Monday, September 28, 2009

If only I had ______

On a nearly daily basis, several variations of the following thoughts will run through my head:
  • "If only I had one more light for the studio, I could get this shot right."
  • "I really should buy another lens. It'll take better pictures than the ones I ended up with today."
  • "That new camera body looks awesome, I should get it!"
Sometimes, I go straight to the computer, or to the camera store, and make the purchase. Other times, I can resist. I realize that whether I buy this shiny new toy or not, I'll still want something else tomorrow, or the next day. It's a never-ending uphill struggle, in which there's always something newer, faster, and/or better available. And if there isn't, there will soon be.

Don't get me wrong, I love new toys. It's a ton of fun setting them up, figuring them out, and putting them to use. And this is a kind of learning. But, I have yet to see a new purchase catapult my photography into the next level of awesomeness. I'm getting better, yes, but not because of the things I buy.

I'm truly envious of those that can happily make do with what they have, upgrading or expanding upon their tools only when there is a clear need to do so. I'd love to hear about the internal dialogue of those who could easily afford the latest and greatest gizmo, but choose to stick with what they have until they need better. What do these folks say to themselves?

Fortunately, the overall experiment here (to pay for my gear with microstock sales) is helping, as I'm pretty sure there's nothing on my want list that would result in an earlier break-even point. In other words, there's no new lens or light that's going to magically result in thousands of additional image sales. What I need now can't necessarily be bought: good ideas, better execution, practice, knowledge, and patience.

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