- Assess if buying new camera gear will add value to your business or add up to be an expense.
- Work on a budget for your spending by researching the actual cost of items.
- It is ok to rent professional-level gear once in a while, it will save you a lot of money.
SHIRLENE GRACE ISAAC
As human beings, we are constantly bombarded by sales announcements. The same goes for photographers! Flash sales of new cameras, lenses, lights and gimbals are more than what meets the eye. They are promises of making jobs faster, easier and are what will pave the way for photographers to transform into better ones—simply by their presence in the camera bags.
Sales ads mostly exist only to sell a product! If all the claims specified are true and the product does help transform your business—only then is it a cherry on top.
Otherwise, it is just another reckless amount of money off the bank. So here are a few spending tips for photographers when you hear the siren call of a shopping cart yell your name.
Need or a want?
This question is the most basic, but also the most important. Is your buying decision adding value to your business or adding up to be an expense? If the answer is the latter, then no matter how much you like that new equipment on sale —purchasing it would be serving a want and not fulfilling a need.
Truth be told, as photographers, you might wish to add multiple tools to your tool kit. But, as the famous saying goes, “money doesn’t grow on trees” and unless it does, buying everything you want the moment you decide you want it seems like a bad idea.
The right financial strategy to resort to at the moment is to make use of wish lists. Wish lists are more like bullpens, they hold your desired item until you fight the urge to move your item to the shopping cart.
Another added benefit is that it puts one more step between you and the purchase button. That means you have time to second guess your purchase decision. If it truly is a frivolous purchase, this extra step can be enough to talk you off the ledge.
Go with the substitute
Before you make your purchase decision ask yourself if you already have a player on the roster who can get the job done. In other words, look for substitute gear. A lot of times, all it takes for you to solve your photographic problem is scour through the gear you already have.
Know your budget
Unfortunately, nobody has the advantage of a limitless bank account. So, deciding how much each individual has to spend is inevitable. Even for photographers! If your gear budget is $500 and you have $5000 worth of items to be bought, clearly you will have to give up on something. That’s where the importance of budgeting steps in. It is a balancing act between deciding on your budget and researching the actual cost of items.
Rent it out
Did you know you can rent equipment such as lenses and camera bodies, as well as studio flash kits? When you can’t buy you should consider renting professional-level gear, or something for technical application—without burning a hole in your pocket.
If you’re a photographer and you always feel the urge to splurge, ensure to look into your business needs, then prioritize spending your limited budget in the right places.