It happens to all of us. It’s that uncontrollable urge to go out and buy that new glass, new camera body, new flash, new… I think you get the point. With all the technology there is out there for photographers, it’s hard NOT to fall victim to the sales pitches and splurge on some new gear.
But let’s come back to reality for a second. Do you really NEED it? Or do you just WANT it? There is a huge difference between the two and knowing exactly what that difference is can aid greatly in your choice to save or spend. As photographers and creatives, it’s pretty easy for us to come up with some way to justify our ‘wants’ as ‘needs’. But sometimes it’s beneficial to get out of our right brains and head over to our left.
I define a ‘need’ as something that I cannont work without. In other words, I couldn’t complete my job without this piece of gear. For example, if I somehow managed to ruin both of my camera bodies then I would ‘need’ to buy a replacement. Or, if all I ever shot were subjects in really, really low light then you could say that I ‘need’ a D700 and f2.8 glass just to make the job happen.
‘Wants’ on the other hand are a totally different story. In my case, I have a perfectly functioning D90 that helps me produce great images and I usually shoot in good light or I create good light. Can I do most jobs with my D90? Absolutely! Do I ‘need’ a D700 to do my job? No. At least not on a day-to-day basis. So that would fall into the ‘want’ category.
If you’re trying to break into photography to make a living you have to be willing to make sacrifices and make good decisions. Otherwise, all of your income will go toward the latest, greatest widget that’s on the market and that just doesn’t make good business sense.
So next time you think you ‘need’ to buy that new piece of gear, do yourself a favor and take a really hard, honest look at what you’re buying and whether or not you NEED it, or WANT it.