More often than not, freelancers have to get by on meager incomes for much of their career. While it's not ideal for some people, others try to make the most out of it. The internet is packed with tips for saving money in our down economy, but some are worth repeating. For me, one thing I always try to look out for is overspending when I eat out with friends. It's really easy to sit down at a restaurant and order a $9 entrée, a $3 drink and a $4 dessert without even registering the relative cost of the food. That same amount of money could rack in a complete wardrobe on a Salvation Army dollar-clothing day. Yet so many people order way too much uncessery food which, quite frankly, only lasts a matter of hours in your system.
Instead of ordering a 2000 calorie mega-meal the next time you're out with friends, why not keep things simple? Check out the "Sides" section of the menu. Often times, sides are priced in relation to adding it onto a full entrée, and when done so, comes in a smaller portion size. But in many restaurants, the kitchen/serving staff will actually "super-size" your portions when ordering a side by itself, without increasing the price in the least bit. The french fries photographed above cost a grand total of $1.99. And that was before I ate most of them, when the basket was still full. Sure, I could have ordered the $6.95 Gyros meal like I usually do, but it's often too much food for me. That extra $5 can go a long way, and when combined with a glass or two of water, a large serving of fries fills me up pretty fast.
The downside to this is, of course, the fact that most sides do not offer a complete nutritional range. But as long as one adjusts their other meals of the day at home sufficiently, this should not be a big issue for most individuals with standard diets. And it sure beats indulging on insane quantities of food, only to feel sick afterwards.
I've come to the conclusion that I'm about as least traditional as they get in terms of interior photography. As of right now, I don't own a wide angle lens (though one is on its way). The top and bottom photos below were taken with a 40mm f2.8 prime, and the middle was shot with a 70-300mm. If you don't understand what any of that means, then don't worry. It basically means that some of my favorite interior shots were made with gear that most enthusiasts would deem unsuitable for the job.
The photo above was made at the Red Iguana in downtown Salt Lake City, Utah. It was a spur of the moment thing, as I hadn't anticipated having time to thoroughly photograph the unique building that houses that fantastic restaurant. I looked over, saw the beads/artwork with the subtle light coming in at just the right angle, and snapped a single shot. The framing isn't perfect, but neither is the building or the decor. It's straightforward but unique, pure and simple.
This photo was sort of a fluke. I was walking through one of the buildings at the Snowbird ski resort, having just been outside photographing just about everything in sight. My 70-300mm (aka, starts out zoomed in, then goes even further) lens was still on my camera which, given the fact that I bought it for $5 and its optics are pretty mediocre, made indoor shooting out of the question. Regardless, I happened to glance behind me and notice this decal on the sliding glass door. I kneeled down and photographed it, right as two people entered the frame behind the plane of focus.
Out of these three shots, however, this one takes the cake. I had just gone to the restroom at the former-resort-twice-burned-down-turned-concert-venue Saltair along the banks of the Great Salt Lake, and I instantly noticed this archway intensified by an all-around grunge feel. Though I had to wait a minute or so for the other guy in the restroom to leave, I managed to take this shot with minimal awkwardness. Yes, it really looked that worn-down in person. But the smell was surprisingly not much worse than the stench floating in from the polluted water that was once this venue's claim to fame.
The photo above was taken at Angelo's Burgers in Encinitas, California. This little drive-through fast food joint is literally a "drive-through." The building is separated in two, with the drive-through lane down the middle. Though it looks moderately dirty and unmaintained from the outside, this is part of its charm. The food is big, greasy and messy, beckoning to a distant past when people weren't so obsessed with over-cleanliness and the practice of soaking every last surface with a flood of antibacterials. And the overwhelmingly wide variety of food types offered, all placed on a visually crowded and somewhat unorganized menu, results in the haphazard photograph above.