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Investing in your Career


The investment you need to make to get started in commercial photography may appear monumental. There is no doubt that photography can be an expensive venture, but just keep in mind that you don't need to run out and buy everything you'll need right away. Always make sure you need a piece of equipment before buying it and make sure you shop around and try to avoid the impulse buy. It's easy to get caught up in the latest greatest photographic gadget or technology but chances are good lighting, exposure, composition and your creative vision will take you much farther than any one element in your equipment list. Invest in your basic needs first, such as cameras and lenses and build as time goes on.

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Remember, as your career progresses, you can, as needed, rent camera gear, lighting equipment, and items. If you're a working professional now, you should still initially rent rather than buy a piece of equipment you need for a specific project. By renting, you can determine if you like the equipment and brand and whether you would use it a lot. The rental fee for extra equipment can oftentimes be invoiced to your client. Someone wise and quite wealthy once told me: "Never invest in depreciating material items" . I believe this can apply to buying the latest greatest camera equipment , especially digital camera bodies and Digital Backs. Lenses seem to hold more value over time.

One does not necessarily always have to pay full price for a piece of equipment at a retail store. Used equipment can be found in the classified advertisements in newspapers and professional magazines and also on the Internet. If you have questions about what the price ranges are for used equipment, ask around. If you are not sure about the quality or condition of a piece of used equipment, take it to a camera repair shop or a working professional to get a second opinion. Be wary when buying over the Internet. Make sure the Web site you buy from has a policy that allows you to get your money back if the goods are not in the condition you were promised they would be. It's a good idea to use a credit card for such purchases so that your credit card company can help you if there is a problem with the merchandise.

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