While I think we should strive for as many hobbies as we want, where we could go into a new city and enjoy the richness of its culture through the perspective of several different angles ranging from photography, food, or even collectibles, we must strive for moderation if it does not help us toward our aspirations. If taking photos isn’t your main hobby, attempted career, or career, how much space or time should it receive?
My answer is minimal, if any.
I have friends that have photography as their main hobby and attempted career, which is to say they want to photograph professionally like I want to write professionally, but we are hindered by bills and lifestyles outside of meager cash we might receive on occasion, if at all. For these friends, their cameras, lenses, and other artifacts are cooler than some museums.
I have other friends that don’t care about photography or its gear.
For those friends, it would be a waste to encourage them to collect anything related to photography. How about in between those two extremes? I don’t care about the gear and I take photos for this website or my own personal enjoyment. I like visiting a new part of town, looking around, and capturing moments or ideas in a photograph. Should I collect cameras or keep anything related to camera gear?
I did that for years during my hoarding heights, where I would buy anything that caught my fancy, since why not? Well, all that did was cause me pain later when I had to move all of those objects, store, and otherwise sacrifice to continue owning them. I’ve learned now.
It’s unfortunate in some ways how it happens, too.
I had many boxes of blank instant photos. We bought them primarily to take some of these photos of my childhood dog Patrick. We bought many more than we could actually use, so the rest ended up sitting around for close to twenty years. They might still be good. My friends that like photography probably won’t be interested, but I’ll still ask them, and I’m not interested in wasting too much time asking my wider acquaintance group.
I’ll most likely drop them off at a thrift store.
Maybe I could sell them for meager money morsels? That’s another hobby I don’t want to indulge in. The time I spend driving to do the errands related to selling things isn’t as well spent as the time spent engaging in the hobbies I enjoy more or even resting. If anything, I would be possibly interested in the story that could happen during the sale, but really even that is a bit of a waste of space. My senses of negotiation and debate are not as finely-tuned for sales as to make for interesting sales prose. It would be like going to a new city and being bored somewhere just because it’s the cool thing to do.
My preferred hobbies involve living at my own pace.
|Sources: My personal experiences.|
|Inspirations: Lingering thoughts over getting rid of more things. I didn’t end up reaching out to any friends, in part because my camera friends don’t care much about instant photos, and I dropped it off the afternoon I wrote this essay. I was just ready to move forward and none of my friends in the area are really interested in collecting many new things, I suppose. Maybe donating them was a waste. If so, oh well.|
|Related: Other Downsizing Zeal essays.|
|Photo: My little Patrick shrine, of sorts. I like the visual aspect of photography, and these photos of Patrick never fail to bring a smile to my face, so why not display them prominently? This might seem contradictory to the argument of the essay, but these photographs are what I like about photography – capturing moments – rather than the technical tools or skills that others who have photography as a hobby would value in addition to capturing moments. It was also a good opportunity to show off these photos, which you can view in more detail here.|
|Written On: July 28th [24 minutes, mobile]|
|Last Edited: July 28th [No edits. First draft; final draft for the Internet.]|