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OpEd: Don’t Fund My Life

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dontfundmylife

Don’t fund my life. Really, don’t send anything.

I’m a photographer, a businessperson, an artist, an educator and a friend. Many tough things have happened to me over the years, but it has been suggested that I keep the negativity to a minimum. Lots of good things have happened to me as well. Mostly, good things happened because of planning and preparation and a little luck. Bad things have happened because life happens and sometimes we are unlucky.

My car was hit in a road rage incident recently and I need $450 to pay for it after all the insurance is done.

My neck bones are pinching the nerves in my left hand, and between the uncovered copays I’m into that for about $600.

There is this rad lighting stuff that Westcott recently introduced, and I’d love about $7,600 worth of it.

My photo studio needs AC and heat so that is going to run around 4-8 grand.

Some old shoes need replacing — really they do, I’m size 10.5 in a regular Merrell last and those shoes aren’t cheap, even with all the discount codes I can use at ShoeBuy.com.

I’ve got some phenomenal projects and self-publishing isn’t easy or cheap, so there’s a bucket of money to dump onto those publications.

I could hit the lottery or I could ask for nothing… nothing at all. If I can’t sell more work or more of my professional services, I’ll get another job and work 16 hours a day to make ends meet. I’m not going to beg. If my medical issues were really bad, I’d seek out the various social services for assistance. If I were married and heading towards financial ruin (oh wait I’ve been there), I’ll just get divorced and file bankruptcy. If I think there is a slight probability I’ll make it (and I’ll always make it even if that’s death), then I’ll crank up the credit card debt for a while.

On the other hand I could use a few buckets of money and as long as I’m able to work (or ask from the government. which I don’t do… but have done in the distant past when I really needed it), I’ll be able to get along. If I’m still a little short I’ll make sure to stay away from social media to assist me or improve my financial situation.

davidportrait

If you want to openly beg for money from your friends to help you print your photo book, think about it again. Go do your research, as it isn’t profitable to anyone. If you’re a couple days behind on the rent then go temp for a couple more days.

For all the financial suffering I’m going through as a small business owner, I have to remember that this is a very small first world problem. I have reliable electricity, potable water and a roof that doesn’t leak, so I’m better of than most of my fellow humans.

There are unfortunate people who do need help a lot more than someone creating a random a series of photos of old gas stations along Route 66.

I’ve been seeing far too many people think that social crowdsourcing is a spring of financial solutions that some might drink from again and again and again.

So don’t send me anything. Transactions fees will consume the dollar. Note: I had to enter an amount greater than ZERO to continue with a project. Really! Send NOTHING. I’m returning nothing and I still make stuff that you might want. So, friend me on Facebook or LinkedIn or not at all. When I have a show or finally redevelop a website for some artwork I’ll let you know (maybe). I might even invite you to a gallery opening that will not cost you money.

And, if I get really sick, I’ll make as much art as possible and offer it for sale… just not on a crowdfunding site.

Thanks for not giving, really.

David


About the author: David Weaver is a commercial photographer and business/photography teacher based in Central Texas. You can see more of his work and writing (and connect with him) on his website, Facebook, and LinkedIn. He recently started a GoFundMe campaign to share this message and raise no money.


Image credits: Portrait of David Weaver by Lisa Muller

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