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What Are You Willing to Give Up?

This is a chapter from the book A Lesser Photographer.

As much as photography adds to our lives, we often forget it comes at a cost.

Besides money, we invest our time, creativity, and attention. When we focus that energy on one thing, it comes at the cost of other things.

To leave this unexamined is a recipe for frustration and anger.

Ask yourself:

What projects am I willing to drop to practice photography?

How much time am I willing to take away from my family/friends/job (if my photography doesn’t involve them)?

What is my budget?

What has brought me the best return on my investment in the past?

What am I absolutely not willing to sacrifice?

Amateurs give up the least to enjoy photography. We get to use whatever camera we want and chase an experience to enjoy the experience. The documentation is secondary. The costs in terms of money, time, and effort are minimal. The returns can be enormous.

Artists give up what they choose to give up. This creates all kinds of interesting conflicts. The costs vary. The returns can be enormous.

Professionals give up what someone else chooses. The costs can be enormous. The returns can be enormous.

Photography adds way too much to our lives not to invest in it. That’s why you’re reading this.

Invest wisely.