Investing in Yourself and Photography

I have found that our natural desire to be frugal can often be at odds obtaining the best return on our investment.  And sometimes that means inadvertently spending more money in the end for something, when we could have actually spent less overall by investing in ourselves and getting what we really wanted or needed in the first place.  For example, in buying a tripod for photography, there is an old adage that says, “There are three things to consider in purchasing a tripod:  1.  Lightweight;  2.  Stability; and  3.  Cost.   Pick two.”  And in trying to cover all bases, while being overly frugal, we initially avoid that expensive tripod (that we really want/need) and go for number two.  Or number three.  FailFailFail.  And in the end, we end up buying that expensive tripod that we should have invested in the first place, and in retrospect regretting our initial frugal selections.   Investing in photography is no different. 

English art critic and author John Ruskin summed it up nicely.  “It’s unwise to pay too much, but it’s also unwise to pay too little.  When you pay too much you lose a little money; that is all.  When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do.  The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot; it can’t be done.  If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run.  And if you do that, you will have enough to pay for something better.”  — John Ruskin (1819-1900)

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