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Turning passion into a profession is a path many of us want to take. However, often that requires investing both time and money. Delhi’s popular wedding photographer and social media influencer Faizan Patel takes us through his equipment buying journey and how he managed his finances to procure them.

Faizan Patel (photographer)
Faizan Patel

Shortly after his Masters in Media and Communications, photography began as a hobby for Patel, and turned into a passion, extending to become a career opportunity. Now shooting for the past nine years, Patel today divides his time between high-end wedding photography and product shoots. As an established social media influencer, he conducts workshops in association with Canon.

Buying equipment on no-cost EMI

Patel currently uses the Canon 5D Mark IV, but his first professional camera was Canon 5D Mark III — google it and you will know these are expensive cameras. And if one is a professional photographer, lenses (Canon 24-70mm and Canon 100 mm) and lights are essential. So if you are a photographer, be it amateur or professional, how should you go about buying your preferred equipment?

“In the current tough economy, especially for a photographer, tending to a passion requires financial commitments. And with the lifestyle millennials live, borrowing is cheaper in the short-term,” Patel says.

Like him, several consumers these days find it easy to buy moderately expensive gadgets or equipment on a no-interest (or no-cost) EMI. One of the many options that are popular is Bajaj Finserv with its EMI card product. Several Points of Sale (POS, where you complete your transaction) will ask you how you would like to pay. You can instantly change your transaction into a no-cost EMI with this card. If you do not have a card, then it is just as easy to enrol for one at the billing counter.

The enrollment fee for the Bajaj Finserv card is Rs. 117. An annual fee will only be charged if you don’t avail a loan in the previous year. Another popular option for an EMI card is Tata Simply Shop EMI Card, which has an annual charge of Rs 99 and a joining fee charge of Rs 299. Tata has again partnered with several merchants to make this available at POS.

Credit card point of sale

For new photographers, Patel suggests renting equipment for the starters. “Once you have established a good footing in the industry, buying a professional camera, external lenses, and lights become inevitable. A no-interest EMI option is a feasible way for millennials to make the best of their finances, rather than rely on saved up cash to upgrade equipment (at least in a couple of years),” he says.

Can you use your credit card?

If you prefer using your credit card, you should check at the POS if your bank and payment gateway allows EMI conversion. Major credit cards (Axis Bank, HDFC, SBI, Citibank) foster partnerships with retail stores and e-commerce websites, often even running seasonal sales. While the credit cards do not charge a small down payment, a Bajaj Finserv EMI card may charge you an EMI in advance and a negligible processing fee. This makes it an absolute no-interest EMI.

Often with credit card related EMI conversions, one may have to forego the discount that can be the interest in disguise. However, it does not amount to paying interest. Let that not deter you from a no-cost EMI transaction though. Interest on normal (credit card) EMIs is generally on the higher side: 14% to 16%, which isn’t the case with no-cost EMIs.

Prioritise your options

A key aspect of taking the EMI route is paying them on time to avoid finance charges. Cards like Bajaj Finserv will need you to have an associated account for auto-debits. But if you use your credit card to avail a no-cost EMI, be sure to pay the bills on or ahead of your due date. If you don’t, you may save on interest but invite finance charges, which can be 5% upwards.

Patel reminisces of a time when he bought a camera and lens but sold it soon after. “I wanted to get into video production, but decided against it,” he says. New photographers/videographers should weigh their choices and prioritise before they make a purchase, to avoid any financial regrets.

You can also take a look at our recommendation for the top 5 credit cards to shop online.

Anam Naqvi

Anam is an astute writer who aims to demystify personal finance and wealth management for the common man. She has written on geopolitics, economics and politics for the Economist Intelligence Unit before moving to personal finance content strategy. Her penchant for storytelling and conversation has resulted in a podcast about human stories.