Photographer Uses Son's College Savings to Purchase Camera

Photographer Uses Son's College Savings to Purchase Camera

Scranton, PA: A local photographer drained his son's college savings to purchase a new camera.

The story begins with lawyer and part-time photographer, James P. Albini, on the phone with a fellow photographer friend, Tony Garreth. Tony picks up the story:

James is a good guy, levelheaded... mostly. He seems a bit obsessed with camera gear, especially for a guy whose real job is being a lawyer. He mostly just takes photos of flowers in the local park and stares at them while zoomed in 400% in Lightroom, then argues with people online about gear specs. He keeps talking about stepping up to medium format. It's like he forgets he has a kid going to college next year who wants to be a doctor. Does he know how much med school tuition costs? His son is a straight B student.

After seeing his son's grades and chugging half a bottle of Pepto Bismol after looking up medical school tuition costs without scholarships, Albini began to reevaluate his priorities:

Jimmy's dream his whole life has been to be a doctor. Then again, my dream the whole last three months has been to get that medium format Fuji camera. There are already so many doctors in the world, but I'm pretty sure I'd be the first guy in my photography Facebook group with that Fuji. That jerk, Sean, who got the new Sony before me, would be so mad. 

Later that day, though, Albini's love as a father began to reclaim his rationality, as he realized he was probably being a bit selfish:

Yeah, 100 megapixels of medium format goodness would be amazing, but I guess my kid's dreams are important too, and medical school tuition is really expensive. So, I did what any good father would do: I printed a student loan application for him! Can't wait to get that Fuji! Sean is going to be so mad! 

Fstoppers will keep you updated on Albini's purchases. 

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sam dasso's picture

His son with with his straight B doesn't stand a chance to be admitted to the med school. He is better off to buy midframe or Sony Alpha 1.

J Sclafani's picture

Correct, but I am not sure this was not an April 1 post.

Paul Asselin's picture

This headline looks right out of "The Onion"

David Vivian's picture

I too was looking for the Onion tagline.

Reginald Walton's picture

This is relevant, why?

David Benitez's picture

Relevant only if you have a sense of humor.

J Sclafani's picture

So now we can submit jokes and funny stories related to photography? Just say yes and I have stuff to post.

Robert Oslin's picture

Yes. I want to see your funny post.

Dan Jefferies's picture

get to it kid. Right now you're an "F".

Joseph Ting's picture

He is in the right place, this being Fstoppers...

Robert Oslin's picture

I rewrote for myself: "Bob is a good guy, levelheaded... mostly. He seems a bit obsessed with camera gear, especially for a guy whose real job is being a product manager. He mostly just takes photos of birds in his nearby woods and stares at them while zoomed in 400% in Lightroom, then posts his pictures in the hopes that random strangers give him a thumbs up in a birding group in his favorite social app". Crap that's me. All I can think about is how I'd love to get that new Z9 with likely a gazillion pixels so I can zoom in and crop to 8000% - but do I want an upgraded camera more than say putting that 7K aside for my 3rd kid's college tuition? Or towards my retirement savings? Or towards a new Dyson with laser beams emitters for my wife? Or maybe towards a down payment on a Tesla? I remain rational for short periods...but then I start finding excuses for why I need the upgraded gear... every time my DSLR mirror slap scares away a bird, or I lost track of a bird while it hopped around in the bushes due to no bird-eye ST, or I ended up with a super noisy image due to 10 year old ISO tech. At that point I start thinking about how a refinance of my home plus extra cash back might work to pay off the new gear without my wife even knowing...and the cycle starts all over again.

Mike Shwarts's picture

Send the kid to community college. :D

David Yoon's picture

The kid was screwed anyways if his college fund was only $7000

Dan Jefferies's picture

lol... student loans... at least he'll have a shot at paying them off as a doctor even with Bs. Even the lowest level grad is still a 'doctor".

Jonathan Brady's picture

That’s a timeless joke, actually…
Q: What do you call a doctor who graduated at the bottom of their class?
A: Doctor.

Daniel Medley's picture

Good for him. Why is it we're expected to pay for our children's college education? Almost every place you can work at will provide tuition reimbursement; even McDonalds. In today's world there's little reason to go into debt for a college education or for kids to not work their way through.

Daniel Medley's picture

Yes, I know. I got it. The fact that you attempt make a "gotcha" moment with your comment is... odd.

So go muck yourself.

Alex Zenzaburro's picture

get a life man

Daniel Medley's picture

Mark the spot. As everyone can see, you're all dick. LOL.

Daniel Medley's picture

Nah. As tempting as it is to watch you smear feces all over yourself, I'll just allow you to have the last word.

Dan Jefferies's picture

weak kid weak... Daniel is trouncing you....

Chris Rogers's picture

I'd sell my kids (if i had kids) futures for a Pentax 645 setup any day. :D

Mike Sandman's picture

My daughter is already a doctor and her loans are paid off, so I'm going to ask her to buy me that camera....

Dan Jefferies's picture

sound thinking

Todd Pangburn's picture

Unfollow. You forgot to include specs in this GFX 100S review.

Alex Zenzaburro's picture

Is this supposed to be funny or is there any hook to it?
It's his dads money anyway^^

chris bryant's picture

Jame P. Albini you go for it! If your son can't afford to go to college and become a doctor, hey, tell him to get a job and earn his way! You have already spent enough raising the ungrateful git! If you make that noble sacrifice and send your son to college there is no guarantee that he will actually pass and your money is so totally wasted. Which is a state your son will find himself in a number of times whilst at college. You won't see any of your money in return. You can bet your bottom dollar that when you start weeing yourself and forgetting things Dr. Albini will be the first to send you to an old folk's home. That'll be the last you'll see of that nice young man who dropped you off.

Now get out your credit card and a beer and order the bloody thing.

Scott Nichols's picture

All I know is that James is the first lawyer you should call if you ever have a free speech issue at hand. Or a motorcycle head injury, worker's comp claim, or a diet pill lawsuit.

Alex Cooke's picture


Scott Kiekbusch's picture

Me: Haven't taken a look at Fstoppers for a few weeks, wonder what's happening on the site...

Reads this story & the comments: No need to check back at Fstoppers. Ever

David Vivian's picture

C'mon Scott this is kind of funny.

David Vivian's picture

I'm pretty sure the kid has no chance for pre-med, let alone medical school with B average. This might have been the right play for dad. Let the kid sort things out at community college.

J Seltzer's picture

Maybe he's married to the woman who wrote the article on why Canon is not worthy!

jim hughes's picture

This could be an ongoing series.

Ali Choudhry's picture

Alex woke up and he chose joy. And you know what, I'm fine with that.

Sn8 Baer's picture

His money is better off being used to put his son through a trade school. Now is NOT the time to go to med school. The kid will have huge debt and today, if he goes into primary care, the debt will be a monkey on his back forever. I got out of my residency in 89, just as medicine really began going down the drain. I had big time debt and Medicare reimbursement decreased markedly. Don't get me wrong. I Ioved what I did and I loved my patients. But until the broken healthcare system is fixed the debt is far to grest for the return. I am not talking about getting rich...just having a decent life.

I don't even recommend kids go to college unless they need a liscense (except medicine.)

Better to learn a trade in 2 years, hit the ground running and earn a good income with minimal debt. I enjoy electrical work and have done some plumbing. I enjoy it. I could easily have gone in that direction looking back. In the end, we are talking about a job.

You much plumbers charge to twist a wrench... HVAC technicians are well paid too.

There is nothing wrong with any of these kinds of trades. In fact there is absolutely no downside.

In addition, colleges and universities have gone woke. Kids don't learn much. Grades are upscaled.... Don't mean anything.

Heck, back in the 90s I ran into an attorney just out of law school... Did not know how many US Senetors there are.

jim hughes's picture

Just don't blow the money sending him to photography school. Total dead end.