Let's set the scene. You've been shooting freelance work for a few years now and there is this new camera that you are just dying to own. The equipment upgrade would not only make your life a lot easier, but it would enhance the quality of work that you can produce. There is only one problem. The price of your latest obsession is out of your price range. Your day job pays you pretty well, but does it pay well enough for you to justify this purchase to your significant other? The answer to this question largely depends on your financial situation, but the ‘yes’ probably outweighs the ‘no’ more often than you might think. If your dream is to one day make your passion a full-time, it’s important to know when to invest in your craft.
The more you grow in a job-field, the more you understand what tools you need to improve even further. If you don’t know how to play guitar yet, but you’re wanting to learn, a high-end Martin shouldn't be your first instrument. However, if you have increased significantly in your level of skill and are planning to start playing gigs, it becomes necessary to evaluate your equipment to be sure that you are putting out your best content. When you are the product that you are selling, you must begin with the end in mind. You love what you do, it is easy to feel guilty about purchasing upgrades or new ‘toys’.
I am in no way advocating for people to go into debt or ignore pre-existing financial obligations because they are aching for the latest gear. I am simply saying that when you measure the possibilities of what you can achieve with your current set-up against what your goals for your career are, they need to be trending together. If it makes it easier to discern the time to buy, you may even set milestones, “When I shoot my 10th wedding, I am going to get that new flash set I’ve been wanting.” Every time you can confidently invest in your craft you are subtly saying, “I know I can do this.” I’ve found that when I have had to make a purchase to further myself, I’ve also taken things more seriously. So if your bank account permits it…invest in yourself, invest in your craft, and believe in yourself.