Imagine wanting something that you can’t have because you literally have zero cash. Well, that happened to me a year ago. I wanted to buy a camera so bad to pursue my dream of becoming a pet photographer but the deal is, I couldn’t afford it. You see, I was a fresh grad who’s living beyond my means, staying in a condo I probably couldn’t pay for if it wasn’t for my parents, and spending every single paycheck on clothes and shit.
I was too broke to buy that Fuji cam. My ever so loving Lola Tiny offered to pay but of course, even if I wanted to, I couldn’t let my 71-year-old grandmother pay for my wants. And so, I resorted to swiping the magic card that makes all things possible. It wasn’t even my credit card. Thanks to the universe and with the help of my Tito/a Aba, I finally got my dream cam that came with a 12-month responsibility.
Admittedly, it was really challenging for someone whose only background in photography was taking flatlays of cupcakes, milkshakes and whatnot. I wasn’t very good at following directions so I asked Leif to sum up all the basics and then we practiced every weekend on stray cats around the neighborhood. After a couple of weeks, I started getting the hang of it and so, we started Meownila PH, a cat photography page that aims to show how adorable and adoptable community cats are. We also offered free photog sessions to our friends’ and friends of friends’ pets. A month later, we landed our first client for P500.00 and that’s how Pawtography PH was founded.
After a couple of months, we were invited by Advocacy Center of the Philippines and Fujifilm Philippines to head a pet photography workshop and featured in When in Manila and Metro Pets. We’ve also collaborated with big brands, such as Cat Care, Vitality, Pet Express and Royal Canin. We were even supposed to shoot for Locale Magazine’s pet issue had I not missed their message.
But hey, amazing things didn’t stop there. I luckily got accepted as one of When in Manila’s contributors who write about food, events and local brands. This also served as my further practice for product photography. Six months later, I landed a position in the core group as a Feature Writer which allowed me to go to out of town trips, taste different food trends, try amazing homegrown products, and meet lots of amazing people without spending any money.
All thanks to having a camera and learning how to take decent photos on top of some brand marketing skills up my sleeves, I also got my Digital Marketing day job at Rustan’s. By August of 2017, I was comfortable enough to start side hustling for food and product photography and even freelance social media management. (Hi to the clients who trusted me, Pillows & More and Above Sea Level!)
So, is swiping somebody else’s credit card for an expensive camera worth it? Hell yes, it was! Out of all the many bad shopping decisions I make on a regular basis, I am so proud to tell you that I got this one right.
I’m not saying that I landed all these hustles, jobs and opportunities by simply having a camera and knowing how to take photos. However, if not for these two, I most probably wouldn’t have experienced all these, and that’s why I attribute these wonderful things to my cam and the risk I took just to have it!
If you’re currently thinking twice about buying that camera, laptop or software, I say, go for it! As long as you really need it and you think that it will open up lots of opportunities in your life then why not? At the end of the day, you’re not just investing on a gadget. You’re actually investing in yourself.
Before I forget, yes, my camera is all paid up but I’m still earning from it. *wink* Don’t get me wrong though, it might seem like I should have a lot of savings by now based on all the things I’ve mentioned earlier. Well, to tell you upfront, n a w p but that’s another story. LOL