Welcome to my 4th annual: Tech and the Photographer
If this is the first time you’ve seen this tech-specific series of mine, it’s about what technology is available for the photographer and how you can use it. Mind you, you can purchase dozens of magazines, pour over websites and talk to many and you may still be a bit confused. I don’t blame you. What I try to do is speak in a layman’s way. A big part of my ability to build a successful IT consulting business was my ability to communicate with my clients. I have over 25 years of IT experience at many levels. Speaking plainly, I may be the most computer-literate photographer out there.
You may have noticed the crappy looking computer system at the top of this article. There’s a very good reason for this. You’ll have to read on to find out why!
This year, I’m going to do something different: the complete series of articles in one! I’m going to see if it’s more helpful for the reader in this format for easier reference. This article is designed to give you a solid overview and to point you in the right direction. Do your homework and talk to real professionals who have been doing systems for a decade or two to get more detail.
The 3 sections are in the following order: Desktop, Storage and Mobile. Some sections are bigger than others. They just require it like the Desktop portion. This section is always the most interesting and fun for most. Me included! there will be links at the bottom of the page to help you navigate to all the different sections.
My focus is not to geek-out about the technology, but rather talk about the practicality of it. I approach the purchase of anything from this perspective. There are too many self-proclaimed experts out there, especially in forums, that claim to be photographers running a business. There is one example in particular which I thought illustrated this perfectly:
Poser: Prices of camera bodies keep shooting upwards as day rates for photography and videography keep going down. Not a good business model.
Me: (Summarized) You don’t need to buy a camera body every year. Or ever 2 or 3 years. Professional photographers keep their camera bodies for 7+ years. I know a full-time sports photographer that has a great business for several decades, using a Canon pro camera that is at least 10 years old. Peter Lindbergh, whose photography career I dream about, uses a Nikon 3DX. I sold my Canon cameras because I wanted to upgrade. The newest one was 7-years old. When you start thinking about technology with this time frame, as most good businesses do, the cost of a camera body becomes inconsequential.
Think Long Term
What I will say though is when it’s time to upgrade, you should get the best you can afford. That’s what gives you longevity and quality return on investment (ROI). Going cheaper than you know you need never works. Never. There’s also the saying that you should invest into what’s going to take you into the next several years. Get what you think will take you into the next 5 – 10 years. Both my MacBook Pro and monitor are almost 5 years ago and for the most part, they do just fine for my needs. More on that later.
Now, onto the first category: The Desktop