Whatever it takes. Call it GAS (gear acquisition syndrome), JWSN (just wanting something new) or NWCIB (now what can I buy), but if a new camera is what it takes to inspire us to create, then get the new camera. The end result is all that matters. The photographs. They don’t care what they were made with or how you went about creating them. They just need to be made. They represent a documentary of our world. They are the moments of our life in pictures–our family’s history.
I’m not a proponent of living beyond your means or carrying debt, but, buying a new camera, especially in the film camera realm, even if you were to spurge on one of the highest priced 35mm cameras, a Leica M6 with a 50mm Summicron lens, sure it can cost you $3-4K, but hopefully, if you have a job, spread out over time that money will be well spent. And there’s the comfort in knowing when you’re finished with it, it will probably be worth what you paid–even more if you didn’t overpay.
If it inspires that portrait of your Grandpa, then it’s priceless.
If it turns out a photograph of your child, your dog, your Uncle or anyone else special to you that you love, that you print and frame and make into art and live with in your home, as part of your world, it’s worth it.
You can get in for a few hundred dollars too for a very capable Pentax, Nikon, Canon or Olympus among others. It doesn’t have to be expensive.
If you want it strictly for status, well okay, you can get one, too. Sure. It’s possible for it to serve that purpose for some and who am I to say that’s not worthwhile, that’s not a valid reason? Go get it. If it makes you feel good, who doesn’t want to feel good? And if this can do it, I’m all for it.
Whatever gets you through the night, it’s alright. Someone smart once said that and I concur.
Life is a wonderful gift. We get to live in that time of human history when photography has been invented, perfected, and the means to making photographs exists for us. For eons, there was no way to record and keep a face. We are in a fortunate situation, here now.
Being here, now, matters. What are we making today? We can’t go back to yesterday and tomorrow’s out of reach. All we have is today. What can we make? What will we make?
Today is the day that defines us. What we do on any given day is who we are. Not the things we want to do, not the goals and dreams and thoughts for someday, today. It’s all about the present. The power of being present now.
So what did we make today? I made photographs and wrote this blog post expressing my ideas about the need to create daily. If I can inspire one person to make that portrait of their sweet Great Grandma’s face, I will have changed the world.
It’s why I write blog posts–really the only reason. To get photographs created that otherwise would never be made.
Why do I do it? I don’t know. I can’t not, just like I can’t not make photographs. It’s who I am, it’s what I do. I am a photographer and a writer and a champion of creating art, for everyone.
With any tool that works for them.
Get the Leica M5, the Hasselblad 500c/m, the Rolleiflex 3.5F, the Nikon F3, the Wista DX, the Speed Graphic, the Mamiya C330S, the Canon F1, the Mamiya RZ67, the Holga toy camera, whatever you need to get you working consistently. Whatever it takes for you to make the picture.
Your Great Grandma, another someone smart, inspired this post, asked me to say so.
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Completely agree. Whatever gets you behind the lens — new camera, new location, new subject — and inspires you to create something that matters to you is worth it.