How would you spend $5,000 on photography?


All right, welcome to our new car. This is going to be our car for the next 14 days I just got it like an hour ago But I’m already out here trying to make some images. I have to take advantage of having the car I didn’t have a car for the last few days. So yeah, I did miss being out here This is our third rental car so far on this trip to the US and it’s not gonna be the last one so this is something I wanted to talk about because if your photography involves any kind of travel or going to places at all You’re gonna have to deal with owning or renting a car at some point and it can get really expensive We got the first car in LA and we dropped it off here in Portland 24 days later, 6,000 miles later, and it was something like $2,400. That’s because we had to get all kind of insurance Because we don’t have any insurance here in the States anymore because we don’t own a car So yeah, it got really expensive and you have to add gas, of course that was some $500 it’s still not too bad for the amount of miles that we actually did in Europe it’d have been much more expensive. And it also varies here in the states, I think it goes from the $4 we were paying in California to $2.50 in New Mexico. We’re back to $3.50 here But for example in Spain is something like $6/gallon and in France and Portugal is even more expensive So yeah, gas is an important component too of course the second car I got it for a few days, just 2 or 3, and it was a $100-$150 this is the third car, as I said. This is gonna be $700 for 14 days I don’t know if you’ve been doing the math, but this is gonna amount to somewhere around $4,000-$5,000 if we count for another car than I’m planning on getting in a few weeks for another big trip. So it’s a lot of money, I don’t have unlimited budget I’m not rich So $5,000 is a lot of money to spend on photography and this raises the question that I was wondering about the other day: if someone was to give you $5,000 to spend on your photography. What would you do with those $5,000? I think this is a fair question because a few weeks ago before we came on this trip We had those $5,000 and I decided to spend them on this trip. This is something that we’ve talked about before when we talked about photo books, if they were a good investment or if there was a a better way to spend that money We talked about camera gear and stuff like that I said in that video that photo books can be a good investment But I believed that traveling is a better investment yet to improve your photography and to make you a better photographer and $5,000 later I still think the same way, I still believe that the best way to spend your money on your photography is just to go places Even better than buying camera gear, you know I could have bought a A7Riii or even a medium format a Fuji camera Those are pretty nice. I could have even gone for a Hasselblad. That’s my dream camera. I’ve always wanted to have a Hasselblad but you know if I did that I would be right now sitting on my couch just staring at my camera and I wouldn’t have any of the images and the experiences of going to all those amazing place that I got to go in the last few weeks. I’m aware that $5,000 is a lot of money and not everyone can afford that. I feel very lucky and very fortunate I’m very thankful that I get to do this, and some people have the money but they don’t have the time so I’m also aware of that but if for some reason you have some money to spare you have some time to spare I would advise you to Stop looking at camera gear if that’s what you’re doing and even stop looking at photo books and just go out Rent a car and go somewhere or get a cheap flight to somewhere and just make some images on new places for you That would be my advice. One big, huge advantage that we have is that we don’t pay mortgage or rent at any place. We don’t have a permanent home. So wherever we are, that’s home for us So when we travel we are not paying extra for lodging it that makes sense. When we used to have an apartment here in Portland, if we went a couple weeks on a trip to California and we paid for an Airbnb there, we would be paying twice: the rent here in Portland and the Airbnb in California That’s something that we don’t have to do anymore now. Wherever we are, that’s our rent, that’s our mortgage So it’s not an extra cost, it doesn’t cost us more. Of course, there are cheaper places some places are more expensive, but it’s our home and we are paying for that. It’s not travel It’s not vacation, if that makes sense. I would also like to hear your opinion. Do you travel for photography at all? Like you go on big trips just for photography, to make images? And if you do, do you do it with your own car? Do you rent a car or what do you do? I’d love to hear your opinion on this Of course me having a car means that I’m gonna be going places, expect a lot of videos and images coming soon, hopefully. we have 2 days left here in Portland only then we’re gonna be heading south to Sonoma and San Francisco, to the Bay Area I wanted to rent this car, we cancelled our flight we were supposed to be flying there, I wanted to have a car down there to move and go places. So expect a bunch of videos, hopefully and work from down there. Thank you so much for watching, see you in the next one

29 Replies to “How would you spend $5,000 on photography?”

  1. When I lived in California shooting landscapes was a nightmare. Sitting in mass traffic and loads on gas. Now that I live in Utah it's so much easier. Because I'm surrounded by landscapes. I have a Toyota tundra 4×4 which comes in handy in many areas in Utah.

  2. I would like to travel to some towns around me in my country, I'm kinda locked in the budget, have some troubles with language barrier(B2 english level) so that's the reason why not any further. And I have literally 0 friends in my 20. It's a bit disappointing but I hope that I'll be able to do my photography and look for one of the most beautiful things – nature. That's my dream at the moment.

  3. Over the years, I've acquired all of the gear and supplies I'll ever need, so my photo money gets spent on travel to and around taking photos. If I were to organize one big multi-week trip, I would return to southern Utah/northern Arizona, which I have toured several times over many years. My past experiences there tells what to seek and where to avoid. At 73, I would have some difficulty physically, but I remain hopeful for now that it will happen. I recognize the irony that I live in the Pacific Northwest, where many would travel too for the same type of experience, yet I mostly ignore. I think the phrase is "familiarity breeds contempt"?

  4. I own a car, which is nice, but I also have a day job, which is not. I'd love to be able to quit my day job at some point so I can travel and do photography.

  5. I like the idea of spending the $5000 to be in a cool place and take photos there. However, the US is ludicrously expensive. You could stay in a cheaper country, like Turkey or Bulgaria, for six months for $5000 and take public transportation to all the great places.

  6. $5000 will get you very far in Asia.. I was in Vietnam and rented a bike along for a ride at linHa bay.. 😉

  7. for me, right now I don't need any more new cameras, I would love to get a car…..but I failed the driving license test last week…In China its hard….

  8. Ride a push bike , good exercise, cheap travel and never miss your best shot, In a car you traveling to fast and your concentration is on the road, so you could miss that great photo. Most of the time driving a car is to getting to a place that has already been photographed a thousand times.

  9. My eyes are always opened by travel, so it's a non brainer really. There's no point in spending it on camera gear and taking photos of the same old things in the same old places.

  10. Great discussion. I travel a bit for photography but mostly locally. There's a few reasons for that. I believe in the importance of the local. While I love the idea of traveling and going far away, I think there is far more to discover locally than people think (places, people, changing seasons, etc.). I also work full time and capturing the local is a perfect fit. And I dont drive. The last two didn't make the first happened. While they may have been a factor, staying local has appealed to me for a long time. It's the best way I know to belong and celebrate where you are.

  11. Hello!
    Does moving to your dream place even if it means have a crappy job count as travel? I love photographing around the places where I live, I love photographing on a small scale, I love being slow, stopping for a bit of rust here, a bug there.
    Cars are suited to get you from a place to another along roads. Bikes, feet, are so much more interesting to help you find things to photograph, I'd say!
    So definitely my 5000 grand would have been spent on carrying my stuff with a truck to settle in two or three new places in a span of 12 years, that, and good paper, enlarger, framing material to open up shop.
    Actually, my dream would be a mix between a food truck and a photo booth. Does that even make sense 🤣 ???

  12. With your setup, I'll have bought an old truck with some living place, and brought the digital, a 35mm, and the Bronica along. I'd have send the film to develop in labs along the way and got them when I'll arrive. Also, to get more in touch with locals, I'd have tried couchsurfing, or at least Airbnb, but that means a lot more time spent on travel organization. But with a car and a tent you have always a place to sleep.

  13. I’m with other commentors, buy a car then sell when done. Would think you’d save a chunk of that 5k.

  14. If I had 5,000 I would probably buy a lot of Velvia 50 and Ektachrome and a passport and take a flight to Japan, I have always wanted to photograph the Japanese country side.

  15. Back in 2007 I got my grubby hands on some money, I blew it all at B&H on a Canon 40d and some L Glass, Today i would still go back to B&H and get a D850 and some Sigma Primes lol.

  16. Don't get insurance through rental companies, insurance with them cost more than renting and they call it damage waiver.I just rent a car in Phoenix and I will drop it in Reno in 5 days and will cost me 120$ for renting a small car like Kia Soul with Budget ,and 47$ rental car insurance with Bonzah. bonzah.com Last week I rented a car and cost me 270$ for one day renting with 150$ drop fee this is crazy. No more mistakes like this.

  17. My dream project would be a trip to all of the national parks in the US. I've always wanted to use my large format camera for this project

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