I walked into Henry’s, the camera store on Broadway, just to entertain an idea that popped into my head the night before. What if I worked with clients? What if people like my work enough to pay me for it? I’ve been constantly scrolling through engagement shoots on Instagram and select blog posts on the internet, oggling over flawlessly captured fairy tales and romance. I would imagine being the photographer behind each shot, immediately feeling envious of the role they played in creating such timeless moments that will be cherished forever. I’ll just browse and see what options I have, I lied to myself, having done all of my research about which lens would add to my collection best. I knew it would be hard for me to leave that store without purchasing it. I entertained myself nonetheless, telling myself that if I’m not meant to have it I will somehow leave the store empty-handed. Has that form of thinking ever worked for anyone?
But of course the universe was on my side (or not, depending on which angle you look at it), because I ran into the most helpful sales rep and she talked with me for so long about everything I ever wondered with photography that I walked out of that store with a bag in my hand and $2000 less in my bank account.
And I freaked. I am a starving graduate student with loans that are as high as Mount Everest, yet I forked over $2000 for a camera lens. I freaked because of how right it felt. I freaked because the feeling of guilt that eventually crept over me was not as unbearable as I thought it would be.
Every time I feel the guilt, I remind myself of how I feel when I am behind the lens, taking shots. The exhilaration and satisfaction, the smile that spreads across my face uncontrollably. You can’t put a price to something this great.