Somewhere above the Earth (taken with my Canon A-1 film camera)

Tidying Up (or Why I’m Selling My Digital Camera)

I’ve been doing photography for quite some time now.

Almost ten years now. When I was seventeen, I was working at a pretty good job and I saved up my money to buy myself a camera. I bought a Nikon D90. It was a nice little camera, and it suited me well. It got me taking pictures.

Shortly after that I made the move to a Canon 5D Mark II. It seemed like every photographer that I followed was using one at the time. Young and naive, I wanted one for myself. So I saved up and I got one.

I am proud of myself for setting financial goals and reaching them. Photography was probably the first thing that really allowed me to experience that feeling.

However, I am not writing this to talk about obtainment. This is about tidying up.

Removing things from my life has always been a point of interest for me.

What do I really need?

The answer is pretty simple. There isn’t a whole lot that I truly need. I was definitely raised in a society where consuming things is the norm, and usually feels pretty good. I’ve also read a lot about relying less on the material. I’m not an expert like some people are, but it’s fascinating to me nonetheless.

I actually feel addicted to hobbies. There are so many cool things that we can do, I’d love to get involved with a wide variety of them. If you know me, you know that photography is just one of the things I love to do.

This year I have set some specific goals for myself in regards to levelling up my skills in certain areas. I came to the hard realization that there just isn’t enough time for everything. After a lot of thought and consideration, I kept coming back to the idea of selling my camera.

Why do I do photography?

Do I really need all this expensive stuff that is just sitting and collecting dust?

On top of that, I started to feel a strong sense of guilt. I was putting pressure on myself because of this clutter, and my lack of desire to take my camera out of the closet.

Taking pictures will always be apart of my life. That is fact. But I needed to figure out a way to fall in love with it again, and remove the negativity I felt about this stuff I had but didn’t need or use.

So I decided to sell my digital camera equipment.

The moment I actually decided that I wanted to get rid of the clutter, mental and physical, I literally felt a sense of relief. I was shocked.

I knew that I didn’t need this stuff anymore, I knew I was ready to move on, but I did not expect to feel a physical sense of relief just from deciding to part ways with it.

This is something I will never forget. It’s almost an addictive feeling. Now I’m wondering, what else can I get rid of?

It’s probably best to start small. And let’s be clear, I’m not banishing photography from my life.

I still have some analogue film cameras with a few lenses.

I still have a GoPro which I am going to use for timelapses (instead of my massive Canon).

I still have my smart phone.

People are shooting lovely photos on a daily basis and they don’t have semi-professional camera bodies, with lenses that cost them hundreds (or thousands) of dollars.

I started taking photos because I wanted to see the world in a different view. After I took up film photography, this became more true to me than ever before.

Now I am moving exclusively to film; every time I shoot a photo I want to see something new.

This isn’t just about money for me. It’s not about removing something from my home because I have no space. It’s not just about getting rid of things I don’t need or use.

It’s about all of those things, and more.

I am freeing myself of a burden that I, admittedly, put on myself a long time ago. I’m learning to be okay with letting things go that I love. It’s about moving on, tidying up, and being free.

We are all so connected to the things we label as ours. Our family, our friends, our cameras, our clothes, our cars… the list is endless. These things come and go from our lives and we often aren’t in control when they do.

I want to be okay with letting go.

I have a lot more to learn, I have a lot of practicing to do, but this is the start of something wonderful.