I wonder if thieves realize how much they actually steal.
In October, I was a victim of theft. On the rare occasion that I happened to leave my camera bag in the car, an opportunistic thief (or thieves) broke in and took everything. It isn’t fun to have things taken from you. I fired hundreds of thousands of frames on the cameras and lenses that I owned. Without them, I felt like a blacksmith who had lost his hammer and anvil.
All thieves need is a screwdriver to puncture your car door and unlatch the lock.
I used those tools every day as a photojournalist in college. Luckily, as a video journalist and reporter in broadcast news, I no longer need them to make a living. I do need them to keep seeing and capturing the moments that define my life. When that thief (or thieves) took those items, they truly took an extension of how I process the world.
Thank the Lord for renter’s insurance.
My coverage allowed me to replace the cost of everything, but it still took nearly two months to secure paperwork and replace the items. As of a few days ago, I fully restocked my inventory.
Calling the insurance company, proving ownership, and purchasing everything back was trying. Several weeks of waiting made me patient. I leaned on the Truth that my identity is not secured in material items. I have a Father, family, and support system of many that mean much more than my personal passion to take photos and videos. Like 1 John 2:17 says, “The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.” Those words are encouraging, even when you’re talking about cameras and lenses. We may put stock in any number of things, whether it’s creative expression, athletics, or relationships. All of those things will end. A faithful life of service to God will never end. Puts things in perspective, doesn’t it?
Even when the small (expensive) things that we own are taken from us, there is always room for a blessing. With or without the renter’s insurance, I gained an appreciation for how to see this world without a real camera in my hands. I was reduced to iPhone photography, which allows me to snap nice compositions, but doesn’t come close to the moment-capturing ability of a true SLR system.
I decided to use my coverage to purchase a Nikon d610. It’s a hefty camera for the moderately hefty price tag attached to it (there are more expensive ones out there, after all). You can check out its specs here. For a journalist looking for a quick shift between video documenting and still photojournalism, this body was the perfect replacement.
I’ve shot a high school football game in cloudy conditions, and a basketball game indoors. The d610 handled both environments admirably. Of course, I miss the rapid fire of seven frames per second that I got from my Nikon d300s. That’s just a minor gripe. If I’m missing a moment at 6 fps, I need more practice.
I’m looking forward to pushing myself as a visual storyteller with my new gear. Of course, it’s not the “newness” that has me excited. I’m just glad to have equipment again.
As my friend Woody Marshall told me, in regards to making good photos, “It’s the archer, not the arrow,” that determines how good a shoot can be.
The most important camera care lesson I learned through all of this: Never leave your bow and arrows in the car.