like the 5D MkIII or D800. I guess for many they would have bought these cameras anyway, so the stock photo income takes a bite out of the purchase. It is very easy to get caught up in the game of getting the latest and greatest - I'm as guilty as the next guy of that! Even my own cameras, while modest compared to the list of full frame bodies and L glass some have in their signature, are still more than I really need to succeed here.
Posted by Jdanne on March 24, 2012
For most of us it is a hobby. Always buying the latest equipment is not wise! As long as we are not as rich as Dagobert Duck we have to make compromises.
Posted by Mary981 on March 24, 2012
would your parents adopt me??



Comments (5)

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Photo credits: Oleg Samoilov.

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