Associated Costs

We tend not to consider them. You want to be a photographer you get a camera and you think that is the end of it. Not! You find out that you need a lens hood, an external flash, batteries, an SD Card, light stands, a backdrop and so on. It’s called the Diderot Effect.
According to Wickepeida “The Diderot effect is a social phenomenon related to consumer goods that comprises two ideas. The first posits that goods purchased by consumers will be cohesive to their sense of identity, and as a result, will be complementary to one another. The second states that the introduction of a new possession that is deviant from the consumer’s current complementary goods can result in a process of spiraling consumption. The term was coined by anthropologist and scholar of consumption patterns Grant McCracken in 1988, and is named after the French philosopher Denis Diderot (1713–1784), who first described the effect in an essay.”
The funny thing is you can see it in other areas of your life, you get a new TV and all of a sudden you need to get a new and matching surround system, you buy a new couch and all of a sudden other furniture in your living room seem “old” or out of place or as a result of buying a phone you need a case and a screen protector. The list goes on.
increasing costs image

In photography it is particularly bad and it can end up costing you a fortune. Now there isn’t a perfect solution to the problem, sometimes you really just don’t have a choice. I mean if you get a car you need insurance, it’s not negotiable except you want to get in trouble with the law. However for other things there are strategies that you can do to mitigate the problem. From experience I do the following, it not by any means exhaustive but it has helped me a lot, hopefully it can do the same for you.

  1. Consider the associated cost before a main buy. Sometimes the best decisions you can make is not getting into certain situations in the first place.
  2. If you suddenly have the need to acquire a gadget, keep a list of what I call upcoming buys and delay the purchase by at least a week. I keep a list of upcoming buys in my Evernote. I noticed that in most cases the urge significantly reduces over time which allows me to debate the purchase and at least make a better decision going forward.
  3. Get the most out of what you already own. So you have a low level camera with a 50 mm lens, have you mastered that lens before you start thinking of an 85 mm lens? Have you mastered a one light set up before you acquire more lights?
  4. Know that acquiring new equipment/gadget doesn’t necessary make you better at photographer/artist but your ability to use what you have well. Heck I know Iphone photographers that are amazing at taking pictures with their phones.
  5. Get inspiration from the people who use what you already have.
  6. Limit your exposure. What you feed your mind affects your way of thinking and eventually what you do.

Hope this helps. As usual please remember to drop a comment and like our Instagram and or our Facebook page (a link at the bottom of the page). Also remember to share with your friends.

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