We’ve been taught that it is wise to invest in your future, so you should save and retire comfortably. So, you save and invest in hopes of a nice return on your investment. Now that you’ve saved and invested, what happens? Wait and die without living an enjoyable life? I say invest in what makes you happy, as there are no guarantees anymore. The 401k retirement plans can be worth less than what you’ve invested. Social Security is not sustainable either. But we are still taught and encouraged to keep at it anyway. Sounds like a trap for complacent sheep.

So I’ve done all that, but have a ways to go before retiring. Now I am choosing to invest in my life through other means- by doing what makes me happy while I still can.

For me, this is photography. It is a creative passport that allows me to go anywhere, capture anything and after thirty+ years, I am vested heavily.

A lot of my free time and money go to producing, developing, processing and publishing images with little reward except it makes my soul happy.

Now that I have the tools I want to accomplish these things, I will invest more time in working with other photographers and their art. Investing money into experiences, not gear. Investing both time and money into travel experiences, workshops, and anything else that furthers my desires.

Sonya, the newest and last gear investment

It is difficult to create something in a small town, in a land-locked, flyover state, in the winter, during a pandemic. So, I invested in a trip to New Orleans next month to change my perspective. I love NOLA and feel as if I can never explore it enough. The camera comes with of course to capture those experiences. Instead of investing in all the best cameras, lenses etc. etc., I’ll put my money into travel expenses.

Investing in my own website has paid off beautifully for me these past twenty years and I encourage all artists to do so. Stop sharecropping on Zuck’s platforms and develop on your own land.

I recommend Namecheap for buying your own domain name and web hosting. After making the rounds with most of the web hosts myself, these guys are some of the most reliable. Domain name can be as low as $2 a year. Web hosting as little as $20 a year. Congrats, you have your own website, with your own email address for the cost of 3 Starbucks visits. What a great investment in yourself and your work.

Investing in photo experiences gets me out of the house and since I am currently workin from home it is a lifesaver. New experiences for the wandering misadventurer gives me fresh eyes and new perspectives to make new photos.

Investing in my life and my lifestyle is a wise choice for my time and money.

It is financially wise eating at home more than I eat out, but I haven’t been doing that. This needs to change. The money saved on dining in can go towards that next flight instead. Why didn’t I think of that sooner?

More money saved can go towards books, self-educated tools, or even investing in others through cryptocurrency to speculate on photographic works of art (NFTs.) I am slowly seeing opportunities for the blockchain to overtake “social media” photography.

Like most investors, I wish I had the wisdom to have started earlier. I want to take advantage of these new opportunities of investing in myself and earning those rewards.

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