Think of All the Other Things You Could Afford With Your Photography Budget

Think of All the Other Things You Could Afford With Your Photography Budget

Life isn't always about working our tails off just so we can turn around and blow our earnings on whatever the industry tells us the next best thing is. It’s time to take a step back from your hard day at work and think about some of the other things your hard earned income could be affording you. Like a six figure side-biz slinging wieners. 

This or That?

GoPro Karma Light Quadcopter with Harness for HERO5 Black $799

We’ve all become familiar with the GoPro Karma over the last year or so. The compact quadcopter boasts some impressive features. 


  •         Stabilizer w/ HERO5 Black Harness
  •         Game-Style Controller with Touchscreen
  •         View Live Camera Feed
  •         Full Control of HERO5 Black
  •         Use App for Dedicated Camera Operation
  •         One-Touch Takeoff and Landing
  •         Selfie, Cable Cam, Orbit Flight Modes
  •         Stabilizer Grip for Handheld Shooting
  •         Up to 20 Minutes Flying Time
  •         Compact Case Included

Highlights aside, lets consider for a moment that you find the limits of the GoPro Karma to be its top speed, or perhaps you’re an adrenaline fueled individual with an inherent need for speed. If that’s the case, the $799.00 you had saved for the Karma may be better spent on this: 

Amimon Falcore Racing Drone Kit $799.00

Did you have any idea there was such a thing as racing drones? I didn’t. I’ll admit that the thought of racing drones instantly cues the Star Wars theme song to start playing in my head. Nonsense aside, they are real, and there’s an entire category for them on B&H. The Amimon Falcore Racing Drone is especially impressive, considering its 80 mph top speed.

This or That?

Fujifilm GFX 50S Medium Format Mirrorless Camera (Body Only) $6,499.95

The Fujifilm GFX 50S Medium Format Mirrorless Camera, priced at 6,499.95, is a relatively moderately priced medium format camera. I’m not an expert on medium format cameras and I'm pretty much always hungry so I’ll get right into what else one could spend that hefty figure on. 

Professional Hot Dog Cart $5000-$7500

Mmmmmm. Did someone say hot dogs? No? 

Here’s something to think about. A busy hot dog vendor earns nearly two times the national average. Sell on average a hundred wieners per day, and you’re looking at about two hundred bucks profit. Do that for a year - that’s $52,000. Up your game and sell 200 hot dogs per day, now you’re raking in over $100k a year. If you don’t mind smelling like beef, onion, and pickles at the end of a work day, that’s not a bad income. 

This or That?

Duracell 1.5V AA Coppertop Alkaline Batteries (4-Pack) $616.00 Per Year

At a price of $3.95 per pack (4 pack), shooting just three shoots per week for one year creates a possible demand for roughly 156 packs of these littler suckers every year. That amount of AA batteries adds up to roughly $616.00. It’s safe to assume that there must be a more affordable option out there when it comes to powering your speed lights and other needy electronics. 

Panasonic Eneloop Pro Rechargeable AA Ni-MH Batteries with Charger (2550mAh, Pack of Four) $27.99


  •         Rechargeable up to 500x
  •         Pre-Charged, Ready to Use
  •         Holds 85% of Charge for 1 Year
  •         No Memory Effect
  •         Can Be Charged When Partially Drained
  •         Functional Down to -4°F

For the price of the Panasonic Eneloop Pro Rechargeable AA Ni-MH Batteries, it's hard to justify ever buying traditional AA batteries again. 

This or That?

Yongnuo YN360 Light Wand $78.00

If the racing drone didn’t get you into Star Wars mode, the Yongnuo YN360 Light Wand will have you making lightsaber sounds in no time. Not only that, but there are some great examples out there demonstrating the creative ways these Light Wands can be used. 

Nearly 1000 Glow Sticks

Grow up in the nineties? Don’t act you like didn’t play with these things. If you happen to have a thousand glow sticks on hand (roughly the amount you can afford with your Yongnuo Light Wand budget) you’re ether hosting a rave, or you have an idea for an awesome night time photograph that you’ll want to share here, naturally. 

This or That?

Apple 13.3" MacBook Pro (Space Gray, Late 2016) $1399.00

There really isn’t anything I can say about a MacBook Pro that hasn’t already been said. This handy little powerhouse will run you about $1400 right now and many of us didn’t/don't bat an eye at the cost when making the purchase. How would you feel if you came home and your computer wasn't there anymore? 

Stack-On TD-69-GP-E-S Total Defense Safe

Never mind all the cool guns a safe like this will keep out of the wrong hands, a safe like the Stack-On TD-69-GP-E-S Total Defense 51-69 Gun Safe with Electronic Lock, Gray Pebble runs close to the same price as the above mentioned Macbook Pro and I consider an investment like this to outweigh (literally) that of your homeowners insurance policy. Home safes can get pretty expensive, but with the hefty cost comes features like a fire rating that will protect your valuables for a given period of time in the event of a house fire. A large gun safe has room to store cameras, lenses, computers, and anything else you feel needs locked up when you’re not around. 

I think it goes without saying that what you spend your money on is entirely up to you. Purchasing the tools needed to complete a task or make your work easier day to day are to be expected. On the other hand, aimlessly purchasing gear to compete with the Jones' or simply because it's available isn't going to help your business exceed the profits of that busy hot dog vendor. So, as you save or research your next big purchase, be sure it's in line with your goals and will help you get there. 

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David Bengtsson's picture

I'm torn between spending my money on camera gear or climbing gear...just started building my rack and damn are quickdraws (2 carbiners connected by a sling) expensive.

Matei Botan's picture too. But i'm between getting a dslr or mirroless that shoots decent video and mountaineering equipment (harness, rope, helmet, better axe, nuts, ice-screws, carabiners etc.). My other problem is that I don't have the money for either :))

David Bengtsson's picture

Haha, harness and a helmet are luckily not crazy expensive though. Got my sport climbing harness for 50USD on sale. (I imagine mountaineering harnesses to be around the same as they are just basically smaller and lighter). Helmet will of course depend but most will not run you 100USD+ and some nice ones can be found for like 70US. The other things however..

I'm just starting to slowly move outside if the gym with my cllimbing so I don't need any trad gear so far. Still only sticking to bolted sport routes. Do however need a 60m rope and a bunch of quickdraws and some carbiners and slings for building an anchor.

Simon Patterson's picture

It all looks great but my current photography budget could not afford me a chocolate bar. Lucky I already have plenty of Eneloop batteries and I'm very satisfied with my existing camera set up...