Qundaries, 1st world style.

I’ve hit that point with my camera where the limitations are getting to me big time. So I’m asking myself where to go from here.
Up to now I’ve been almost exclusively a landscape photographer where people are strays and not fundamental to the composition. Litter if you will. But if I’m to develop I’ll have to begin on people photography. The thing is the investment required for even the most basic system is more than I can justify without at least trying to make money from it.
So far I fed the photography bug by squeezing housekeeping costs. No buying coffee outside the house went quite a bit of the way, €3×10=30×50=€1500. With the bonus of having great coffee. Your basic just good fun.
But that won’t even touch the sides of a real up to date system. The Nikon D810 is €2600 about $3000 American D’s. While the lenses can add another €4000 at the very least. And it takes a LOT of cutting back to squeeze €5000 out of housekeeping in a year.
I could get a D7100 or a D610, respectively the very top of the enthusiast ad the bottom of the Pro range. But eventually I’ll have to get the big beast, for while I can get good, and really good head shots and full length shots with either, the limitations would prevent me from areas like low light shooting like at an evening wedding reception. Or I could get an older generation of pro machine to tide me over for a year and concentrate on getting good lenses.

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9 Responses to Qundaries, 1st world style.

  1. Kimberly says:

    Yah, that’s a big decision photography-wise. Would portraits be something you’re even interested in doing or is it the direction you think you need to go? It’s probably a very interesting genre and quite different than you’re used to. I would personally be leery of your last option. If you’re gonna do it, do it! Putting an investment into something you may only get a year out of would make me nervous or maybe frustrated. Unless of course you’re unsure if you want to go in that direction, then I’d see where that would make sense. Portrait shots have such potential, but doing an event like a wedding might be stressful – only one chance at the shot!!!
    Amazing what not paying for “fancy coffee” can do for the wallet in a year! That’s pretty impressive and fairly minor in inconvenience.

    • V.H says:

      Portraits and weddings are the only areas that have a relatively certain income. I’ve done a pretty serious bit of market analysis and weddings begin about 1500 for a very basic hitching up to about 7-10,000 for the engagement photos, the buying of the wedding dress and the day. While a prom series would be 350 on average for an hours shooting or 40 per print. Then you have the corporate titan of industry shots. There would be a good living in it albeit quite a bit of work too.
      I think the answer to the stress is two cameras and lots of back-up storage. At least three, SD card, PC and external hard drive. Plus lots of insurance.
      On the artistic side of things. I quite like the idea of light shaping, tailoring the light for the subject. I expect the best portraits would be of the older participants at a wedding, MOB, granddad and so forth.
      Technically speaking, the low light ability of the new cameras is amazing in comparison to mine. You one is a good country mile ahead, with the full frame Pro cameras almost as far ahead again. You will have usable prints at ISO 3200 where I don’t have at ISO 400. While the full frame cameras would be almost indistinguishable between ISO 200 and ISO 3200 and will shoot sports – your LA Kings- at ISO 2800 using a shutter speed of 1/1000. Your one will too only you’ll be far less want to kiss the resulting picture. But you will get the bit where some LA Canadian spatters some Finn so hard against the glass the gum shield along with six teeth are propelled from his face. With the Full frame you’d see the fear in his eyes.

      • Kimberly says:

        Ha ha ha! You want me to send you mine? Sadly, I haven’t even looked at it since school started. 🙂
        I think that’s kind of exciting to think about a new direction, a new endeavor really. There are a couple of sites that I like here who always offer free express shipping that I thought I’d link up to you, but they are really high with shipping and duty too. It’d almost be cheaper for you to fly to NYC and bring the thing back in a suitcase. Crazy!

        • V.H says:

          Yes !. It really would be worth it to go to NYC. Only no, the trick it to have it posted to another state to save the NY sales tax. Nearly. If you didn’t have to eat or anything. 🙂 🙂

  2. Ed says:

    At least here in the States, there is a huge plethora of used photography equipment to choose from. You can get older high end models for less than the price of new lesser end models. Years ago, I bought a used camera body of a higher end film camera and then spent my money on good lenses. I still have those lenses but I’m back to a middle of the road digital camera body which is more than I need for my purposes.

    Back when we got married, I was appalled at what people charged for wedding pictures. My wife and I decided to fight back. We went to the drugstore and bought a couple hundred dollars worth of disposable cameras. We passed them out as people went into our wedding and provided a drop box for them on their way out. It was fun to develop all those pictures and see what things people felt moved to photograph during the ceremony. The only thing I would have done different was to have them label the camera so that we knew who took what picture. Saying that, I have no problem with others who wish to pay the price for professional photographers.

    • V.H says:

      I thought of buying a retread from a US site as there’s no customs duty, well it’s zero rated anyway, but by the time I had payed the VAT @ 23% and shipping this end the savings simply aren’t worth it. Where the hell do they think they ate sending it. It would be cheaper, and probably quicker to Ariane to the ISS and down via Soyuz it down. Of course if I find a site with a reasonable price I’ll change my mind. 🙂
      I’ll be honest with you. There isn’t all that much fat in the wedding photography business. Once you price out all the time you spend on a client you aren’t on a great hourly at all. And that god that Kodak yellow camera phase has gone.

  3. Kelly says:

    Well we eloped, so nothing more than a couple of snapshots of us. No regrets, though.

    That’s a lot of money for equipment. You’ll definitely want to think it through carefully before making the investment.

    Coffee out is only an occasional treat for me, in part because of the cost (I can be cheap at times), so I’m not surprised at your savings. (same for beer…why pay $4 for one in a bar when I can get a 6-pack for about twice that and have it at home)

    • V.H says:

      You see it becomes a bit of a chicken and egg scenario. You need a very good camera and lenses to photograph people and you need a camera and lenses with the ability to work in all places and situations. It basically comes down to low light capability.

      Eloped ?. As in high speed car chases.

      Exactly. But I don’t think I’m being cheap with the coffee. It’s just a habit one can get into of stopping at a petrol station or coffee shop and mostly the thing sits in the holder. it’s kinda the same with a breakfast roll. You buy the makin’s for a weeks worth for the same as buying one.

      • Kelly says:

        Eloped as in saying “let’s get married” and doing so within about a week. No planning, no hassles, no stress. I highly recommend it.

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