When it comes down to it, any image of a texture, person, water, anything photography, can be funneled down to money. You could not experience all this if money had not been spent. Love it or hate it, money’s essential. Well, my plans of saving for a camera worked. I ended up updating to a Nikon D700 with a Grip. I have also bought new lenses to go along with it. I have also been slowly updating pieces of my kit since then, as needed. I have been able to do this by maintaining a new photography fund. I have been keeping the piggy bank fed long after my original goal was reached.
Make a Wish List and Prioritize Your Goals
The first thing I did when I got my D700 was to work on the other side of my original camera fund. My original saving plan had ended successfully but I knew I was going to want and need more things in the future. It is a good idea to know what you are going to want or need in the future. In creating your list, you learn how much everything cost and where best to purchase your items. This will also help you create targets for a new camera fund.
Keep a Log
This is where I experienced the biggest growth in my photography. This came at a cost though. I kept a log to track how much I was spending and make sure it stayed with in my camera fund. As a photog with a family I always have to keep money in mind.
The log helps to keep things in check. It is easy to overspend, but the idea is to try not to go into debt. Keep a log of everything you buy and use. As you, grow as a photographer. you can track your growth and decide what you need in the future.
Give Back to Yourself
It is about saving. If you are a photographer earning money from your work, always set aside a percentage to go into your fund. If you can, instead of buying a coffee or lunch, bring it from home and put that money to the side. Everything helps. Photography is not a cheap hobby or career. Plan, nothing lasts forever, especially photography gear.
Re-utilize and Lose the Clutter
Look at your gear: all of it. If there are certain items you no longer use, can they be sold? This is a great way to keep you kit fresh while not holding on too much. Gear can build up and sometimes what was once you favorite lens, or bag has been replace by something more useful. There are always new photographer coming up in the ranks who would appreciate the opportunity to buy used gear. It saves them money and helps you get new gear.
Be Realistic and Avoid the Herd Mentality
New gear is always being released. Avoid the herd mentality, which seems to be the nature of the digital photography world at times. Do not be a victim to gear lust. You do not need a new camera every year, do you? Not everyone is rich and most times, what he or she owns is actually good enough. Pay attention to your megapixels. If a new camera comes out and only incrementally better, you may not need it. You will hear these new cameras described as the sun moon and the stars, but guess what, When your current camera came out, it was also the Sun moon and stars. Always consider what you need, not what you want. It is easy to be influenced by blogs, friends, and/or retailers. Trust yourself and your work.
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