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How Much???

paul_bennett 10 210
16 Aug 2007 8:39AM
Just wondering how much you guys have spent on all your equipment in recent times. I have spent a small fortune recently with the new camera etc, and yet still there are a lot more things i require.

I was speaking to my barber about this, not sure who will back me up. Photography is one of the professions or a hobby. That starts out to be majorly expensive, but eases off over time once you start to collect the camera, decent glass etc etc.

Wondering if any of you have put yourself in debt with your spending, as i think this is true to any businesses starting out or any professional you have to invest to get somewhere in your chosen path. You never hear of any one starting with million pound bank balance and not a penny over drawn. People who work hard for it have put things on the line, risked lots of debt etc and most of the time it has paid off. I mean Richard Branson was nothing before he started….

So just wondering for all the people who are semi or pro or even just very keen amateurs, have you put yourself in debt to get where you are today, has your spending paid off in the long run.

As im still young i have thought about using the credit card or over draft to high limits. Because with no mortgage, low rent, and very little out goings and a good job it can all be paid back fairly quickly. But in the back of my mind is that element of risk, but maybe I have answered my own question, “you wont get anywhere unless you invest in YOURSELF” Photography is a major passion of mine and I think it always will be until im 6 feet under so maybe it is worth investing, you never know what route it will take you down.

HAHA! I have just re-read through, and not sure what this post is anymore...more like a blog entry rather than a question…anyhow id like your thoughts and opinions on it

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Paul Morgan 17 19.1k 6 England
16 Aug 2007 8:52AM
It can be as cheap or as expensive as you want to make it. Photography is probally cheaper now than its ever been from a digital point of view, no need for film and less wastage.

Far to many people get sucked in by the forum must haves and end up as kit junkies Smile

All the kit in the world will not get you there on its own.

Quote:i have thought about using the credit card or over draft to high limits. Because with no mortgage, low rent, and very little out goings and a good job it can all be paid back fairly quickly

Don`t fall into that trap.
Hoffy 13 262 16 England
16 Aug 2007 8:58AM
The main question is not how much we have spent, its how much have you got.
This is never ending. Once yu have that next item you then want another.
cameracat 14 8.6k 61 Norfolk Island
16 Aug 2007 9:08AM
My advise would be, When ever considering a new bit of kit, ASK yourself do you really need it, Never buy something on the spur of the moment, AND if you do decide to break the bank, At least do it on a LENS.....Not just another gadget, A Lens will help in image quality, And will hold it's value better than most if not all Gadgets......Smile

So if you decide that was a wrong move, You will have some chance of getting some return on it.

Body/Good Lens/Tripod/Flash.....Everything else is a gadget.
agoreira 14 6.0k Wales
16 Aug 2007 9:09AM
If you have a talent for photography, it'll shine through, you can manage with some very basic kit, but if you haven't got it, all the kit in the world ain't going to help you. A few of the American forums, use their signatures at the end of every post, and that includes the kit that they are using, and you can see some have every latest bit of kit available, but still only posting very modest photos. I personally don't need to, or would not put myself in debt to buy kit, but it's probably not a bad idea, if you have served your time as an amateur, and are about to take the big step to become pro. There are far too many people "with all the gear, and no idea" I've no idea what gear you have, but I bet it's more than sufficient to produce good photos, investing huge amounts of cash in new gear is not necessarily going to make you a much better tog. But if you want to impress people, you'll certainly look the part!
Geoffphoto 12 13.5k United Kingdom
16 Aug 2007 9:14AM
Hi Paul - just remember that the most important piece of kit is not available at Jessops ( other photographic retailers are also available ) and that is your two eyes and your brain ! Master those my friend and you will become a photographer.

Photography is just painting with light after all Smile

PS I'm not really that old !!!
SteveCharles 15 2.3k 18 England
16 Aug 2007 9:17AM
Having recently gone semi-pro, I've invested quite a bit recently in new gear; upgrading to a D200, Bowens lighting etc., because if you're offering photography as a paid service, I think there's a standard of quality that needs to be achieved and you need the right gear to provide the goods clients want. It also makes it easier to take on jobs knowing you have the kit and the lighting to do the job. And it looks more professional! But it's a long term investment, and I've always believed in not buying the cheapest of anything as it's usually a false economy. For example, a lot of people would buy something like D-lites as their first flash system, but I knew that would be limiting for the sort of interiors work and location stuff I want to do, so went straight for a Bowens 500w travel pack kit, a good powerful, professional kit that will last and can be added to.

As an amateur, though, I've always enjoyed finding solutions cheaply, buying most lenses secondhand, often in considerably less than mint condition, and imporivising lighting, reflectors, backgrounds etc. I've been shooting a lot of film again recently, using a 30 year old camera that was given to me, and a load of out of date film that was also free and that I process myself. It can be very personally satisfying to get good results with limited equipment and a bit of artistic input, possibly more so than spending a lot of money on the latest gear and expecting it to do it all for you.

Paul is right - it can be as cheap or expensive as you want.

FatHandedChap 12 1.3k England
16 Aug 2007 9:30AM
I built up my kit slowly over time, investing any money made back into the business. I opened a small studio and gallery at the start of the year with out going in to debt or using my personal savings.

Now there are so many other things to spend money on before kit even gets a look in! New products and samples, a nice sofa, a projector - it's just a question of prioritising needs and saving until I can afford what's top of the list.

Miles Herbert Plus
15 1.9k 4 United Kingdom
16 Aug 2007 9:42AM
Have to agree with Tony there. I've done much the same, living on the day job and using the money I made with the camera to buy more kit... but you need to have a fairly clear idea of where you want to get to, and only buy the kit that you really need. Doing it this way means you also go along fairly gently up the learning curve, as opposed to just dropping yourself in it.
ZenTog 16 7.9k 1 England
16 Aug 2007 9:48AM
buy a good set of lenses then up grade the camera body when you feel a real need , lenses will last you a long time if you buy the very best quality you can, the same with lighting kit better quality will last you much longer.
paul_bennett 10 210
16 Aug 2007 10:18AM

Quote:AND if you do decide to break the bank, At least do it on a LENS

My next choice of purchase would be the Nikon 28-70mm f2.8 So from what you people has said that sounds like a worth while investment, I like my gadgets doesnt every guy, but where id spend my hard earnt cash is on the glass. the rest can be built up overtime.

But i also agree with MunkeyBoy
Quote:you need the right gear to provide the goods clients want.
Having good gear i would think would also give you greater confidence in yourself. Your brain and eyes master the art of taking the picture surely. But what happens if you dont have the equipment to get the shot.

This post was really just about spending money. can it either make or break the professional market or like you people say is it just people collecting items because they can...just a thought to ponder on while at work lol...but keep it coming...its keeping me entertained.
sherlob Plus
12 2.9k 129 United Kingdom
16 Aug 2007 11:04AM
Its also worth remembering that you can get credit to work for you - although I agree with all that is said about waiting to buy until one can afford - I still use credit to spread payments on more expensive items.

E.g. for the last two years I have made one major purchase each year. Instead of paying upfront I have opted to take advantage of the 12 months free credit offered by many stores. I simply divide the purchase price into 12 and set up a standing order for that amount. The crux is I know that any point I could clear the outstanding balance.

thefizz 14 353
16 Aug 2007 1:54PM
"Photography is probally cheaper now than its ever been from a digital point of view, no need for film and less wastage."

Wouln't that depend on how much you are shooting each week or year etc.
Kim Walton 14 145 30 United Kingdom
16 Aug 2007 2:21PM
Try second hand from FleeBay to start with,when youve mastered what you`ve got ,you can put it back on with next to no loss,then upgrade
Paul Morgan 17 19.1k 6 England
16 Aug 2007 8:35PM

Quote:Wouln't that depend on how much you are shooting each week or year etc

If your just getting the kit out for the once a year family holiday then film would be cheaper Smile

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