Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Going Into Debt To Start A Business

One thing my partner and I agreed upon, although I had a really hard time with it, was that we were not going into any significant debt to start my photography business. I told her, "Um, hello, photography is one of the most expensive hobbies/professions ever". She smiled calmly and told me that she'd support me 100% with the photography business, but we had to be conservative with our spending. I so didn't want to hear that! There's really nothing conservative about me when it comes to spending money. I love spending money, actually, I excel at it and that's why when we got married, we thought it would be best if she managed our money.

She's an excellent CFO of our household and I trust her 100%, but I hate it when we go into negotiations about spending. All couples fight about money, right? We are certainly no exception and this is especially true right now because we're taking a big risk with me quitting my job to do photography full time. We live in one of the most expensive cities in the country, we have rent, a car payment, insurance, my student loans, a credit card and now we're investing in buying me some fancy new camera equipment, so I can step up my game as a photographer. Tensions rise, discussions are had, compromises are made, bank balances are verified and checks are written or not.

When we bought my Canon 5D Mark II camera body about a year ago, we got a loan from my mom and I was sick to my stomach when I rode home with the camera box in my lap. I kept thinking that people trusted me and invested a signicicant amount of money in me, I'd better make this work! Then a fire was lit inside of me that I simply cannot extinguish. I pick up that camera every day and I try to make my family proud. My desire to sustain myself as an artist is ridiculous - I've never been so drive in my life!

I will admit that there are days I suffer from extreme gear envy. I am dying to own a new 24-70mm lens, but it could cost me (used) almost $2,000 in mint condition and since this is the month where I'm going full time as a photographer, we simply can't afford it. Remember - we decided to not go into any significant debt to get my business off the ground and wow, it is hard. If I could, I would totally max out like 5 credit cards to get my gear up the par, but I can't. I wouldn't sleep at night and I would probably end up with an ulcer. So, I'm waiting to see...waiting to see if I can make it as far as I can with the gear that I have because honestly, it is about me as an artist, the relationship I form with my clients, my editing only in Lightroom, my final images and not the gear that I use that will determine if I can make it as a professional photographer or not, right?

Or at least I hope that's true......


1 comment:

  1. Awesome post Sarah. I had a total debt meltdown this morning. I hate it. The process to be in the green fully seems to take so much longer than we can all afford. That being said, it's this or nothin, right?