DSLR Camera or Sewing Machine?

@LifeGuru (923)
August 24, 2013 10:42pm CST
Big birthday gift (for me), I don't know exactly what I want... BUT I want either or of the following, a DSLR Camera (Canon Rebel T3i) or a sewing machine? I've expressed interest in both and one is the leaser expensive one. BUT I do want to make extra money on the side with either of them since I have a passion for photography and costume making. With the DSLR Camera... My audience is large in terms of potential customers within city limits. They see my portfolio, they like my stuff, and they'll be sold with my skills. I'm also at an intermediate level in photoshop when it comes to adding pizzazz or enhancements in photos and I am looking into taking a photography course on a professional level as well. The downside to owning and trying to start a photography business after I complete the course and receive formal training, is that equipment is SO EXPENSIVE! Another lens for the camera would cost me about $256.00 not including taxes. With the sewing machine... I can showcase my crafts at a convention for people who share a particular interest in Anime/video games/manga fan art as well as costuming/cosplay. To me cosplay is costuming to a another level. It's like crafting an identity for those who take their favorite interest to heart. Depending on the time-span and complexity of a particular piece it can range from $300+++ ! But I do not plan to commission a lot of my work to make money from it, it's more so for me and my fiancee to have something handmade at conventions and enter contests with what was made by our hands. If I had the choice to do commissioning with costuming or fashion? I'd probably be dead with all the demands people throw at me within a certain time span as well as figuring ways on shipping things to others without sacrificing an arm and a leg. At least with photography, I can teach my fiancee how to use the certain functions, settings, angles, aperture, iso, etc. to get a great photo instead of holding a reflector all the time to get the right lighting when the light is behind the subject to bring out a glow. The problem is... I'm getting into photography not only because I enjoy doing all that with my current camera that has limited settings, but to kind of one up some people (friends who use to be friends who ignored my advice many times and another photographer who didn't acknowledge us when we wanted to pay to get our photos done at the ball when she offered her services). So I'm not really sure which one to choose! I'd like to have a sewing machine but having needles around my room isn't great if I have a pet. And becoming an amateur photographer to professional is going to take a lot of legwork, and money out of my pocket!
1 response
@FrugalMommy (1447)
• United States
25 Aug 13
Oh, dear... I'm not quite sure you know exactly what you'd be getting into if you started a photography business. You're right that equipment is expensive, but a $256 lens is actually one of the cheapest you can buy from any manufacturer and not really one I'd recommend using for a paid shoot. The last lens I purchased for my DSLR was an off-brand prime macro lens that typically retails for $750. I lucked out and found a like-new one online from a reputable camera store for just under $350 last year, which was a complete steal. The next lens on my DSLR wish list is a 24-70mm f/2.8 zoom lens, which can go for up to $1,900 brand new. Most of the professional photographers I know have multiples of just about everything in their kits: at least two camera bodies, two copies of their most frequently used lenses, tons of backup memory cards, several extra batteries for each camera, and so on. The reasoning is that you never know when your equipment may fail you, so you should always be prepared just in case. That's especially true if you're getting into event photography and shooting things like weddings, where you've only got one chance to get things right. And speaking of getting things right... you'll need to have a business license, get contracts drawn up to cover the shoots you do and inform your clients what rights they have when it comes to reproducing your photographs, model releases for any work you'd like to use commercially, liability insurance just in case you end up with an unhappy client... There's really a lot more to take into consideration than just having a good camera and being able to take great pictures with it. My honest advice to you would be this: choose whichever one will make you happiest without taking the possibility of making money into account for the moment. If you choose the T3i over the sewing machine, try to find a local school that offers basic photography classes. Once you've mastered the technical side of using the T3i in manual, you can work on building your skills as a photographer and add to your portfolio at the same time. If there isn't a school that offers basic classes in photography near you, try contacting local camera stores. They often offer workshops that help photographers of all skill levels. Barring that, I'd recommend picking up a copy of Bryan Peterson's book Understanding Exposure. I found it to be a really good reference when I first started using my DSLR in manual mode.
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