Whether you are in business or just a hobbyist, it is very important to make wise purchases for your photography. It’s unbelievable how big the photography market is. Sales people prey on beginning photographers and try to suck their wallets dry.
I will admit that I was definitely one of those beginning photographers that they preyed on. In 2010, I learned to shoot in manual and started my photography journey. At the time I didn’t know about all those amazing things for sell on the internet and only made one (a very good one) purchase that year. 2011 came and I was getting pretty good. My goal was to open a photography business by the end of the year. That is when it all started and unfortunately my bank account showed it.
I would like to make a disclaimer that just because I consider something “bad” doesn’t mean that the product itself is bad. It just wasn’t right for me, I had already purchased something that was very similar or it didn’t pertain to what I wanted to do. A “bad” purchase for one person can be great purchase for another. The point of this post is to help you make an informed decision before you purchase a product.
In my opinion and I know Courtney’s as well, forums can be your best friend. I am a lifetime member to Clickin’ Moms. That was one good purchase I made last year. I was a member in 2010 but upgraded my membership in 2011 and I do not regret it. Clickin Moms also offers great workshops (more on that later) and the wealth of information there is A-MAZ-ING! Everything you want to know about photography you can probably find there. If you can’t, start a post and ask. I’m pretty sure someone will have an answer for you.
Oh posing guides, how they suck you in. I’ve bought a lot and did I need to? Certainly not. Did I like them? Only one. Posing guides are tricky. You don’t know what you are getting.
My favorite posing guide I actually bought on a Black Friday sale. It was my second to last photography purchase for the year and it was one of my favorite. I read reviews online, some people loved it and some people said it was too basic for them. I took a chance and it was scary, but oh was I happy. Although good, the other guides weren’t my style or were repeats from previous things I had obtained or I already knew.
If you feel confident in your posing and think a posing guide will help you, it probably will not. Go with your gut, it’ll know what to do. Also, if you are low on spending money and you really need new ideas, use a website named Pinterest. Oh, the poses you can find on that site! You can check out some of my boards to get you started by clicking the button below.
The best piece of advice I can give someone on templates is to not buy a template because it’s on sale, buy it because you need it. I have so many templates I don’t use and some I just plain don’t like anymore. From now on, I only purchase a template that I know will be used for someone. Or better yet, switch out the digital paper and you’ve got a whole new one! But if I’m not going to make money off a template then it’s not worth my money.
Workshops are addicting and can be amazing!!! I owe a lot of my photography to a few courses I took through Clickin’ Moms. However I will admit that I took some other ones I wish I hadn’t because I already took something similar. Really learn about the course, read as many reviews as possible and don’t overload yourself with them. I took three workshops in a row and regretted it. I was so burnt out by my third workshop that I didn’t put my all into it. We all know you only get as much out of as you put into it, so it was kind of a bummer.
I could go on and on about this topic. The money I spent on actions/presets makes me want to cry. Pretty sure I could buy a new lens with the amount of money I have spent. So sad. I will tell you one of my resolutions in 2012 is to not purchase a single action/preset. Yes, my purchases were that bad. My personal opinion is to learn a clean edit first. Once you have that down then look at actions and see if you really need them. Take the money you want to spend on that action and buy a Photoshop book or do a workshop. More than likely you can learn to do what the action accomplishes on your own without purchasing it.
Last but definitely not least. Save your money for good equipment. These will be the best purchases you’ll ever make. In 2011, I upgraded my camera and purchased/upgraded my lens. I have not regretted it for one moment. If you want to make one good purchase this year, save and buy something for your gear.
What were some good and bad photography purchases you made in 2011???