Friday, March 15, 2013

Toy Triumph

About 15 years ago, I was at a pretty different place in my life.
 
We (my ex and I) were having a rough go of it.  We were pretty broke to say the least. If I could do things different (I probably wouldn't because where I am now is because where I was then), I would probably think a little wiser about money.
 
But it ended up being a good thing because being really scared teaches you something.  It teaches you where you don't want to be.
 
We got into a debt repayment program and avoided a bankruptcy which is always a good thing.  After a couple years things started to turn around about the same time we needed a car. We nervously went out and applied for a car loan on a Dodge Neon and got it.
 
I loved that car.  For me it symbolized that things can be fixed, things could get better.  It was triumph over a low period in my life and damn I was so proud of that car.  So much so that I still own it and can't bear to part with it although I've not driven it in 3 years.
 
I won't pretend like my life was great.  That I was rolling in cash.  It was just a Neon after all.  A couple years later, I was on my own and finished paying off that car by myself.  Another triumph - I could do it without help if I needed to!
 
Along comes Gene.  We live our lives and slowly pay off old bills, buy a house, buy a car (more car than I ever dreamed I could have - triumph), start businesses that we always dreamed of starting, remodel a house, etc etc etc.
 
A few years ago, I was following one of my favorite photographers blog and I loved her photos.  I wanted to see what her equipment cost her because I wanted to take beautiful photos too.
 
What I found really discouraged me.  Her camera was $2000, her lenses were over $1000 each and I felt really dejected.  I would never be able to afford that!  I wasn't going to be able to be a great photographer. 
 
What I did do though, was I bought the best that cash could afford me, which was a used Canon 30D which at the time cost me around $300.  I remember my heart pounding as I hit the "buy" button on that camera.  I'd never bought anything so extravagant for myself ever.  Every year or so, I would upgrade my equipment to the best I could afford at the time (always used) and give Gene my old camera, then sell off the 3rd wheel.
 
About 2-3 years ago I stopped buying equipment (I was getting by ok) and started saving for a studio to be built.
 
I had outgrown my 5D classic.  I actually outgrew it not long after I got it.  I think if you're constantly pushing your camera to it's limits, that it forces you to grow and be creative.
 
"This church is made of walnut, there's 3 windows and 4 light bulbs.  How am I going to make this work?"  That usually meant that I would have "artistically" grainy photos and Gene wouldn't have any back up shots (the 50D couldn't handle it).
 
Life circumstances change.  Sometimes on a path that you didn't plan but ends up being for the best.   We ended up downtown Maryville with a glass shop and a photography office (no studio ... yet anyway).
 
I'd outgrown the camera and was looking to upgrade.  I decided to step over the markii and go straight to the markiii which fixed a lot of issues they'd had with the markii.  In shopping, I found that new was only a few hundred bucks more than used.  Why buy used when I could get brand new with a warranty for just a tiny bit more?
 
And just like that I did it.  No fanfare, no pounding heart.  Click.  Done.
 
 

Yesterday it came.  My brand new markiii.  It's the first pro camera I've ever had that was brand new.

When it got here, I was a little teary-eyed.  Not because it was an exciting new toy (ok maybe a little of that) but because it was a little like that Dodge Neon 13 years ago. 

I did that.  I can do it.  I didn't need any help.
Dammit, I think I'm successful.

Rarely do I feel proud of myself - most creatives are that way.  We all think we suck.  But I've afforded myself a day or two to feel proud of myself and wonder ahead.  Can things get better?  What might be the next great thing that can happen if we stay on this track? 

Live is already really great right now, so at this point, it's all gravy.

3 comments:

Mary Ann said...

Congratulations! It took me a long time to realize the same thing... and now you can sit back and say "I did it!" What a cool camera, I love Canons.

Nicki said...

I remind myself and my children that sometimes there is something to be said for having to wait and save for something you really want. It means 100% more than if you could just go out and drop a dime on a whim. Congratulations on your new camera. I am confident your already very talented skills will shine even brighter.

LisaDay said...

I hope in 15 years I am as successful as you. Congratulations.

LIsaDay

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