Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Curse (and blessing) of new technology.

As a photographer, it goes without saying that I am a technology geek.  Not every photographer is like me, but it seems pretty common in the industry.  I love new gadgets.  The newer the better, and the more uncommon, the cooler!  This is both the curse (and blessing) of doing what I do.  It's pretty easy to convince yourself that an expenditure of say $2000-$5000 is necessary because this is what you do for a living.  When in reality the gear I use is working great, the new gear that just came out has a feature that I convince myself I can't live without.  It WILL improve my photography, but with amazing new cameras coming out every year, it's something that simply is not economically sensible to purchase every brand new piece of gear.

It takes time to learn how to balance your spending habits as a professional photographer.  You need to find a balance between new things for your personal life and business life, and paying your monthly expenses.  Take some time and figure out how much money you will need to spend each month just to exist and run your business.  Then, plan on putting the extra income on top of that, back into your business, and additional on top of that, towards the unnecessaries.  Planning is key and will keep you in business.

New gear is also key to stay in business.  Cameras are ever-evolving tools, as is lighting, and any modification for the lighting.  It is very important to regularly update your gear so that you can keep up with current photography styles and specifications.  On top of that, you need to look professional to your client and carrying current gear is a key component.  I'm upgrading to the Nikon D3S in the next week or so.  Why would I switch from my current D300?  The answer is very simple.  Low noise at very high ISO.  This helps strengthen my flash output power, makes it easier to shoot into the sun at f/16, and create unique shots never before possible.  I see it as a huge advantage for the type of work I do.  Is it a necessary upgrade?  I have convinced myself that it is, but in all honesty I would still be doing great without spending this money.

It's very easy to convince yourself that something is needed, even if it truly is not.  The D3S is needed for me, my D300 is outdated and will make a great backup camera. The D300 cannot provide as many tools as the D3S can.  Then there are the lighting kits I want to upgrade too.  These are not currently necessary.  They would make my job easier, and I am strongly convinced that if it makes your job easier you should get it, however, it's just way too much money to spend right now.  Try and manage your spending and don't go crazy getting too much gear at once.

This month Photoshop CS5 will be revealed, this will be a must-have for me.  Apple has unveiled the IPad, and I'm seriously considering purchasing it as an easy, beautiful, and updatable portfolio tool.  The new Elinchrom Ranger kit is an action photographers dream, and a MAC pro tower could speed up my workflow.  The world just keeps giving me new tools to succeed at expensive prices.  Only purchasing what is necessary will keep you at the top of the game without costing too much money

Long gone are the days where a photographer could keep the same camera for even 5 years.  New technology is changing the photo world, keep current, stay smart, and land more jobs!

That's the BUZZ for Today!  Please check back soon for more.


Dave Wright said...

Why the D3S and not the D700?

Connor Walberg said...

It has even greater high ISO capability, a much larger buffer for 9 FPS continuous shots, shoots video, dual CF card slots, and is built like a tank. There's more reasons but these are the ones just off the top of my head.

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