It fascinates me how a convincing and impassioned story can sway our beliefs, opinions and decisions.
Not least of all when it’s us telling the story to ourselves.
This is an occasional series about some of the stories I’ve woven to myself, to justify a certain decision or purchase.
See all posts in the series here.
Today’s story –
I’ll Just Test One More New Camera, Then Sell The Ones I Like Least…
For a five or six year period, once I’d realised the two main types of camera I liked ((D)SLR and compact), I was, at first unconsciously, buying and testing dozens of cameras to try to find the perfect or best camera for my needs.
This was of course before I realised perhaps what deep down I’d always known, that, as with most things in life, there is no single perfect choice.
Instead, you pick one that fits very well, and commit to getting the best from it, and enjoying it to the fullest.
Because I never had any intention of building a large collection of cameras and lenses, there was a story that ran through this whole period.
I’d buy a new (to me, but old) camera or lens, with a view to testing it in comparison to what I already had that was similar, and then planned to sell or donate the one(s) that I liked least, leaving me with just my absolute favourites.
Then, over the weeks and months, I’d hone down ever closer to a core arsenal of gear I absolutely loved using.
But most of the time this story was just that, a work of fiction.
I’d end up keeping both cameras or lenses, partly because I liked them both, and partly because (and this increased exponentially with time) the thought of photographing, listing and selling even one of them seemed such a hassle.
So instead they’d just stack up on shelves and in shoe boxes.
And this is the power of stories, that even though I could plainly see I had, say, a dozen 50mm lenses of very similar capabilities, I’d still buy more, espousing that same mantra, that after I’d fully tested this latest acquisition, I’d be a strong position to evaluate and choose my favourites, and sell everything else.
I guess I did reach some kind of breaking point, and over a few months did finally sell off most of what I had gathered over the previous few years.
The uncomfortable feeling of having gear that was laying unused, and the increasingly overwhelming decisions in what to choose that I faced each time I want to go on a photowalk, combined to prompt a major purge.
And I haven’t really looked back.
But for those few years, it was such a powerful story.
How about you? Do you relate to this story – buying new gear with the intention of selling something once you’d tested it enough to compare with your current favourites? But then holding on to all of it!
As always, please let us know in the comments below (and don’t forget to tick the “Notify me of new comments via email” box to follow the conversation).
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