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Things Break

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Sometimes clients wonder why we make a big deal of our overhead costs. To them you simply take a camera (that in their mind you buy once a decade, not every 2 years as is the norm for me), take pictures and all the money goes to your pocket. Well, if only!

The above picture was a relatively small breakage, that left my strobe fairly intact and a only a broken brolly and dog-bowl shaper. I was able to fix the dog-bowl, but the brolley is gonners.  The strobe started acting strange shortly after and left me down about a week later. More repairs.

Since January this year I have had to replace 5 brolleys. Late last year my 24-105mm F4 L-series fried the aperture control circuitry. 4 weeks without my lens and a lot of money I was back in business. I had to repair 3 strobes since end last year.

Soon a camera upgrade is due - R40 000. Shortly before a new set of location strobes).

End last year a soft-box gave up the ghost due to simple hard graft for 5 years - another couple of thousand. Last year on a shoot a light dropped and broke. The cost of repair to me was bigger than my invoice for the shoot.

End last year was tuff on breakages!!

And so it goes on. Is this a matter of complaining? No, not at all. All industries have breakages. It's a matter of perspective and context. Why do I turn down work on location that I cannot charge a 2 hour minimum for? Simple - if you're carrying around R100 000 worth of gear it's kinda hard to justify a one-hour charge. Oh, and I have the usual IT and vehicle overheads as well.

My camera's insurance on location is more than my studio and vehicle's risk coverage... Hope this puts a bit of photographers' pedantic nature about equipment in perspective!

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