I suffer from it. Most photographers do. Particularly when they are busy and feeling like something new and shiny might get it all done. I show up at weddings and the guests have nicer equipment than I have ever seen and sometimes it is better than mine. Most of the time it is not, but sometimes. That does not mean the photos are any better, but it hard not to want to have the best equipment in the room.When ever I feel this way I go back to my lists. I keep two of them on my computer for just this instance. One is a list called “things to spend money on”and when you open that baby up it is a detailed exploration of all of the things I could or would buy at any given minute… followed by a column where I have to check whether it is a want
or a need
and then a column with the question, will it make me any more money
? As a small business owner in a tough economy these are important questions. It is VERY easy to blow whatever extra cash you have on equipment. A photographers best business partners are other photographers and each time we see a new shutter speed or camera bag, we want it. Most photographers never make it through the first year because they either spend to much or don’t spend it on the right things. I am not one of those photographers.
This leads me to my second list. It is a list of all equipment that other photographers I know have. It is pulled together in bits and pieces and more than likely it is not 100% correct, but it is close. When I want to buy a new lens or whatever, I look to this list to see what I am competing against. Most of our equipment is similar and sometimes they have better, sometimes I do. I check out their websites and look at their blogs and feel inspired. More than anything this list brings me back to where I started and I remember that it is not about the equipment, it is about the photographer.