These days I’m a recovering gearoholic, and whilst I was never caught up with the upgrade parade, I did go through a few years of buying far more used cameras and lenses than I had the time or inclination to use.
With my buying pretty much in check these days, I thought I’d share five ways that have helped me arrive here –
1. Stop reading gear blogs/sites.
Whether you’re more into the latest new gear, or like me a fan of older cameras – film or digital – there are a wealth of blogs and websites bursting full of temptation. It’s far easier to just stop viewing these sites, than let them keep encouraging new additions to your camera wish list, which then fuel endless debate about which wholly unnecessary kit to buy next.
2. Stay away from eBay and any other gear shops.
Similar to the above, but for me even worse, is eBay, where you can almost instantly find any camera on your wish list (see above!) with a quick search, and potentially have it on your doorstep a few days later. I tried many times to be disciplined with my eBay usage, but always found myself with yet another relatively impulsive purchase in my hands before I knew it. Again, like the above, much easier to go cold turkey and avoid entirely, or in other words, remain in blissful ignorance of what else you could buy – because there will always be something!
3. Put all your cameras except a couple in boxes out of sight.
Even though my total cameras now is only just in double figures (from its peak of perhaps 60 for a couple of years), I still often find this too much choice. There are cameras I still want to own and use now and then, but not week in and week out. So by having a single book shelf to home the current two or three cameras I’m using regularly, and putting the others in a box under the bed, it makes the decision on which camera to pick for a photo shoot much easier. Which in turns means I spend less time choosing and more time using a camera.
4. Realise you don’t have to test, sell or donate every camera you have in the next week.
When I had far too many cameras, I felt like even though I desperately wanted to downsize, I couldn’t see how I could test, then sell or donate dozens of cameras in a week or two. The shortcut is to put the majority in a box and donate to a charity shop, which you can do almost instantly. But I wasn’t feeling quite altruistic enough to give so much away that over time I’d paid hundreds of pounds for. So we need to first accept that to sell each camera or lens separately after testing, will take weeks, months, even years. Then decide whether we’re happy with that timescale and want to continue, or instead want to bite the bullet, donate most (or all) of the collection in one go and move on.
5. Try a One Month One Camera project.
Instead of taking out a different camera every time you go on a photo walk, commit to one month with just one camera. The benefits are myriad, as you may have read before here from my own one month one camera experiments this year. Not least of all that instead of asking which camera you’ll take with you today – and potentially wasting hours a month on these deliberations – you just grab your one camera and go. So liberating!
I hope one or more of these ideas help you just get down to enjoying your favourite cameras you already own, rather than constantly accumulating more.
Do you have any related tips you can share with us?
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