If Money Was No Object, Would You Focus On Photography More?

We would all love to be doing what we are passionate about fulltime. Unfortunately, for many people money keeps them from doing what they would love. But, what if money were no object? What if a large paycheck wasn’t motivation enough to keep you from fulfilling your dreams? What if you traded in a well paying office job you hated for for a more humble photography job that truly made you happy? Would you?  Alan Watts explores that theory in the following video, offering up some inspiring bits of advice that, for some, could make the difference between a life wasted and a life lived:

So, if money were not an object, would you dedicate more of your life to photography?

landscape photography

“If you say that getting the money is the most important thing, you will spend your life completely wasting your time. You will be doing things you don’t like doing only to go on living your life doing things you don’t like doing. It’s better to have a short life that is full of what you like doing than a long life spent in a miserable way.”

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7 responses to “If Money Was No Object, Would You Focus On Photography More?”

  1. Lisa Fisher says:

    That’s a very good video and an inspirational one. But after seeing the video, if you look at the right side of the page and see the 3000 dollar lens you want, it does not really help…

  2. Jerry says:

    Hi Tiffany,
    I can’t watch your video as I’m currently in the jungle border regions of Myanmar…..surprisingly there is gsm coverage so I can read your article.
    Over 20yrs ago I made enough money to risk starting out an a pro photographer and subsequently opened a studio in Manchester UK. I was very fortunate as my client list soon became amazing and very profitable.
    Where it all became pressurised and the fun stopped was with the introduction of digital cameras and post production on computers.
    I stayed in the business for many more years until I effectively lost my ‘eye’ or personal style due to ever shortening production schedules.
    So 7 yrs ago I closed my studio and since then I have been wandering the world as a photojournalist armed only with 2 Leica M analogue cameras shooting different cultures and many social injustices in black and white film………currently I’m based in Thailand living very simply indeed.

    So I think that might answer answer your excellent and very thought provoking question?? Jc

  3. Steenie320 says:

    What a fab comment above from Jerry… I think he must be very happy having made the choices he made. I have absolutely no cash and am trying to build up my photography skills and my photography business… both at the same time.. so I don’t charge much, as I feel like I would be cheating if i did… I would rather do what I do, any day, than go and get a desk job… I also have things like motherhood to take into account, but as long as we can survive I think we will be `fine. I want my daughter to grow up thinking that if you really want to achieve something, you may have to sacrifice money and other stuff along the way… I love that i can do what I do, even if it leaves me with very little money for anything else… (I do MOST of the time wish that I could afford a mark II though… – random donations happily accepted! ;oD

  4. Ah, this really hit home, both the article and Jerry’s comment. I’ve heard that from full-time professional film shooters. Guys like me are saturating the market, and, in this time of “Honey Boo Boo”, the public palate is heading downmarket fast, and medicore is fine for most consumers.

    When I put my son’s helmet on for his first bike ride almost 2 decades ago, I jumped on my bike without my helment and he said “Daddy, why aren’t you wearing your helmet”. I didn’t have an answer, so I put my helmet on and use it every time I ride.

    When all my friends and co-workers are worried about having to pay for 4+ years of university for their children, my son decided to follow his heart and apprentice as a carpenter. I’ve always told him “do something you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life”. He must have listened. My dad was a master carpenter, starting at the age of 14 to support his family during the war. As has been said, it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert. He was pretty much an expert before he turned 20 (and is still making toys at 81 despite “retiring” more than 20 years ago).

    So why do I still work in a “cube farm” at a job I’m loving less day by day? Good question. A small thing called a mortgage is one thing. If money was not object (i.e., when its paid off)? I’m not sure, but travelling futher afield and spending way, way more time outside is on the list. Sometimes four hours in the bush isn’t enought for THAT shot.

    And that Haselblad is looking good. Depends on if I think my klutzy “all thumbs” inability to thread film (and I was even worse in the darkroom) can handle a film camera. Or win the lottery, retire and buy that $40,000 digital version…

  5. Struggle says:

    I struggle every day for the $$ that I need … needless to say that if I did not have a significant other with a steady income I would be 2 clicks away from homelessness … but that said every time I do a gig and I see that smile of my client and his/her comments makes me do this more and more… photography has gone way past being a passion it has become my take on the lifestyle i want to achive… I am a photographer… I will look for a way to make it work and I will earn my living whatever that is through my work in photography.

  6. ernaldo says:

    Money no object? I would be on the road 90% of the time. Wouldn’t even have to leave the USA, but there are many places I’d like to photograph in this beautiful world.

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