Do not invest everything that you have. Invest in such a way that even if you lose, you don't lose everything. Your complete loss of investment should also not pinch you. As a freelancer, especially if you are from the creative field, it's very important to ensure that you have enough money to let you last for a long enough period of time without any source of income.
When we talk about investments, first thing that comes to mind is shares and stocks. A lot of people put everything they have on stake. Yes, it's true that if they are able to multiply this money, it may become manyfold over a period of time but it's also true that if this money if not invested wisely may be completely lost. Or have a major portion of it lost or be in the negative for a long period of time.
The best way forward is to invest in small proportions. Now this "small proportion may be a different figure for different people based on their net worth. Start with 10% of what you have. Add another 10% and so on. It allows you to understand the game better and learn from your own mistakes and experience.
Had you invested your 100%, you wont ever get another chance if things did not work favourably for you.
Same applies in the creative field as well. If you are starting in Photography, do not invest heavily in your equipment first. Start with enhancing your skill. Being creative is not just about enough, there is the business side to it as well. Many good artists are not successful while many mediocre talent is quite sought after by the prospective clients.
The value of your equipment depreciates as it gets older but your value as an artist does appreciate as you get older, wiser and more experienced. It's your work that matters the most and not the tools used to create that work. Yes, a Good camera or any other tool in the creative line, does make things more convenient and professional for the artist but these are useless without a proper skill to bring out the best out of these tools.
The point i am trying the convey is that when you start and invest in your camera and other equipment, do not invest everything that you have. Especially in situations when you are unsure if you will be able to pursue it as your career or not. Start with bare minimum stuff that you require and keep the Money in hand. Make further investment on the basis of the kind of assignments you are getting. If your assignments require a long focal length lens and you see more such assignments coming in, invest in a good long focal length lens. If your work seems to be more inclined towards the usage of a wide angle lens, invest in that direction. Invest as per the flow of your business.
Also, you definitely need a lot of working capital. If you have invested everything, it may get difficult to manage this aspect of the business without any source of income.
Many new Photographers assume, that once they buy a good camera and other equipment, money will flow in automatically. It's a misconception. You get assignments because of your talent first and foremost. The equipment and infrastructure is secondary and same can be hired very easily today if there is a very specific requirement for a particular assignment. You can even buy it at a short notice, if you have the money in hand. So, its better to keep the money for quick usage instead of investing it in an unknown direction.
Well, if you have enough capital, that you lose nothing even if you end up not utilising every piece of equipment that you invested in, there is of course no harm and its your way of doing things. However, if it's your hard earned money or the investment is being made by your parents, utilise it wisely so that you can make optimum use of it and bring home the returns as well. Build up your portfolio as well as your creative equipment gradually which could be a different pace for different people but this will help you build it up in a strong and firm manner ensuring that you have invested in the best you can afford and only the kind that you require.
In the same way, I have seen many people who have invested everything they had in the stock market which is full of uncertainly beyond anyone's control, loose their hard earned money, at least for the time being. In situations, when there is no backup, there is no choice but to sell these stocks at a loss to have the expenses of livelihood meet. Had these been smaller proportions with a robust backup, One could wait till the times get better and the stock prices rise again. Unless it's an absolutely useless company, the prices are bound to rise after a fall.
You may check out the Guide to buying a camera.