There’s an old adage that says:
“You can have anything you want – you just can’t have everything you want.”
Perfect sentiment for photographers, if only they would take it to heart. Every piece of equipment, every concept, every image – is a compromise. Even if you have the fabled income of a pathologist or chiropractor – or BHP executive – you cannot buy all the things that you desire. You can fund cameras and lenses and book holidays to ever more obscure places, but you cannot accumulate enough artistry in your work in your limited leisure time to make the collection work. I know – I’ve seen your pictures.
If you have talent and drive and chutzpah you can go far, but you still can’t go far enough to convince your mother that taking pictures is a real job and that you won’t end up in the poorhouse. I know – I’ve talked to your mother.
And if your ambitions are more modest – just winning the first prize for the camera club and waving it in your rival’s face – you still won’t be able to do it in all divisions of the competition. Someone will always get one of the trophies. You can steal it from them while they are in the toilet, but it will not be the same. I know – I have this trophy…
So look carefully at what you do want. Pick a core ambition. Honestly analyse the expenditure, skills, equipment, and angst that will be required to achieve this – as well as the probability that it will be rendered impossible by some unseen development. Really ask yourself if it is worth the time of your life. If it is, go ahead and do it. If not, adjust the goal.
This may not be the Fight Team Fight message that your coach gives you, or the Die For The King message you get from the colonel of the regiment, but you’ll get a lot better pictures and a lot less dead by following it.