Don't be Afraid to Get Your Feet (and your camera) Wet!

I'd like to take a moment to compare photography to a long-term investment and draw a conclusion based on that comparison. If you've ever turned down a great picture opportunity, you may find today's blog post to be thought-provoking.

When starting out in photography, the initial investment capital is applied toward the purchase of equipment, and the ongoing investment is your time spent taking pictures. The more pictures you create, the more you are diversifying your portfolio and maximizing the return on your investment.

My point is that photographs have value. You can call it sentimental or historical value or whatever. Photographic technology allows us the opportunity to capture and share moments that would otherwise be lost in the passage of time. I think too many people are fixated on the value of their camera instead of the value of the photos that are created with that camera. As a result, many people pass up valuable opportunities to create photos because they're more concerned about the camera than the photo. Sunday was a good example. My wife and I drove 2 hours to Polo, IL to watch her son ride his dirtbike.

I videotaped Bobby four years ago when he was riding a bicycle with training wheels, so needless to say, I was very excited to see him ride a dirtbike for the first time. I brought my best camera equipment (of course). The problem is that there was mud flying around in all the best spots. I had a choice, do I play it safe and put away the camera, or do I make a deposit into my investment fund?

This is the way I see it, if I only shot the "safe" pictures, most of my photos would be boring and I would have wasted my investment in equipment. But every time I get a shot I'm happy with, it's like receiving a big fat dividend check. After 17 years of shooting, my investment has paid off handsomely. It doesn't matter to me if I accidentally break my camera, because the better photos I've created have paid me far more than the cost of the camera. That may sound like a bunch of highfalutin rhetoric, but when all of my camera and video equipment was stolen a couple years ago, it was the home movies that I grieved for the most. It's not that I don't value my camera equipment. After all, I am a professional photographer and my equipment is what I use to earn a living. What I'm saying is that fear of damage to my equipment usually isn't a deterrent to me capturing a photo.

Another example is when I jumped into Lake Michigan with a camera to snap pictures of my cousin with his new boat.
Instead of going the easy route of having a blank blue sky behind him, I wanted the dramatic Chicago skyline in the background, so getting in the lake was the logical thing to do. (I'll have to ask my cousin for a copy of that photo so I can post it here.)

You can see the rest of the dirtbike photos by clicking here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow. You really have some beautiful work on here.