In this article I am going to lay out 6 pieces of equipment that every beginner commercial photographer should start out with. The first three are my top MUSTS and the last three are more so add-ons for when you feel you have mastered the first three.
THE MUST HAVES
1. A Good Camera
A good camera is essential for taking good photos. If you are serious about becoming a commercial photographer I would suggest splurging on a good camera.
You don’t want to waste $500 on a mediocre camera just to upgrade a year from now. Instead, I believe in investing in a good camera right off the bat.
There are so many options you can go with: Nikon, Sony, Canon, etc. Just note, whichever body you decide on will most likely be the brand you stick with for the rest of you photography career.
I personally use and love the Canon 70D.
2. Lights / Lighting
Lights are great for adding dimension to your photos. They also come in handy when you are shooting in circumstances with low or insufficient lighting. However, if you do not have the budget to spend on lights right now all you need is GOOD LIGHTING.
Good lighting would be natural lighting! Anywhere there is a window letting in sufficient amount of sunlight (or you can even take your photos outside in the direct sunlight). I used to do this when I was first starting out and it is totally possible!
When you are ready to purchase industry standard lights, I personally suggest Soft Box lights. This is what I have been using for over a year now and I absolutely love them!
Backdrops are great if you don’t have any nice-looking countertops or flooring. Backdrops can help make your photo look more professional.
Now again, you don’t need to go out and spend hundreds of dollars on expensive backdrops. Instead, I’m going to share with you a little hack!
I take almost all my photos on a marble backdrop that I DIY-ed for less than $5! All you need to get is foam bristle board and marble drawer stickers from the dollar store.
Then just paste your sticker onto the bristled board! Now you have a backdrop that looks professional and yet didn’t cost you a dime.
4. Black and White Cards
I put this item under the add-ons because I believe you need a bit more of skill before you start using white and black cards. Once you have mastered the first three camera equipment then you can move onto this.
Black and white cards are great for diffusing and bouncing light.
You do not have to spend lots of money here, all you have to do is purchase some black and white bristled board from the dollar store. Even professional photographers can be seen using dollar store bristled board.
Now you might be wondering why I put tripod in the add-ons list. This is because you can totally take photographs by just holding your camera. Tripods can get expensive, and you definitely don’t want to buy a cheap one.
Once you are ready to invest, go ahead and add a tripod to your camera gear but for now, just use what God gave you, good ol’ leftie and rightie.
6. Professional Editing Software
I put professional editing software in the adds on because you definitely do not need to invest in professional editing software right away. There are tons of free applications you can use to edit your photos.
For professional editing software, I recommend Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop.
For free editing softwares I recommend: Adobe Lightroom Mobile Free, Snapseed, and VSCO.
In summary, you don’t have to spend lots of money on fancy equipment to start you photography business. Of course, I believe you should invest in yourself and your business however, you can take it one step at a time.
If you have photography gear questions, feel free to leave them in the comments section and I will get back to you!
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