“It’s a camera bag, for God’s sake. Just pick one already.”
Therese was losing patience. We had been standing in the “Shoot and Sparkle” booth looking at camera bags for the past 20 minutes, jostled about like riders in a packed subway car. The camera bag booths at photography trade shows are always the busiest. Women packed shoulder to shoulder. You’d think it wouldn’t it would be that way, right? That vendors selling equipment and lighting and actual photography gear would be the most popular, because on the List of Things You Need to Succeed in Photography, a camera bag comes dead last, but you’d be wrong. Very wrong. Camera bags don’t require any particular knowledge; you don’t need a class or special instructions on how to use them properly. They are just pretty and come in lots of different colors and because of this, the camera bag booths attract female photographers like a graham cracker to a flock of seagulls. Put them out and the women come running, pushing and shoving their way to the bags. You need protective gear just to be in the booth. I might have thrown an elbow myself a time or two.
I have more camera bags than clients. This is not something I’m proud of or readily admit to most people. I buy them because I figure the more I have, the more likely I’ll be to actually get out there and put them to use. I buy them knowing I’ll feel guilty afterwards and the guilt will propel me into action. Kind of like eating a doughnut to lose weight.
With each new bag I think, “This. THIS is the bag that I will be holding when success finds me. THIS is the bag that will give me the confidence to finally forge ahead and do something with my business. I haven’t yet succeeded because I have been waiting for THIS bag. It hasn’t been my fault at all. I have just lacked confidence and now that I have THIS bag, it will all start happening. Yeah, it’s expensive, but I’m not spending $350 on a vinyl handbag from China, sewn together by the nimble fingers of a 12 year old in a factory; I’m buying confidence, dammit. And really, who can put a price on that? I’m not holding a camera bag; I’m holding my future.”
I have thought that over 30 times. I refuse to do the math on what I’ve spent. Or how many clients I don’t have. Denial is easier.
About the Author
Lynn Cartia (AKA Missy Mwac) is a photographer/eater of bacon/drinker of vodka and a guide through the murky waters of professional photography. You can follow her social media links here: Facebook, Tumblr. This article is a part of the book she’s currently writing.