4/26/2012

The Cost of Taking Pictures

Clockwise, My: Awesome Real Fake ID, Alien Registration Card, Photoshopped Visa, POS Student ID.
I can not stand posing for photographs. It might be that my parents were always forcing me to take them growing up, as they tried to over compensate for the lack of pictorial documentation of their youth, or it may simply be the economics of it. 
While staying with a hitch family in Australia, I showed these two girls the Opportunity Cost of taking photographs. The calculation goes like this:

1) Start with the Entire Cost of the Trip 
2) Calculate:
     A) Time to Settle in from Traveling
     B) Average Time Spent Eating, Sleeping, Getting Dressed/Ready, Bathing, and Commuting Each Day
     C) Multiply B by the Number of Days You're Vacationing.
     D) Add A to C.
3) Subtract 2D from 1: Time Remaining
Your Trip is More than Cut in Half Already.

4) Divide 1 by 3: Cost per Unit Time.
Now You Can Actually Go and See Your Destination.

If You Choose to Take Photos:
5) Honestly Estimate and Calculate: 
     A) How Many Photos You Take per Trip
     B) How Many Photos You Take Each Time You Pull Your Camera Out
     C) What Percentage of Photos You Delete on Your Camera
     D) Divide A by B
     E) Multiply A by C
6) Time Yourself:
     A) Taking Your Camera Out of It's Bag /From It's Resting Position to Actually Taking a Photo (unzipping,                 lens caps, turning the thing on, focusing, etc.) 
     B) Time How Long It takes You to Take a Photo, Evaluate It, and Refocus if Necessarily.
     C) Deleting a Photo.
7) Calculate:
     A) Multiply 6A by 5D: Total Time You Spent Simply Taking Your Camera Out
     B) Multiply 6B by 5C: How Long You Spent Taking Photos
     C) Multiply 6C by 5E: How Long You Spent Deleting Photos
     D) Sum A, B, and C: Total Time Spent on the Camera.
8) Other:
     A) If Photos Are Backed Up: Calculate how long that takes.
     B) If You're Old School: Time how long a film run take.
     C) What Percentage of Photos were Taken by Strangers: Go on the street and time how long that debacle takes.
     D) If You Lost or Left Your Camera: How long did you spend tracking it down or filing a police report?
9) Final Calculations:
     A) Sum 7D and Any of 8 that May Apply to You.
     B) Multiply A by 4: The Total Cost of Taking Pictures on Your Trip
     C) Divide 1 by B: Percentage of Total Cost.

10) Photos are not priceless, they have a clear cost. 

For the two Ozzy girls, photos accounted for about 1/3rd (OVER 30%) of their ten day trip's expenses.

Now, whenever I'm forced to take a non-spontaneous photograph, I either give the best open-mouthed stare I can conjure, or I photoshop it.

 How much do your photos cost you? Let me know! Leave a comment below.



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