Go Ahead and Buy Expensive Gear

Constraints breed creativity. But what if the constraint that happens to bring out your creativity is a film camera? A $4500 film camera? That’s what happened to street photographer Eric Kim. He knew film gave him a creative edge over digital. That was his constraint. He also wanted a camera that would last a lifetime, so he invested in Leica. No more upgrading every 2 years; one camera, one lens for an entire life.

This is an odd corner of minimalism, best referred to by Patrick Rhone as Final Choices (also check out Sensible Defaults by Jamie Phelps). The basic idea is that instead of buying lots of mediocre stuff (as we usually do) and replacing that stuff every so often, it’s better to buy one thing that’s the very best and longest lasting.

Lesser Photography concerns itself much more with creative constraints than financial constraints, so if film really does help boost your creativity more than anything, by all means get the life-long investment. Of course, most people would probably get even more of a creative boost out of a Holga and a trip to Hawaii.

Update: Some missed the message of this piece, which is probably my fault. To clarify: re-read the last sentence over and over until the point sinks in, because it’s dead-on accurate.