“My wife just surprised me with a $500 gift certificate from B&H and I’m really grateful, but I truly have all the gear that I really need, including back-ups for everything. I don’t want to apply the certificate on a major purchase because I don’t to spend additional money on top of the certificate--especially at this time of year, when business is so slow. If she had just given me cash, I’d have gotten some coaching or bought a few videos. I’m really stumped. Any thoughts?”
Wow, a nice problem to have, Jerry... plus you have a kind wife who supports your profession! If I’m being honest, I’m in the same boat as you. I’m holding out for some major gear. That gift certificate barely makes a dent on the 50mm tilt-shift lenses I have on my wish list or the new Canon mirrorless camera I'm waiting on. Maybe, I’d use the certificate toward an upgrade on my monitor but that would mean I’d be paying out of pocket for the difference, so that doesn’t really fit your criteria.
So, if I just wanted to stay within that $500, that makes it more difficult. Like you, I’ve got back-ups of everything and I have enough flashes/lights to hold a good garage sale. I'd have to give it more thought but if you were to twist my arm, I’d probably use the gift certificate to replace some things that have some wear-and-tear on them (i.e., camera bags, light stand bags, etc.) and maybe another Pelican case for when I get the major gear upgrades that I mentioned earlier.
It’s a good question Jerry, so I’ll put it out to the community... I have no doubt you’re going to get a bunch of great suggestions of stuff to buy for the real estate photographer who has it all! Thanks for writing in.
Tony Colangelo is a residential and commercial photographer, as well as a photography coach, based in Victoria, BC, Canada. He is a long-time contributor to PFRE and is the creator of The Art & Science of Great Composition tutorial series.