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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

DON'T use your student loan money to buy new equipment
Michael Fischer, Photographer
Spencer | Ia | USA | Posted: 7:35 PM on 08.19.07
->> if you read this thread http://www.sportsshooter.com/message_display.html?tid=26030
you will already be aware of what I'm about to say; but it's important that you understand the economics of why buying lots of new equipment and paying for it with your student loan dollars is a VERY DANGEROUS financial decision.

Consumer debt is at a all time high in the United States. The "buy now" and "pay later" message is so overwhelming in America that the savings rate was NEGATIVE last year - that means people spent more than they actually made. That's bad... very bad.

You're probably aware that the typical credit card charges 20% APR - or more. For those of you sitting there thinking "well, I've got a low interest credit card" you're getting screwed, too. The banks are smarter - a lot smarter - than the average consumer. The way they get you is with extra charges and fees, and it adds up fast. I won't stop to look up the amount of money that banks charged consumers in fees over the last 10 years, I believe it was $27 BILLION or was it $47B - and that doesn't include the interest. Think you are smarter than the banking industry? Think again. And you want to buy a MarkIII and put it on your student loan? ARE YOU NUTS?

Student loans may be at a lower interest rate, but what is the term of the loan - in other words - how long? Let me give you one example. Let's say that your student loans total $20,000 @ 8% for over 10 years. Well, that's only 246.66 per month (that's a car payment or a good chunk of a starter house payment btw). At the end of the 10 years, you've paid $29,599.20 - or about $10,000 in interest. Gee, it becomes pretty obvious why they are happy to lend you the money - the interest rate isn't that high - but it doesn't need to be - the lenders make half of what they lent you back because of the period of time involved. Screw interest rates - just think about how handy that $10,000 would be.

Now, what would happen if you went 5 years instead of 10? Your monthly payment would only increase about $160 a month, but you'd be done in 5 years and your interest cost would be $4331- or about $5700 LESS than doing it over a 10 year period.

For the record, I've sat on the Board of Directors of a small bank chain - I know how these guys make money. What they do isn't evil or illegal, but if you don't understand how the money game is played - it's like going into a fight with BOTH hands tied behind your back.

Buying new, expensive equipment is fun, cool and all that stuff, but if you're using student loan dollars to do it, you are committing financial suicide. Keep in mind that $4000 camera body is just like a new car after you drive off the lot - they start losing value IMMEDIATELY.

I have said this over and over on SportShooter and I'll keep saying it - if you are going to survive in photography going forward - you HAVE to take some business courses. Accounting and/or finance, general business and for goodness sakes' - some friggin business and or copyright law.

The United States has become a 2 tiered economy. How well you understand how the money game works determines which tier you fall into. Far more so than how much money you make.

I'll finish with this simple rule: If you're going to borrow, pay it back as fast as you can. How fast is fast? Fast is when it hurts a little. The only time you want to be out for a long period of time is on a home mortgage, and even then, the faster you pay it off - the better off you'll be.

I'll get off the soap box now...
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James Madelin, Photographer
AKL | Auckland | New Zealand | Posted: 7:54 PM on 08.19.07
->> wise, wise words that apply wherever you are.
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Philipp von Ditfurth, Student/Intern, Photographer
Staufen | B-W | Germany | Posted: 8:05 PM on 08.19.07
->> I´m also a student and I have to admit that I´m really tempted to buy some nice new gear. Sure, a 300 2.8 would be nice for soccer and stuff like that, but that´s far too expensive for me, even if it´s used.

The banking industry over here in germany is no different than in the US, they take every cent they can get their hands on. I just follow my own simple rule: Only the money I make with my existing gear will be used for new gear. That has 2 benefits to it: I am much more motivated to sell more photos and therefore I take better photos. And I have a far better sense of control about profit and loss.
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Jeff Barrie, Photographer
Indianapolis | IN | USA | Posted: 8:16 PM on 08.19.07
->> Wise words indeed. Since Feburary I have been listening to a talk show host, Dave Ramsey. He deals with financial stuff and his advice is pretty darn good IMHO.
He does have a website
http://www.daveramsey.com/ where you can learn more of his philosophy on debt.

Personally I don't have any credit cards anymore. Paid them all off but one and it is closed and I am working on getting it to a zero balance.

Check out his website and see if he is on in your area, one day you will thank me for telling you about him.

My favorite line from his show is, "we give you good advice like your grandmother would but, we keep our teeth in."
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Yamil Sued, Photographer, Photo Editor
Peoria | AZ | USA | Posted: 8:19 PM on 08.19.07
->> how times have changed. I worked for my gear!

I must admit, I had great gear when I was in school, but i worked at Del's camera and I never got a Pay Check!! Del kept it all, I used to pick out one or two Fixed focal lenses every week fro the Nikon Shipment, and Del would deduct it from my salary, which was very good for a student like me.

My PEL Grant money and Student Loan money went strictly for tuition. I had a good stash put away, I started collecting Social Security when my dad turned 62, I was 17, my mom put it all away in CD's in the Carter years, earning a good bit of interest!! One of the CD's Roll-Overs, my Mom sent me the interest earned, I got a Hassy kit with it. My Mom did a great job in budgeting for my education. When graduation came along, as luck would have it, my dad hit the local Lottery, he paid off my student loans, helped me move to TX and gave me cash for a down payment on a new Truck.

OTOH, I must admit that I have made some stupid business decisions in the gear department and I got over extended once, Now I must justify to myself each and every piece of gear I get. If I can't do that, i don't get it, if I don't use it , I sell it and get what I actually need. It's quite easy to buy now and pay later, until you have to start paying!!

Thanks for the post, good reminder to all of us.
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Jarod Opperman, Student/Intern, Assistant
Eugene | OR | USA | Posted: 8:26 PM on 08.19.07
->> Thanks for this post Michael. As as student with no established credit, I have been planning on taking out a loan (an extremely small one) for a new camera body and paying it back within the month. Paying deposits for all my utilities (because I have no credit) kind of sucks. But still, reading this has put that all in perspective. Thanks.
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Drew Broadley, Photographer
Wellington | NZ | New Zealand | Posted: 8:42 PM on 08.19.07
->> Save up for the month, let yourself earn the interest.

There's more than just interest to bank loans, there's establishment fees and other "handling" fees, even if it's just a month term.
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Dave Pawlak, Photographer
Soquel | Ca | USA | Posted: 9:04 PM on 08.19.07
->> Along these lines...I just got into using ING for separate emergency/rainy day savings. Their interest rate for a standard savings account is ridiculously high - competitive with most CD's - and it's very easy to start (ie, online). I have friends who swear by ING for their savings.

Check them out at:
http://www.ing-usa.com/us/individuals/productsservices/index.htm
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Scott Sewell, Photographer
Topeka | KS | USA | Posted: 9:15 PM on 08.19.07
->> Cash is king!! (bet that's something you'll hear most bankers and/or good financial advisors say!)



(oh yea, Dave Ramsey rocks!)
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David Harpe, Photographer
Louisville | KY | USA | Posted: 10:45 PM on 08.19.07
->> Financial stability is a lot like a survival exercise. The game is conservation of resources. Spending all of your cash and acquiring a load of debt is like eating all of your rations the first night on the mountain. It makes for an early return to basecamp...or worse.

Spend your resources wisely, and you can make it to the summit.
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Chuck Steenburgh, Photographer
Lexington | VA | USA | Posted: 11:38 AM on 08.20.07
->> In my previous job one of my duties was to handle correspondence to VA state elected officials relating to higher education. As you might imagine, one of the most common requests was for relief from student loan debt.

It boggled my mind to read some of these letters - like the fellow who accumulated $140,000 in student loans to pay not only his tuition, but living expenses for his family of four for five years. To earn a master's degree in social work. Obviously, that's a major that doesn't require any economics classes!
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Michael Fischer, Photographer
Spencer | Ia | USA | Posted: 11:46 AM on 08.20.07
->> David;
I'm not sure conservation is the right word as much as allocation. You need to allocate more to savings so that when you need to buy something - you can go buy it.

I wrote Jarod a PM. He mentioned that essentially, if he waited a month, he'd have the cash. By waiting a month he doesn't have the hassle of borrowing, but more than that - if you walk in to buy a digital camera body and you "flash the cash" you can ask for a 1-2% minimum cash discount. Do it in $20s so the wad is big enough (but don't get mugged on the way in) Why? Because any dealer that accepts credit cards is paying somewhere around 2% (if not more) to Visa, MasterCard, Discover etc. So you gain potentially a better price - and it doesn't cost you anything in the way of finance charges or fees. That could mean a 5% swing. On a $1000 purchase that's $50 alone.

Like I said in the original post, the fees and charges are totally absurd. And I'll bet in light of the current sub prime mortgage problems (caused in part by banker greed btw) they increase and add more fees and incidental charges.

Jeff, I went and looked a little at Dave Ramsey's website. He makes people budget ( a very good idea) and shows them, it appears, how easily one can get in or out of debt.I think Dave and I have the same basic ideas. I saw where he was looking to certify people as credit counselors. Hmmm... do I need a third career? :) :) :)

One last thing: When you start to put money away - you should use what I call the "roach coach hotel" method. If it goes into 401Ks, IRAs etc - it should go in - but never go out until you retire. I've seen people take their money from 401Ks etc and blow it in no time flat while still in their 30s and 40s. Thats a great plan if you want to be working at WalMart when you're in your 60s and 70s to make ends meet.
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Garrett Hubbard, Photographer
Washington | DC | USA | Posted: 12:35 PM on 08.20.07
->> Michael-

Very financially sound and wise words--thank you.

-garrett
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Alicia Wagner Calzada, Photographer
San Antonio | TX | USA | Posted: 3:36 PM on 08.20.07
->> One of the best things you can do when you are getting started is start a separate bank account for your photography business- even if you are still a student. All the freelance money you earn goes into that account, and all the equipment you purchase comes out of that account. This way, you will not rob your grocery or tuition fund to pay for gear. If photography doesn't pay for itself, then it doesn't deserve to be invested in. Once you have built up your inventory to a satisfactory level, you start paying yourself a salary out of that account. This is how many small business owners begin- at the beginning, all earnings from the business go back into the business. Eventually it becomes profitable and that is the whole idea.
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Jim Colburn, Photographer
Omaha | NE | USA | Posted: 4:00 PM on 08.20.07
->> "Screw interest rates - just think about how handy that $10,000 would be."

"Buying new, expensive equipment is fun, cool and all that stuff, but if you're using student loan dollars to do it, you are committing financial suicide."

"Keep in mind that $4000 camera body is just like a new car after you drive off the lot - they start losing value IMMEDIATELY."

"Financial suicide"? I'm sorry but this is beginning to sound like the script to "Chicken Little". The $10K would be nice to have at the end of 8 years but if you've bought camera equipment that enabled you to earn money it can be seen as a reasonable investment.

Lost value? If you file a Schedule C you can expense (deduct) the $10K. If that $4K camera earns you $8K in two years and lasts for 3-4 you've made what's known as a "profit".
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Jarod Opperman, Student/Intern, Assistant
Eugene | OR | USA | Posted: 4:35 PM on 08.20.07
->> Okay, so my mom used to watch Oprah a lot when I lived at home. I remember a couple times when they had people who were horribly in debt because of credit cards and loans. It was the first time I thought about what credit really is.

And I still don't get it.

The only reason I've even considered taking out a loan is because I want to have "good credit" so I can stop paying these stupid deposits so that I can have electricity and running water.

The thing is, I just don't understand why we spend money that we don't have. If the idea is "I'll be able to pay it back later (plus extra?)" why don't people just wait until they actually have the money all saved up and then not have to pay "interest."

I guess I can understand when the idea is that the money I borrow will essentially be used to make more money, but it seems like that isn't what people use credit for.

I guess what I'm getting at is that I still just don't understand credit. At all.
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Ron Scheffler, Photographer
Hamilton (Toronto area) | Ontario | Canada | Posted: 4:49 PM on 08.20.07
->> Off on a bit of a tangent but still relevant to saving some money: What often surprises me is that many freelance photographers have not officially set up their own business, and I don't just mean students. As in, registered with the government. There are benefits to doing so, such as deductions for business related purchases, equipment depreciation, vehicle use, refunds or exemption to sales taxes, etc. Of course this all depends on where you live and what the government rules are... And it makes you just that much more legitimate/professional when dealing with other businesses hiring you for your services.

Here in Ontario, Canada, we pay the federal 6% GST and the provincial 8% tax. So, as a freelancer without a registered business, you're spending an extra 14% on top of the cost of the gear that you don't get back. If you register federally and provincially, you can claim back the GST on relevant purchases and claim an exemption for the provincial tax. Whenever I sell used gear on the Canadian forums, so many prospective buyers (who are freelancers, etc.) are hung up about not paying taxes. If they would bother to register, they won't and it will all be above board. Anyway, in Ontario, if you do more than $5000 annually, you're required to register to collect the provincial tax (the government wants its share of the business you're generating)... so chances are many are already operating illegally. Check your local/state/provincial/federal governments for more info as it tends to vary from place to place...
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Jeff Mills, Photographer, Photo Editor
Columbus | OH | USA | Posted: 4:49 PM on 08.20.07
->> Hmmm, I sure must of been the minority because I used some student loan money to purchase some of my gear, such as a 400 2.8 IS.

I got my rate locked in a 2.9% which is about as good as it gets intrest wise and having that lens, in addition to other equipment got me a lot of work and I was able to pay off the loan in very short order.

Should I of taken out a small business line of credit which had a much higher rate of intrest ? How would that of been a better situation ? "Financial Suicide" indeed ?

Lets not go down the "its not the gear its the photographer" route, but lets face it, if your looking to open a studio, even do on location portrait work, you need some lighting equipment.

If you want to be a freelance sports shooter that actually gets some assignments you need to have some long glass. I highly doubt if your armed with just a 70-200 you'll get many calls for covering football or soccer.

Why did I get work ? I like to belive in part because I'm a good photographer and worked hard to improve each and every game, but also because I had the equipment to capture the type of shots the client wanted.


I'm certainly not suggesting people go out and foolishly spend their loan money on photo equipment anymore than they should go buy a big screen LCD tv. HOWEVER, if you have true need for the equipment and belive you can put it to good use, then its a smart investment.

Student Loan's have some of the best intrest availible and the best and most flexible repayment terms. Not only that but they are a very easy loan to get and most anyone can be approved.

Thats quite the different story than going into a bank and saying you'd like a small business line of credit for a new business as a just out of school or soon to graduate photography student.

In the end, the "right" choice is personal. What works for one person may be a horrible move for another.
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Wes Hope, Photographer
Maryville | TN | USA | Posted: 5:13 PM on 08.20.07
->> For those that don't get Michael's excellent points:
Last year I finished paying off a 10 year student loan on which I bought a chunk of my first "real" gear. That gear was an N90s, a 24mm, and a SIGMA 70-200/2.8. Where's the gear now? Hopefully polluting some landfill. But it's finally paid for.

And yet, without that first batch of "pro" gear, I might not have landing my first job (okay, I definitely wouldn't have landed by first job since my "camera" was a Sears KS-2 with 1 Pentax lens, 1 Kiron lens, and 1 lens I can't say or spell). So it is a bit of a Catch-22. If you have to borrow money, do so wisely, and like it's been said, pay it off as fast as possible.

Credit cards = bad
Student loans = worse (badder depending on which school you attended)
Rich uncle = priceless
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Jeff Mills, Photographer, Photo Editor
Columbus | OH | USA | Posted: 11:37 PM on 08.20.07
->> Wes, just wondering how you see a Student Loan worse than a credit Card ??

My direct stafford federal loans as I mentioned before I locked at 2.9% intrest and I automatically qualified.

My "student" credit cards where 21% intrest and I got rejected many times over.


Personally, I think getting saddled with a large student loan debt is much less damaging than racking up some credit card debt.

Credit Card debt is a KILLER, read the fine print on some of those cards. I used to work collections and saw people that just could never get out of debt.

Miss a payment and boom!, your now in the 31% intrest club. OUCH!

additionally you get a $30 late fee, which just took you over your line of credit so then you get a $30 charge on that, $60 in extra fee's.

Try to make you usual minimum payment, now that much higher due to 31% intrest and you didn't even cover those fee's so your over limit. AGAIN! You just got another $30 tacked on to your even higher balance.

Horrible stuff.


Student loans are much more forgiving and you can even structure the payment schedule to gradually increase as you ideally make more money. It really helps keep your head above water.
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Jim Colburn, Photographer
Omaha | NE | USA | Posted: 2:38 PM on 08.21.07
->> "why don't people just wait until they actually have the money all saved up and then not have to pay "interest."'

Try telling a client that you'd really LOVE to accept the assignment but unfortunately you haven't saved up enough money for the camera and lenses you're going to need to do it and could he/she please call you back in two years.
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Garth Levandoski, Photographer, Assistant
Jackson | WY | United States | Posted: 3:03 PM on 08.21.07
->> Michael,

No offense, but I think it has been a long time since you have been to college. Students can no longer spend a couple hundred dollars for a film camera set up and use it until they graduate. I didn't have an extra $1400 to buy the 10D that got me through college. Student loans paid for it. And if they hadn't I would not have had the learning experience that I did. College costs have been going up and the available grant money has been going down. My tuition went up %55 from when I started college until I graduated. That is in addition to the extra $500 in new fees that I had to pay. Plus I had to pay for books, rent, food and beer.

Buy a camera however you can if you want to be a photographer. Just be smart about it.

I can't be a photographer without a camera.
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Jarod Opperman, Student/Intern, Assistant
Eugene | OR | USA | Posted: 4:03 PM on 08.21.07
->> Jim, like I said, "I guess I can understand when the idea is that the money I borrow will essentially be used to make more money, but it seems like that isn't what people use credit for."

But still, there are other solutions to the problem you produced. Renting equipment, for example. If it really is just one client that is, essentially, your "dream client" then I think paying to rent equipment for a day or two seems financially doable.

And Garth, I think (in a way) you and Michael are making very similar points. To me, it all boils down to what you just said: "Just be smart about it."

Michael's post was great information for me. Despite whenever he was in college last.
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Jeff Mills, Photographer, Photo Editor
Columbus | OH | USA | Posted: 5:35 PM on 08.21.07
->> One problem with renting Jarod, is that you will usually need to have a line of credit to secure your rental. Just like renting a car or anything of value, they need some means to ensure if you break it or don't return it, they will get their money.

As a student though, you may not have a credit card at all, or may not have a high enough credit limit to allow them to pre authorize the card.

Renting still can make good business sense for some appliations. Renting lighting equipment in NYC for a shoot if your from LA so you don't have to haul it cross country for example. Smart move

If were are talking the "basics" though, 70-200 f2.8 lens for example, thats probably an item that would be smarter to buy if your serious about photography.

Everyones situation is different though so it really needs to be handled on a case by case basis.

Only real advice I can give is that no matter how you pay for your gear, Don't buy more than you need just to keep up with the Jones so to speak.
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Greg Foster, Photographer
Atlanta | GA | | Posted: 5:47 PM on 08.21.07
->> "...I still just don't understand credit."

You are buying money, and sometimes that money is pretty expensive.
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Allan Campbell, Photo Editor, Photographer
Salem | OR | USA | Posted: 6:09 PM on 08.21.07
->> I didn't attend Brooks, but I did go to an expensive school... Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. Tuition at that time was $3800.00 a Trimester or just about 12k a year. Add in equipment, darkroom supplies, room and board and everything else it was expensive. Jump ahead almost twenty years and that same school want 13k a Trimester or just about $39,000 a year. Multiply that by three years and you are talking real money. Very few folks can do that without loans. Add in the required equipment list and I think you just about have to buy equipment with some of your loan money if you can. Provided you have any left after tuition costs.

As a father of two young boys.... I felt like I needed to start college savings accounts for them when they were born. Worried about what it will be like in another 12 or 13 years for them.....
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Michael Fischer, Photographer
Spencer | Ia | USA | Posted: 7:48 PM on 08.21.07
->> Garth,
What inspired me to think about writing this thread in the first place was 2 things:

1) Statistics show - very clearly - that the cost of a college education is becoming so expensive that people are beginning to delay purchasing homes, getting married and having children because the debt load is so high. It is predicted that within another generation a sizable portion of the American population will not be able to afford a college education - and I don't think anyone here has to have a explanation of that. Current government policy is not to get involved. ( You knew that already, right Jim?) The next time you hear the monthly government statistic that announces how many new jobs were formed, ask yourself this question: Ever notice how it's always service sector jobs? Translation: Low paying jobs. The opportunity to find a good, well paying job in America has become very difficult. If you have too much debt, your children will not be able to get any support from you when they want to go to college.

2) The thread that really got me going was this one -->
http://www.sportsshooter.com/message_display.html?tid=26030

Go down and read the comments of Walter, and particularly Steven Frischling in response to a student pondering if he should dump his Mark IIN for a MIII because of the differences in batteries. He hasn't paid for the one, and he is going to take a $1000 hit to buy a Mark III because of the batteries being different? Sorry, but that IS financial suicide.

Jim, your point has been as long as the equipment is making money, then where's the problem?

The short answer is, there isn't one. But how many college students can justify $30-$40K in equipment? A couple of Mark IIIs, a 300 f2.8, a 500 f4 and a couple of zooms, and you are in that investment range. That's what I'm talking about.

Jim, maybe I'm missing something, but if they go out and get a job that pays $25K a year, you want to show me how that pencils out? In a employment marketplace that is shrinking?

Was I extreme is using the headline I did? Yes. Do I believe that you should go slow, and build your equipment base slowly, rent when it makes sense, use pool equipment etc? Yes. But.. I've gotten a lot of people to read - and think about using credit. It's really dangerous out there financially. Be careful... be smart. And think before you sign your name.

And Garth, it HAS been a long time.. I graduated in '77. But I strung for the Associated Press in Iowa City (boy that was sweet.. I was usually the only shooter for the AP) and worked in a camera store. I had student loans..and not one dime in loan money went to buy photographic equipment. The interest rate was 2.9% iirc...

Michael
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Garth Levandoski, Photographer, Assistant
Jackson | WY | United States | Posted: 10:01 PM on 08.22.07
->> I wish all I had to buy for college was an AE-1 or FM2
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Chuck Liddy, Photographer
Durham | NC | USA | Posted: 10:30 PM on 08.22.07
->> garth, this is something that I think michael and others on this thread and others like it have been trying to point out. sure, being a working photographer is SO cool. but it just ain't 1970-1997 anymore. I dare say if I was trying to get into photography now the way I did back in 1973 it wouldn't happen. plain and simple? I couldn't afford the digital age. I started with some inexpensive gear that still was expensive to me in those days. I look at the social security statement I get every year and almost plop over dead when I see what kind of money I was making working for the small papers I did (actually I still look at it and wonder what the hell?...) and quite frankly I don't know how I survived financially. I look at the prices of cameras now and wonder how anyone who had a choice would want to put themselves into the kind of debt it takes to get into this business. and it IS a testament to those that survive and get jobs or make their own way, because you truly gotta love this profession to stick with it. I love hearing some of the comments about how the sheer love for the craft will get someone through, but the truth is it's not. it takes more than desire and determination nowadays...it takes a lot of money. and the pay off? well I know a great number of shooters who are rich in spirit but I don't know that many that are rich. thanks for the thread michael...truly "INFORMATIVE"
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Jim Colburn, Photographer
Omaha | NE | USA | Posted: 11:49 PM on 08.22.07
->> "But how many college students can justify $30-$40K in equipment? A couple of Mark IIIs, a 300 f2.8, a 500 f4 and a couple of zooms, and you are in that investment range."

Give me a break. That's an absurd list of equipment for a beginning photographer.

How about 2 x 30D bodies, a 10-22, a 17-55, a 70-200 and a 580 flash for around $6000? Even that can be pared down by buying s/h or getting, say, an f/4 instead of an f/2.8.

"maybe I'm missing something, but if they go out and get a job that pays $25K a year, you want to show me how that pencils out?"

It's obvious that you're missing more than "something". Buy your $6K (or less) of gear and write it off it on a Schedule C. Structure your affairs properly (with some simple accounting) and you can even deduct the interest that you pay on that probably-less-than-$6K.

There's no need to scare the crap out of young photographers with hysterics. Life's complicated enough as it is.
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Jim Colburn, Photographer
Omaha | NE | USA | Posted: 11:52 PM on 08.22.07
->> BTW. That $6,000 adjusted for inflation works out to a 1977 (your graduation year) figure of around $1750...
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Chuck Liddy, Photographer
Durham | NC | USA | Posted: 12:00 AM on 08.23.07
->> aw... come on jim. it's fun to scare the crap out of college kids.
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Marie Hughes, Photographer
Fremont | CA | USA | Posted: 2:22 AM on 08.23.07
->> The Schedule C deduction only works if you have taxes that you need reduced. A lot of students aren't paying much or anything in taxes so having big deductions doesn't help them.

I think renting equipment is a great way to go. I rent equipment and I'm not even a student.

Most students I know have a single camera body and a handful of lenses. There really isn't any need for most of them to have multiple bodies and really expense special purpose lenses. I see people all the time get into a mode where they convince themselves that they *have* to have stuff that they don't really need. Then they do whatever they can to finance it even if it doesn't make economic sense. I think it's better to go slow. College is 4 years (give or take) -- that's plenty of time to build up your equipment.
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Jim Colburn, Photographer
Omaha | NE | USA | Posted: 6:21 AM on 08.23.07
->> "aw... come on jim. it's fun to scare the crap out of college kids."

True.
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Michael Fischer, Photographer
Spencer | Ia | USA | Posted: 6:19 PM on 08.25.07
->> Jim, we can agree to disagree. But I'm glad we agree that $30-40K is an absurd amount. That's what got me going in the first place and the thread I referenced with Walter Callahan and Steve Frischling - there are kids - evidently on this site, that are making that kind of financial decision.

$6000 is a long way from $30000. That's the kind of package that if you're borrowing money for, it's not going to impact you for 10 years after you graduate.

Just be careful students, it really is a financial jungle out there.

And for the person who asked me about ATM cards and 0% financing, if and when I get time, I'll show you how those things work..
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Thread Title: DON'T use your student loan money to buy new equipment
Thread Started By: Michael Fischer
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