The Ultimate Guide to Overcoming Gear Acquisition Syndrome

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You likely landed here because you were searching for advice about upgrading your camera gear or you’re looking for tips about overcoming gear acquisition syndrome.

What you are about to read below, is what I believe to be the most thorough guide on the planet when it comes to deciding on whether that camera gear you’re currently considering buying is a good investment or not (there might be something better on Mars, but I haven’t checked recently).

If this guide doesn’t make you think twice about buying that camera or lens, then nothing will.

I recommend bookmarking this page, so next time you have a case of gear acquisition syndrome (explained below) you’ll know where to come to recover.

This is a long read and features several sections. Feel free to skip ahead to whichever section is of interest to you.

Latest Camera Releases (or Re-Releases)

Every year, a new camera comes out, that claims to be the ultimate camera that will revolutionize the photography world…

Until the next one comes out.

The reality is, it’s not that much better than the camera released the year before and it won’t be better than the camera released the following year.

People revolutionize the photography world, not cameras.

A camera will never be able to see. An eye for a photo is learned, not bought.

Do I Need to Buy More Camera Gear?

The short answer to that is ‘no’. The long answer is ‘hell no’.

Here’s what one of the greatest photographers of all time, Helmut Newton had to say about the importance of equipment :

Ignorance is Bliss

The photographer who knows very little about cameras might buy one on sale and be perfectly (perhaps ignorantly) happy and it will last them for many years.

Meanwhile, another photographer who is extremely knowledgeable will spend hours on end, comparing the specifications and features of the latest cameras, bogging themselves down in details that don’t really matter.

This results in frustration and confusion. They spend less time taking photos and more time thinking about taking photos.

Be Gear Ignorant

Choose to be ignorant… you’ll be much happier.

Camera companies will try and make you believe that you need their latest camera and it will help you take better pictures, the truth is you don’t and it won’t.

Even if you own an entry-level camera, you have a good enough tool to help you take some wonderful photos.

How Much is Enough?

The thing to remember with camera equipment is, less is more.

The more time you waste changing lenses, the less chance you have of getting the shot.

Many of the greats such as Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa, William Klein, Helmut Newton (I could go on) generally stuck to one camera and one lens. They didn’t need anything else to make great photos.

I’ve added several photos to this post along with the camera they used, to reaffirm that it’s not the camera that matters but the person standing behind it.

Is this the greatest sports photograph of all time? Ali stands over Liston, 1965 by Neil Leifer (Rolleiflex – Used $900)

I have also added the cost to purchase the setup today to demonstrate that you don’t have to throw megabucks at a new camera to get a great photo.

Learning from History

Mick Jagger by Jane Bown, 1977
(Olympus OM1N – $100)

For many years, Photographers were using old film cameras and they did just fine.

Some of the greatest photos of all-time were shot using a 35mm film camera and a roll of Kodak Tri-X.

It was only ten years ago, that photographers were using cameras such as the Canon 1DS and Nikon D3 and they produced incredible images, good enough for print and big ad campaigns.

Campaigns for Versace, Chanel, Armani as well as advertising photos for the likes of BMW, Porsche and Ford were likely shot using the cameras mentioned before. Why would you need anything else?

What’s the difference today? What can the latest and (apparently) greatest camera do, which the old ones can’t?

A camera is just a tool for telling a story. It’s up to the photographer to find (or create) those stories.

Is My Camera Good Enough?

Honestly, even an entry-level Nikon D3500 with a kit lens (which costs $300), performs exceptionally well today and is capable of taking great photos.

It’s also lightweight, has superb auto-focus, an interchangeable lens system and better battery life than any other camera on the market (including those 10 times the price!)

I don’t understand why people waste over $1000 on fixed lens cameras, prone to dust that will be replaced by a so-called ‘better’ version two years later. Fuji and Sony I’m looking at you.

The Great Photography Challenge

Now I’m sure you’ve heard this many times before, but I’ll repeat it here: If you give a great photographer any camera, they will still make incredible photos.

Now instead of worrying about what camera to own or whether your camera is good enough, my challenge to you is to use what you have and go out and make some incredible images of your own.

“When people ask me what equipment I use – I tell them my eyes.”

Anonymous

The Ultimate Guide to Gear Acquisition Syndrome

Now I’m sure you’ve heard the term, ‘Gear acquisition syndrome’ or G.A.S. for short and it’s a massive problem for many photographers today (including their loved ones.)

We’ve all been there. The countless hours on forums and gear sites researching the newest camera or lens, thinking that the next buy will make us a better photographer.

Inevitably, the initial excitement fades, our photos never improve, and we continue the cycle of buying more and more gear until we have too much and our bank balance has been depleted (or we find ourselves in debt.)

Yes, photography is an expensive hobby, but it doesn’t have to be.

Read through the following 3 sections and you’ll be back on track in no time.

  • 7 Stages of Gear Acquisition Syndrome
  • 7 Tips to Treat Gear Acquisition Syndrome (G.A.S.)

7 Stages of Gear Acquisition Syndrome

These seven stages of G.A.S. will help you to understand the signs and help you treat the symptoms of the syndrome.

Stage 1 – Dissatisfaction

There was a time when you loved everything about your camera: the way it looked, the way it felt in your hand, how it sounded when you pressed the shutter, the wonderful images it produced.

You were proud to own it.

But of late, every time you see it… you just can’t help but think there’s something better out there.

You start to question it. Maybe it’s been holding you back for all these years.

It annoys you that other photographers get more likes on Instagram or they’re booking more jobs.

If only you had a better camera or better lens, then you know you’ll produce better images.

Frustrated. You start to think the grass is greener on the other side. You then stop using your camera completely and decide the time is right to make a change.

Stage 2 – Desire

You look at other photographer’s work and believe that the only reason their photos are so good is because they have the newest greatest camera to be released, the ‘Nikon D9’ (yes, I’m future-proofing this post).

You’ve found out what camera your favorite photographer shoots and you’ve decided that’s the camera you want next.

This is the camera that will bring you happiness. You tell yourself, If it’s good enough for them, then it’s good enough for me.

Gearing up to the Next Level
Beyonce for Vogue, 2013 by Patrick Demarchelier (Canon 5DM3 – Used $1200)

You know that with this new camera in your hands, your photos will improve, and you’ll become a famous photographer in no time.

The likes of National Geographic or Vogue will be begging you to work with them.

Without it, you’ll never improve. You’ll never get better as a photographer.

At this stage, you don’t just want it, you need it, so much so that you’re not entirely sure you’ll survive as a photographer without it.

You start edging towards making this new camera a reality.

Stage 3 – Research

If there’s one thing that defines the 21st-century shopping experience, it’s the indecision that comes following countless hours of reading reviews of a product you thought you wanted.

One thing’s guaranteed, there will always be someone who hates the product and tells you not to waste your money.

For photographers, the problem is much, much worse.

Everyone and I do mean everyone, will have an opinion, regardless of whether they’ve used it or not.

Typically, they’ll tell you to spend your money on something else, normally their own camera of choice, trying to justify their own buying decision.

One minute you’re super excited having read a positive review from a website that seemed like a respectable source, then after reading the 100 comments below it, you feel like starting your search for the perfect camera all over again.

This is when you’ve hit G.A.S. crunch time.

You will either delay your purchase for a couple of weeks or bite the bullet and go for it.

You decide that these people don’t know what they’re talking about and you’ve made your decision.  You need to buy this camera.

Stage 4 – Purchase

Okay, so you know what you want, and you know what your budget is.

You’re bored at work, so you decide now is the time to investigate buying your dream camera.

You search high and low, checking the price of every supplier on the internet, only to find that the bigger sale sites such as Amazon and B&H have the best deals.

You find your dream camera. You quickly summarise the pro’s and con’s in your head, only to be distracted by the last chance sale offer and cashback incentive.

You remind yourself that this is the camera that will take your photography to the next level and change your life (and maybe even the landscape of photography as we know it.)

If there’s one camera that can change the world then this is it.

You then notice that the store offers a finance plan. What could go wrong?

Blinded by love and destiny, you press the buy button and start filling in all your details.

Transaction complete. You’re excited and can’t wait for your new camera to arrive in the mail.

Stage 5 – Guilt

You sign for your delivery, trying to contain your excitement.

You try and play it cool and tell the delivery driver that you’re working from home today but really you’ve booked a day’s holiday. He couldn’t care less.

You take the package into the living room and open it up. You pull the camera box out and begin to open it.

There it is…

This marvel of a camera you’ve been dreaming about for so long (well 2 weeks.)

It is everything you thought it would be.

You then pick it up and hold it for the first time. It feels incredible. You tell yourself, “this is how a real camera should feel.”

You have no idea why you waited so long, now you can take photos like all those other photographers… better than all those photographers. No excuses.

Reality Check

Once the initial excitement has passed, it then hits you: the guilt.

You’ve just spent more on a camera than you’ve ever spent on your partner, your parents and even possibly your car.

You’re not sure where you’re going to find the rent money, there’s no food in the cupboard and your photography isn’t earning you any money.

For the next week, the guilt ruins any enjoyment for your beautiful new camera. You can barely even look at it for the shame, so you hide it in your camera bag.

Stage 6 – Acceptance

Time is a great healer and the guilt that you’re experiencing eventually passes.

It could be minutes, hours, days or even weeks before the guilt finally lifts, but when it does, you’re much happier and ready to take on the world again.

For this beautiful camera that you have lusted after for so long, dreamt about and nearly bankrupted yourself in getting is yours to enjoy (providing you keep up with the finance repayments.)

You finally own the camera of your dreams, the camera that will help you take your photography to the next level and one that will last you for many years to come. Except…

Stage 7 – Relapse

The seventh, and cruelest stage of G.A.S. can hit anywhere between twelve to eighteen months.

If your purchase was relatively small such as a camera lens, then you can expect to experience G.A.S. again quite quickly.

A high-end camera? Well, you’ve probably bought yourself an additional six months, maybe even twelve.

Despite seeing an initial improvement in your photos (well at least that’s what you tell yourself) your photography begins to plateau again.

Frustration Kicks In

You tell yourself that your camera is starting to look tired, despite shooting less than 30% of the cameras average shutter life.

You return to photography forums and they’re all talking about the next greatest camera that has just been released.

It’s a must-have and is guaranteed to take your photography to the next level (again.) Several professional photographers are endorsing it, so it must be good.

You return to stage one; you start to think (as before) that your camera is holding you back.

And so, the cycle begins again…

Sunrise on the Tioga Pass by Galen Rowell (Nikon FTN – Used $150)

7 Tips to Treat Gear Acquisition Syndrome (G.A.S.)

Now you understand the stages of Gear Acquisition Syndrome we can work out how you’re going to recover from it.

It’s going to take some work, but if you focus on how to improve as a photographer with the gear you currently have, you’ll be back on track in no time.

Whilst it’s fun to play around and experiment with new gear, the reality is, it’s not the gear that will make you a better photographer; It’s practice and knowledge, two things you can achieve with even the cheapest cameras today.

So, here are 7 ways you can get rid of the dreaded G.A.S., save money and take some great photos.

Tip 1 – Embrace What You Have

Think back to when you first bought your current camera and try to remember how excited you were at the time, how everything felt new and you were eager to learn how to use it.

If that doesn’t work, go back and re-read some of the reviews that first convinced you to buy the gear in the first place.

If you can recapture some of the excitement of that initial gear purchase, you’ll find that your desire to own something new starts to slide away.  

For every camera and lens in existence, you can guarantee that somebody out there is bored of shooting with it.

And know that for every person who has a better camera than you, there are plenty of people out there who would love to have the camera or gear you own.

Embrace what you have and be grateful. Next, use what you have and go out and take some wonderful photos.

Tip 2 – Try Using One camera and One Lens

Having too many choices can make the photography experience more stressful.

As a result, we tend to overthink what we do and end up missing shots or the opposite, we overshoot, and our photos end up being bland, boring and lifeless.

Try for a week or even a month using one camera and one lens (either fixed prime or zoom.) This will force you to think differently.

You’ll need to be creative and use your feet more, but you’ll also start thinking about what you’re doing and slow down.

Forget Safe and Predictable

This will give you a new perspective and you’ll come up with interesting angles that will help improve your photography.

Remember that some of the greatest photographers only used a one camera, one lens setup. If they can do it, why can’t you?

Want more of a challenge then limit yourself to shooting with either a fixed aperture, fixed shutter speed or set ISO (like photographers used to do in the film days.)

Remember, the famous expression: ‘F8 and be there.’ Pre-focus your camera and set the aperture to F8 and you’re good to go.

Let’s move on…

Tip 3 – The 365-Day Photo Challenge

Have you ever tried taking a photo every day for a year?

Now the thought alone may seem daunting but if you’re committed to getting over your G.A.S. and nothing else is working then you’re going to have to try something new.

This year-long photography project will take real commitment, but it can also be a great way to develop your photography skills, have some fun and boost your creativity at the same time.

The Easier Approach…

Looking for something easier? You could always start with a 30-day challenge and see how you get on.

Forcing yourself to take a photo daily should help you forget about your G.A.S and make you realize that gear doesn’t matter.

I did a 30-day challenge several years ago, limiting myself to shooting an Olympus OM10 film camera, a 50mm Zuiko lens and cheap color film. This was when I was first learning how to shoot 35mm film and boy, did I learn a lot from those 30 days.

This challenge will push you out of your comfort zone, change the way you see things and make you realize how much unnecessary camera gear you own.

If you need a kick up the butt? Then this is the challenge to do it.

Helpful 365 Resources

I plan to write a dedicated article about the 365 challenge in the future, but if you’re looking for more information, then check out this 365 post on Expert Photography.

Want some inspiration and ideas on what to photograph for the year? Then check out this handy 365 challenge calendar that the guys over at Photoblog.com have created, with suggestions for each day of the entire year!

You can download the calendar from Google Drive

Tip 4 – Spend Money on Experiences. Not Camera Gear.

While buying a new camera or expensive lens may be satisfying for a short while, the enjoyment always fades, and we find ourselves back in the same place looking for the next purchase to keep the feeling going (our next fix.)

You tell yourself, if I only had this lens or that lens, that’s all I need to complete my photography kit. This is the biggest problem with gear acquisition syndrome: the belief that we always need more.

If this sounds anything like your current situation, then rest assured there is a better way to spend your money and keep that feeling alive: Stop buying gear and start buying experiences!

Instead of spending $2000 on a camera, look at what else $2000 can buy you.

Memories That Will Last

After a quick twenty-minute search, here are a few suggestions for what you can get for $2000 or less:

  • Book a round-the-world ticket
  • Take a road trip and see America
  • Visit the National Parks: Yosemite, Grand Canyon and Bryce
  • Snorkel and Surf in Maui, Hawaii
  • Take the kids to Disney World
  • Surprise your partner with a romantic weekend in Paris
  • Go to a Music Festival: Glastonbury, Tomorrowland, Coachella, etc
  • Take some flying lessons
  • Weekend in Las Vegas
  • Go skiing in the French Alps
  • Hike Everest Base Camp
  • Experience the Rio Carnival
  • Take a trip to Memphis and visit Graceland
  • Learn how to dive and swim with Manta Rays
  • Visit Rome: Colosseum, Vatican and Sistine chapel
  • Book a flight to Japan and go to the Olympics
  • Skydive in Vermont
  • Backpack around India
  • Walk a section of the Appalachian trail
  • Visit the Theatre or Opera
  • Take a Glass/Wet Plate Photography course

The fact is that the thrill of purchasing camera gear quickly fades, but the joy and memories from experiences can last a lifetime.

Oh, and your current camera is still good enough to capture any of these incredible experiences.

Next time you’re feeling a bit down or you think your photography is lacking in some way, and you have the sudden urge to buy new gear, think about how your money can be better spent on experiences instead.

Personally, I’ll take any of the experiences listed above over a $3000 Leica camera body (except maybe the skydive!)

5. Stop Visiting Gear Forums

This one is obvious, yet people continue to do it. Can someone please tell me what someone could possibly learn in a gear forum that you don’t already know. Seriously.

If you spend an unhealthy amount of time on gear forums, then you know what you need to do. It’s quite possibly the worst way to spend any spare time you have.

If you’re happy with your gear, then there should be no reason to go near them.

I think at times, we overly concern ourselves with what other people think, yet, the only person that matters is you.

Add the forum or website address to your blocked websites by downloading an add-on for Firefox and Chrome.

Looking at reviews of cameras and lenses will make you want to spend your money.

Visit the Right Websites

Visit websites that will help you learn, not hinder you.

Look at the work of great photographers like the masters featured on here and get inspiration from their experiences and stories.  This website was set up as a mastermind group for photographers to learn from the best.

Remember the saying, ‘You are your environment.’

If you all you do is read information about gear and the latest camera releases then that’s what you’re telling your subconscious to focus on. That’s partly one of the reasons you’re suffering from G.A.S.

Change your environment = Change your mindset.

Let’s move on to Tip 6…

Tip 6 – Set Photography Goals

Another awesome way to overcome your G.A.S. is by setting goals.

We get to a certain level, and then have no idea what direction to go, or how to go beyond where we are, so we end up buying new gear because we think it’s the solution.

Buying gear can give us short-term happiness but in order to feel truly fulfilled, we need to know and feel like we’re working to achieve something.

Setting yourself photography goals will help you grow and expand, pushing you to transform and improve in ways that you never imagined.

Understanding Your Why

Think of a goal as a dream with a deadline. Now, all we have to do is create a blueprint to achievement.

Decide what it is that you want to achieve with your photography by answering these 3 questions:

  • Why do you do Photography?
  • What are your hopes with Photography?
  • What Photography dreams do you have?

Once you understand your why then you’ll be able to determine the best goals and the blueprint to lead you to live your photography dreams.

Next, come up with some short-term and long-term goals and set yourself deadlines of between 1 month to 10 years for the achievement of each goal.

Here are 10 examples of short term goals:

  • Master shooting in manual mode
  • Create a Photobook
  • Learn how to light
  • Learn to develop and print film
  • Get your first paying client
  • Sell prints of your work
  • Take a photo holiday (India, South America etc)
  • Volunteer to Photograph for charities
  • 365 Photo Project (see Tip 3)
  • Start your own website

Now 10 examples long term goals:

  • Start your own photography business
  • Quit your day job
  • Get a photo published in National Geographic
  • Get paid for a commercial shoot
  • Do a magazine cover-photo
  • Be featured in an exhibition
  • Hold a Gallery showing
  • Shoot for Vogue
  • Take a portrait of a celebrity
  • Take a portrait of a member of the Royal family (Number 1 on my list)

Identify what your biggest dream is with photography and work backwards.

Come Up With a Plan of Attack

Come up with a plan and decide what will help you get to the end goal? Break it down step-by-step and make sure you set a timeframe that’s realistic.

Now you’ve got some goals, it’s important that you write them down, not on a computer but on paper or in a journal.

Don’t just think about them, commit to them.

There’s something that happens when we write goals down; it helps reaffirm them and makes them more powerful.

As Tony Robbins puts it, “Progress equals happiness,” and with photography, setting goals is what gets us there.

Once you have your goals, focus on achieving them, instead of concerning yourself with what camera to buy next.

Tip 7 – Rent the Gear Instead

If any of the above doesn’t change your mind about buying whatever it is you’re after, then this may do the trick and save you money!

Whether it’s the latest high-end camera, a professional zoom lens or even a vintage film camera, it’s important to remember that there are ways to get access to photography equipment without making a purchase.

If you search online, you’ll find plenty of companies that will rent you all sorts of photo gear, gear that you could only dream about getting your hands on before, for a fraction of what it’s worth.

So, you might think to rent goes against the end goal. But the best thing about renting is that before you make a huge investment, you can test the gear out and decide for yourself whether it’s as good as you think it is.

Don’t Let Others Decide for You

You’ll get hands-on experience and be able to judge for yourself what you really like and what you don’t like about it. At the end of your rental, you can then decide whether it’s something you can’t live without.

What I’ve found through experience, is that after testing cameras using the rental service, the mystique wears off, and I’m a lot less interested in the camera.

For some people out there, it can have the opposite effect though.

You might rent a camera, and love it, just as much as you thought you would. At least then you know and can create a plan for saving up for it, rather than making an impulse buy.

Just be cautious about renting too often, as it can soon add up. If you wait for the right time, most rental companies have discounts over Christmas and the month of February.

Bonus Tip – Spend More Time Shooting

This one should go without saying: go and shoot with what you have and enjoy your photography!

Many photographers get caught up in pointless and useless debates, normally about which camera has the best ISO performance or which lens is the sharpest, while spending their days looking at test photos of brick walls.

If you’ve read that paragraph and think about how sad that sounds, then you would be right.

If you’re one of those people, then I’m sorry but you need to grab your camera and find something to photograph now.

Leave the technical crap like that to manufacturers. As a photographer, you should be coming up with ideas for photos and be out shooting what you love, not wasting time on such redundant information.

All lenses today are plenty sharp enough and good enough for anybody. Period

Let’s not forget what matters in the end:

Capturing the moment. Making photos that matter.

Should I Upgrade My Camera Body?

Now let’s discuss when to upgrade your camera body.

Here’s the thing:  That camera that you probably only purchased last year (or maybe the year before) is most likely going to have quite a few years left in the tank.  

Unless you’re shooting 1000’s of photos on a weekly basis, none of the components such as the shutter, mirror mechanism (for DSLR’s) or any other component is likely to wear out anytime soon.  

When to Upgrade

The most likely reasons for upgrading your camera body are: you’ve dropped it, you’ve got it wet or you need a backup for paid work.

Even an outdated camera will last you a long time and many of the parts can be repaired or replaced.  

In most cases, just keep shooting and do your best to take care of the camera, instead of worrying about upgrading.

Should I Buy a New Camera or Lens?

If you are going to invest in anything. Always buy lenses over camera bodies.

Lenses are where you’ll see a real difference in your photos, not the camera itself. Plus, they last longer and have a better resale value.

Remember, that a camera is just a tool and you buy a camera to help you get the photo you want.

A camera can’t see.

End of the Line

Sometimes though, a camera sadly comes to the end of its life. When this happens it’s a sad day, but you can rest easy knowing that it served you well, you got your money’s worth and it helped you capture all those wonderful photos and memories.

If you can’t fix it or you just want a new camera, then retire it, put it on the shelf and move on.

If you’re upgrading for the sake of upgrading, then that’s where the problems start, and you’ll end up in the never-ending cycle of upgrading to something ‘better’ which can be difficult to shake.

Many successful (working) professional photographers today started out with just an entry-level camera, kit lens, and a 50mm prime.

They didn’t need anything else, only upgrading when they needed to for paid work, when they could justify the expense.

Now honestly ask yourself the following:

  • Does my camera still work? (If no, then you obviously need a new camera)
  • Do I need anything else to take great photos?
  • If other people could start with less, why can’t I?

Still want to upgrade? Now ask yourself these questions:

  • How much money am I making from photography?
  • What is my return on my investment?

If your answer to both questions is nothing, then it’s time to stop worrying about upgrades, remove that camera or lens from your Amazon basket and go out and take some photos with what you’ve got.

Long story short: You don’t really need that new camera; you want that new camera and there’s a big difference.

Reviews, Reviews, Reviews – The Big Con

Most websites make money through affiliate marketing schemes, which means that for every person they send to a sales site such as Amazon, B&H or Adorama they will earn a small commission.

Remember that the bigger websites are run like businesses, so they need to make as much money as they can to cover operating costs.

In order to make the most amount of money, the majority of them (I’m not saying all of them) recommend the latest and most expensive gear regardless of whether it’s a better buy than purchasing a cheaper alternative or even used gear.

Higher Price = Higher Commission

You’ll also find that many reviewers including those on YouTube will never bash a camera, even when there’s little improvement over previous models.

They always finish the review with lines like:

“if you’re in the market for a new camera from x company, then this might be the camera for you.”

Bad for Business

They will never give a new camera or lens a bad review unless they are sponsored by another brand (you can normally tell by what camera they use themselves.)

If they do then the likes of Sony, Fuji, Nikon and Canon will stop sending them free cameras in the mail, as well as invites to all-inclusive weekends for product launches.

It’s the same reason that many Hollywood films get 5-star reviews even when the film’s awful. The studios pay for the film critics to come to the premiere, they put them up in a fancy hotel, they meet several movie stars, get free food and even get invited to the after-party.

Now if you’re that critic that gives that film a bad review, then the chances are you’ll never be invited back again and you’ll be blacklisted forever. Give them a great review, then you’ll be the first on the guestlist for the studios next big release.

It’s the same in the Photography world.

Conclusion

We like buying things, or at least we think we do. It’s bred into us.

Most people starting in photography feel the need to keep buying bigger and better gear. They think they can buy their way to better photos.

However, they soon learn that gear won’t make them better photographers. 

To be a better photographer you need to invest in yourself.

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”

Benjamin Franklin

Here are just a few ways to invest in yourself:

  • Buy experiences
  • Attend workshops
  • Read books
  • Assist professionals
  • Watch the best photography movies and documentaries
  • Buy photobooks
  • Learn from the master photographers
  • and keep practicing

 “If you want to be a better photographer, stand in front of more interesting stuff.”

Jim Richardson

Eventually, you’ll start earning a bit of money from your photography. When you do, your gear will start paying for itself.

I’m going to finish with this:

If you’re still desperate to buy that camera or lens you’ve got your eye on, then set yourself the target to earn enough money from your photography by the end of the year to buy it.

This will motivate you to go out and shoot and you’ll figure out by the end of the year whether you really need it.

Advancing your Photography

Okay, I get it.

At some point, every photographer considers going pro or at least wants to make some money from their photos. It’s normal to want to do something you love and get paid for it.

But before you jump in at the deep end and spend your hard-earned money (or worse pay on credit) because you think that’s what you need to do to compete, check out our article: How to Become a Professsional Photographer and save yourself a ton of money.

Remember that, the more gear you own doesn’t make you a better photographer.

What’s the saying, “All the gear, but no idea.”

Don’t be that person… there’s plenty of them around.

When these fools aren’t busy on photography forums giving bad advice, they’ll be taking snaps of their cat with their super-sharp $2000 lens!

Final Words

The purpose of the post is to help at least one person out there. If I can do that then I’m happy and writing this post has been worthwhile.

I also wrote this like all the rest of the content on this site as a reminder to myself. If anyone else has found the content helpful, then that’s a bonus.

If you found this post useful, then I would be grateful if you could share it on your blog, Twitter or Instagram, so it can help other photographers like you.

Finally, don’t forget to subscribe to our monthly newsletter, and follow us on Twitter and Instagram to keep up to date with new posts.

Thanks for reading and until next time, keep shooting.

PS – Bookmark this page and next time you find your G.A.S. return, be sure to check back in and re-read this article. I know I will.

How do you deal with Gear Acquisition Syndrome? Share your best cure in the comments below!

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About Author

Founder of Photogpedia.com. Photography enthusiast, occasional filmmaker, part-time writer (surprise, surprise) and full-time dreamer. Rediscovered photography in 2012 and have been trying to level up my photography skills since (I'm getting there) #chasingthecreative

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