Spending on your business and equipment

February 15, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Hi guys.

 

A lot of people getting into photography either professionally or as a hobby always worry about the costs of equipment and what they should go for.

Where photography is concerned it is true that you get what you pay for. But there is several different factors that you should consider before choosing what you buy.

 

For instance is that piece of equipment going to be used often enough to be worth the money? Is that equipment going to do the job in the long run or will it need upgrading in a few months / years? Do I pay cash? or get it on Finance?

 

Addressing the first question.

Is the equipment going to be used often enough to be worth the mony?

For some hobbyists and professional photographers people follow the trend. Buying the latest things just because they are a must have accessory rather than being totally necessary. For example. If your a landscape photographer and you are looking at buying a flashgun. Is it really needed? Other than for macro shots or the occasional Nightscape a flash gun wouldn't really be needed for landscape photography unless your photographing people. Just because others have the equipment does not really mean you need it. There needs will be different. They may photograph people or items where flash is needed. In the long term it could be handy purchasing one but once youve got the main items to succeed in gaining the shots you want.

Is the equipment going to do the job in the long run?

There are many pieces of equipment for photography and almost all is very expensive. Is there much point in buying a cheaper item to then pay again for the more expensive better quality version later?

When I started out I bought what I could afford which wasn't the best of equipment for what I needed. But I made do. Then when I gained enough money I had to buy the more expensive version.

An example. I paid £300 for the Tamron 70-300mm f4 lens. Had 18 months use out of it. The images were at the time I thought acceptable but were not professional level and caused some issues especially where low light is concerned. I then upgraded to the Canon 70-200mm F2.8 which was £1500. To break this down I paid £1800 for my lenses. Yet I could have saved up the extra £1200 and saved £300 by being patient and waiting in the long run for the better lens. However there are exceptions to this rule. Primarily being how soon you need it and for what level of work which brings me on to the later point of Cash or Finance.

Personally I would think long and hard about how long you want a Lens to last and what type images you want to use it for. For example low light events like concerts, Disco's, Night time shots you want a lens with a faster F stop to reduce your ISO to get better quality images. If you have to have that lense the best option is to try and borrow one from a friend or hire one temporarily. The same goes with Cameras.

Every few months a new "improved" camera is released. It is well worth researching the cameras before you go and purchase one. Once again think long and hard before you go out and buy camera and base your camera on the type of photography you aim to achieve. Full frame cameras tend to be better and give better quality wider angle photos. I could not recommend strongly enough the importance of looking at the specs and understanding them.

 

Cameras That have a higher MP rating take up more storage space in the long run but on the brighter side those images can be printed a lot bigger. Great for commercial work or large canvases. But is it needed? The newest cameras boast 50mp. These coast a lot more money than the 24mp cameras but is the cost worth paying if its not going to be put to good use???

 

Pay Cash or pay it on Finance?

 

Everybody has different levels of Finance available to them. Be it savings, monthly income or credit.

My advice to people is to pay it up front wherever possible. I have made the mistake of paying finance for my business and then struggle when I needed to meet the payments. I bought a lot of lenses, studio gear, printers and filters on finance which equalled £22,000. Nobody knows what is lying around the next corner. So it is best to prepare for any situation. I recently left my part time job due to illness and failed to make payments. This can cause a lot of stress, headache and mental difficulties which I have no shame in admitting. Life is about making mistakes so we can each learn from them and then pass on what we have learnt.

But fortunately I have managed to pick myself up and continue on and get myself back on track.

Unless you are in a wage based photography job that is secure, You cannot buy things on finance unless you have the backup behind you so you do not ruin your credit score. Which can have long lasting harmful effects for your future in terms of buying a home, a car or other much needed things that are a necessity of every day life.

Finance is a big risk for anyone regardess of their situation. I was raised with the belief of "if you cannot afford something then you cannot have it". My exception to this was items for my own personal business which had landed me into some financial trouble but ive luckily emerged stronger. If you do ever find yourself in a difficult situation with a finance agreement my strongest bit of advice is to speak to the creditors.

The creditors and people over the phone have a heart and want to do all they can to support you. This is so that you can keep your equipment and they can get their money. Especially if your equipment is your bread and butter. Do not ignore there letters, Phone calls and emails. The longer you leave it, the fewer options remain to the companies other than to sieze any asset you have of value to repay the loan including the equipment to be sold at auction for a reduced price. Leaving you without equipment, Without a job and with a bigger bill to pay.

My mistake was believing I could do it on my own at 24 without help and support. I had plenty of support and offers of help but I refused it due to it being my own mistake that I wasn't about to let others pay for. I took responsibility for my actions regarding my loans and have dealt with them.

And I have to give credit to Barclays Partner Finance who supply finance for wexphotographic. Ive told them my situation from day 1 and not once have they intimidated, threatened or looked down on me. Instead they have treated me with the greatest of respect, honesty and appreciation. They have come to terms with me and helped me out massively in overcoming my issues. Talk with your creditors and reach an understanding. They are there to help.

 

I hope this gives some people an insight.

If you have any queries regarding this post feel free to contanct me through the contact me page and I will try to help how best I can.

 


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