Week 22: On rocky ground…

simple timePIN IT readingPIN ITI noticed holes in my favourite t-shirt and my most comfortable leggings this week, and it nearly sent me into a mini melt down. That might seem silly, they are just clothes after all… to say that the melt down wasn’t partially fueled by exhaustion and study brain would be a lie – so I wont say that. Either way, my clothes have started falling apart, which I new is exactly what would happen if I was to wear my favourite t-shirt as often as possible… as for the identical holes in the bum of my leggings, I have no idea where they came from… but they are there. I will fix them, of course, with a good old needle and thread.

Perspective is a powerful thing. I gave myself a pretty stern talking to this week for getting upset over the fact I couldn’t go and buy a soft new cotton t-shirt from a local store. I reminded myself about the time I lived in village Indonesia for three years and wore the same handful of t-shirts on high rotation. I wore them day and night. I surfed in them. I sewed up holes time and time again. I wore them until they were so feral I really couldn’t wear them any more. Then I used them as cleaning rags around the house. Then eventually they pretty much disintegrated… Eventually they were stripped and tied into rope and used as a washing line. Life was simple. There was no where to go and buy new t-shirts unless you wanted ones with Disney characters or really random misspelled English slogans… so I just wore what I had. After a while I didn’t even think about it. It didn’t bother me. I was always sandy and a bit grubby, but we didn’t have a mirror and I really didn’t care. I spent most of my day in the surf, in a hammock or watching the waves with a coconut balanced between my knees. What did I have to worry about? I didnt watch television, I didn’t read magazines, I watched movies on my lap top and read novels I traded with backpackers when they came through town. I didn’t have any exposure to advertisements or fashion or trends. I had no one telling me that my happiness was in any way attached to the clothes I wore.

So I forgot all about it… for years.

Now I look at a closet that is full of clothes and I remind myself that my own ego plays a big part in my issues these days. Letting go of the attachment to consuming clothing (second hand or new) is something that I’m working on all over again. Reminding myself that the way that the clothes that I wear do not define who I am or what I can do. Sure good quality, well fitting clothes feel great, but this year isn’t about that, it’s about retraining. Letting go. Changing the patterns of the way that I talk to myself (about myself), and the band-aids that I use when I’m feeling a bit shit.

Clothes are really the least of my concerns right now, practically speaking that is. I have plenty of clothes to keep myself warm and clean and appropriately dressed… even if they aren’t trendy. I have a much bigger issue that I’ve been struggling with for the past month (or more).

At the beginning of the year my DSLR camera broke. I took it in and got it repaired. Less than a month later, it broke again. Stopped working. Wouldn’t turn on. Wouldn’t shoot. Technology is built to be disposable. Everything is built to be disposable these days. I knew going into this year that I wanted to upgrade my camera at some stage in the near future, it wasn’t serving me for my needs but I couldn’t justify replacing it when it was still going strong. Now it’s not going at all. I’ve been camera sharing with my mum for the past few months which has been great, frustrating at times, but I’m very lucky to have had it as an option at all. Now we are about to go separate ways for a while and I am going to have no access to a good camera, or any camera.

I don’t want to buy a crappy second hand one that I know I will want to replace at the end of the year. I need a camera for my freelance work and my small business. So what do I do? Do I break the rules and buy a new camera and chalk it up as being a necessary work expense and continue on with the year feeling a little bit like a hypocrite. Do I run the risk buying a second hand full frame DSLR? Are there other options I haven’t considered?

I’d LOVE to hear your thoughts. What would YOU do?

22 weeks in and the cracks are beginning to show….

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  • June 10, 2014 - 5:14 am

    Rowena - Actually many photographers you speak to would recommend buying a second hand DSLR. 🙂 that’s what I’d do. Or lease one for when you need if but I’m guessing that’ll be more often than not so it’d be better to buy second hand. It’s something that you can’t really get around, everyone needs tools for their job.ReplyCancel

    • June 11, 2014 - 7:41 pm

      Sash - Hmmm. I might revisit the option – I’ve always just been a bit concerned as you never know how the camera has been treated… and there is no warantee if something goes wrong with the equipment… But I’ll keep looking, a good second hand option is always going to be my first choice! xReplyCancel

      • June 12, 2014 - 4:33 am

        Rowena - You should be fine. I’m currently looking at second hand lenses. If you go for a second hand one and are nervous, get it from a store. They should come with a warranty and will have refurbished the shutter etc. Someone sent me some good information about buying second hand cameras. I’ll see if I can dig it out and send it on. XReplyCancel

  • June 10, 2014 - 7:05 am

    Cath - Keep going strong Sash! You’re inspiring me (I got a puppy this year, and the added expenses she brings are making me have to trim the fat).

    Having said that, I think you need a camera. I don’t know a lot about photography and cameras and how they work and so on – but I know I wouldn’t criticise if you decided to buy a new one. It’s such a massive part of your livelihood, both for work and play (or it seems that way), so I think there’s no shame in breaking on this occasion.ReplyCancel

  • June 10, 2014 - 7:24 am

    Nikki Rundle - Hi Sash,

    what if you trade for one? Trade food, photo/writing services, advertising, handmade crafts, repurposed/revamped furniture, etc for a camera. Put an ad up saying what you are willing to trade in return for a camera (whether it’s the lease of a camera or to own it)

    You could also try contacting a camera store or supplier – you may be able to get one free to test and write about/promote in your blog or elsewhere?

    Hope that helps 🙂 good luckReplyCancel

  • June 10, 2014 - 7:44 am

    Alice - Hi Sash,

    I can offer no help on the camera issue, but I’m wondering what your stance is on accepting gifted clothes for you and Bo? I often donate beautiful items that no longer fit (two babies will do that) to Savers because I am an advocate for small space living and am trying to resist hoarding things that, in reality, I will probably never wear again. I would much rather give them to someone who will love them…I bet many of your readers feel the same way….ReplyCancel

    • June 11, 2014 - 7:41 pm

      Sash - We accept hand me downs, but nothing gifted new (except for the undies and socks my mum buys for Bo… because that is a grandmothers right, and my mother would NEVER let me say any different)… xReplyCancel

  • June 10, 2014 - 7:47 am

    Lauren - Why don’t you try renting one? That way you an try before you buy.ReplyCancel

  • June 10, 2014 - 8:10 am

    Gail Bailey - Perhaps change your perspective. Your work is your life and ultimately validates you as a person. Buy the NEW camera and don’t even entertain feelings of guilt about this purchase. I don’t care about clothes or other possessions; in fact I can’t remember the last time I bought either. But if I need paint or canvas or paper or whatever, I buy it and don’t give it another thought…it’s not a luxury, it’s like air to me xxxReplyCancel

  • June 10, 2014 - 10:05 am

    Rachel - Renting is a very real option – Camera House has rental options. This could be a good solution for you if you and your mum are only parting ways temporarily. Also it would totally consider a second hand full frame DSLR! It’s ridiculous how many people buy them not knowing a thing about them, barely use them and get rid of them. Or even in cases like mine, I have a Nikon D80 – I’d love to upgrade but don’t have the money to do so right now. When I do, my camera body won’t really be worth much to sell. But it’s a brilliant little camera! It’s totally worth giving away. Put it out to the universe – you never know what you might turn up!ReplyCancel

  • June 10, 2014 - 10:43 am

    sommer - you are the puppet master to your own strings. nobody is looking over your shoulder except yourself.

    i think you should be a little kind to yourself and get the camera – its work related (your livelihood). its a tool. its an intimate part of your work… and you (as opposed to a tshirt). i don’t think you’d be breaking any rules by buying it new or used (actually, you should get the camera that is appropriate for you – even if it means its new). i would still describe you as completing this year as “balls out” if you got the camera. however, if you’re really really really going to be uber technical about not buying anything new, could you ask a friend or a family member to get it for you and you pay them back jan. 1, 2015 12:01am? but that seems a little silly… you should just get the camera now. today.ReplyCancel

  • June 10, 2014 - 1:02 pm

    Stephanie - I think you should get the camera you want. You are going to buy it anyway at the end of the year so it is not a silly thoughtless purchase. It is something that you will put to excellent use for sure.ReplyCancel

  • June 10, 2014 - 1:14 pm

    Lauralee - You’re doing an amazing, inspiring job at this ‘nothing new’ project so don’t beat yourself up about it. You planted a seed in my mind at the end of last year after discussing this project that led me to the decision to move back to simplicity. I’ve started my own herb and vegetable garden, I now buy locally grown before anything else and I’ve cleaned out a heap of stuff from my home at least 3 times. I’ll continue taking more steps towards simplicity because it feels amazing! I’m sure I’m not the only one, so know that what you’re doing has reached far beyond your own home. I don’t think it would be hypocritical to buy a new camera, it is a huge part of what you do. If it’s not possible to trade for one, I would personally rather buy a really great camera over one that would just last until the end of the year, making it just another disposable item. Good luck coming to a decision xoReplyCancel

  • June 10, 2014 - 3:21 pm

    Kate Heaslip - Buy a new camera! There is no question. It is a work tool 🙂ReplyCancel

  • June 10, 2014 - 5:56 pm

    Emma - I think a new camera for work is the same as petrol for your car. Something you can’t not buy. I do agree that you would probably find a near new camera if you looked hard enough though. So I guess it’s what you feel most comfortable doing.ReplyCancel

  • June 10, 2014 - 8:15 pm

    Emma Galloway - Get rid of the guilt love (you are fricken amazing and don’t you ever forget it!). You need a camera to make a living. I’ve bought second hand in the past, but I’m not sure I’d do it again. xxReplyCancel

  • June 11, 2014 - 5:12 am

    Pip - I think BUY A NEW CAMERA.
    It’s a complete necessity for you.
    The thing about these personal challenges is that they help you to be more mindful and intentional… They aren’t always possible to adhere to, as life deals us various consequences.
    I think you’ve already achieved what you set out to do (and will continue to do that for the rest of the year and beyond!)
    YOU are possibly the only person who would be conflicted about this decision – everyone else would assume you would just get a new camera because that’s how you make your living. Wouldn’t even question it.
    My advice would be to GO FOR IT – and continue on with your project just the way you have (because you are totally nailing it!)ReplyCancel

    • June 11, 2014 - 7:39 pm

      Sash - You sweet thing. Thank you. You are like the little voice in my head that is telling me those same things… now just to quiet the other side of the debate 😉 xReplyCancel

  • June 11, 2014 - 3:54 pm

    Feli - hi sash

    How about I loan you my Canon 1000D for the duration? I mean I am not using it and it seems like you would use it to it’s potential better than I do.

    Let me know. <3 <3ReplyCancel

    • June 11, 2014 - 7:39 pm

      Sash - You sweet soul. That’s a beautiful offer. Thank you.ReplyCancel

  • June 11, 2014 - 5:42 pm

    Cydney (@CydneyHelsdown) - i like Nikki’s comment about trying to trade your skills for a camera, or to borrow a camera. There’s a sight called Streetbank, where it tells you people near to you, you can put a shout out on there. Good luck!ReplyCancel

    • June 11, 2014 - 7:38 pm

      Sash - Thanks Cydney! I’d never heard of Streetbank, I’ll have a look. Thank you xReplyCancel

  • June 11, 2014 - 6:43 pm

    Arna - Hey lovely,

    You have quite a following now, your photos are beautiful and your lifestyle inspiring. I am thinking outside the box here, but what about trading your knowledge for a new camera? A half day here, a half day there – teaching a small group of people what you know about photography, or how to re-purpose a loved item. People who are willing and can pay for your personal attention. ?????ReplyCancel

    • June 11, 2014 - 7:38 pm

      Sash - Hey Arna! Thanks for your thoughts! It’s a great idea and those kinds of workshops are something I’m really wanting to focus on later in the year… I wonder how i could make it work to swap for the actual camera I want… The whole idea was to not consume anything new (regardless of who was buying it – which is why I no longer accept products for service except for food)… Hmmmm. So many options!ReplyCancel

  • June 11, 2014 - 7:10 pm

    Katie - I’m sorry to hear you are going through a tough patch. Only you can decide what to do about the camera (I think if you follow your instinct you can’t really go wrong) but, for what it’s worth, I think it’s totally ok to buy a new one. It’s a necessity to your livelihood, like food or petrol or shelter. To my mind it better fits the ethos of your project to buy the camera that is exactly what you need and will use for many years, than to settle for something not quite right that you’ll only use until the project is over and you can replace it with the camera you really want (making the first camera a disposable option). You are doing such an amazing job. It’s ok to be flexible in extenuating circumstances. Be kind to yourself. And keep going! We’re all cheering you on! xxReplyCancel

    • June 11, 2014 - 7:36 pm

      Sash - Thanks Katie! You are right, you really are… it’s just settling my own niggling conscience I think…

      x Thanks for cheering me on 🙂 It’s so nice to see you here.ReplyCancel

  • June 18, 2014 - 5:01 am

    Week 24: Why are we doing this again? » Inked in Colour - […] and you know that camera that I mentioned last week? I read all of your wonderful responses and suggestions and opinions (thank you!)… I ummed […]ReplyCancel

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