He Sold This Leica for College Money, It Returned on His 30th Birthday

When he had to sell his Leica to pay for college tuition, he never would have believed it would someday come back to him.

In the year 2008, the United States of America went through a crippling economic recession that affected everyone. And one man desperately needed money to finish his classes at University. Knowing student debt would plague many Millenials his age, he chose to ensure that he didn’t have any debt. So he did well, maintained scholarships, and sold things. He lived at home with his mother who had poor health and dealt with a massive rift in his family. He commuted every day. He did over five internships before graduating. And he had a lot of writing under his belt before he donned his cap and gown. He escaped debt-free. But in order to do that, he had to sell his Leica camera. Nothing in life comes without sacrifices.

When the man graduated from college, he went about navigating the world as anyone else would. He dated. He went to parties. He built himself a career. And like any New Yorker, he did side gigs to pay the bills and save some money. As time progressed, life became more and more difficult. It drove him into mentally dark places that he’d only emerge from later on. And for years, he didn’t think about that Leica camera.

You see, the Leica was sold to another man his age. It spent a lot of time shooting photographs that both made people happy and disappointed. But like most people, it came time to retire the camera. And so one day it ended up on eBay.

By pure happenstance, our millennial who sold it to get through college had been browsing the web and looking for entry back into the world of Leica cameras. He stumbled upon the Leica camera that he had sold so many years ago. By this point, the man was turning 30 years old. And he purchased the camera with more in his bank account than he had while in school.

The man in this story is me. I sold my Leica many years ago. And this isn’t a sponsored post from Leica or eBay. Instead, it’s just an incredible story that I like telling. It never fails to make jaws drop. And more importantly, it reminds me, after the site has turned 10 years old, that sometimes we need to reconnect with ourselves. Purchasing that Leica again was about reconnecting with myself. I still have it, and I still use it. It’s not going to leave me again.

Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.