As a Photography Business Educator and Coach, I am sharing insights about equipment needed to run a professional photography business that I’ve learned over the past four years of business. There is a plethora of camera brands, bodies, and lenses out there, and choosing the right equipment can feel overwhelming when launching a photography business. Not only do you need to choose equipment that will produce beautiful images for your future clients – you also need to choose the equipment that is right for you. Below you will learn my recommendations for basic camera equipment that will help you in your professional photography business.
One of the first things you’ll need to think about when getting into photography or when starting your photography business is investing in a solid camera body. There are a handful of great brands to choose from, including Canon, Nikon, Sony, and more. My brand of choice has always been, and will always be Canon, however with the right type of camera body and lens, any of those brands will allow you to capture beautiful photos of your clients.
So…should you get a crop sensor or full frame camera body? Well, the answer is not that simple. Many photographers, including myself, start their business before they invest in top of the line camera equipment. They might start with a crop sensor camera, which is usually substantially more affordable than full frame cameras, and then as their business grows, so does their repertoire of equipment.
Crop sensor cameras are more affordable, but the sensor is smaller, and doesn’t let in as much light as a full frame camera. Full frame cameras have better low-light capabilities, and often produce sharper, cleaner images.
Whether you choose to invest in a great full frame camera, or to start with a crop sensor camera, to produce the most beautiful portraits, you’ll definitely want to invest in a good lens. And no matter what, as your business grows, and you become busy serving clients, you’ll eventually want to invest in high quality equipment so you can give your clients the best!
The lenses you use substantially change the look of your images, arguably even more so than a camera body.
If you are a lover of creamy bokeh and a sharp subject, you definitely want to upgrade from your kit lens right away. You’re probably already paying an arm and a leg for a good camera body, but don’t let buying a new lens intimidate you – there are some great, high quality lenses, at good prices, and I’m sharing three of them with you today!
This lens usually retails for $80-125, and is totally worth the spend. This is a solid lens that does’t break the bank, and is perfect to start out with to take beautiful photos of your clients.
This lens usually retails for $400-500 and creates beautiful, creamy blurred backgrounds, while maintaining sharpness of your subject.
This lens usually retails for $300-400 and is a good step forward from the nifty fifty. The aperture can be lowered and opened to let in more light, creating gorgeous bokeh.
You might not consider software to be equipment, but you do need it in order to start and grow a thriving photography business. Now that you have your camera and lens, you’ll need some software to edit, store, and deliver your images, along with client management softwares that will help you run your business.
Editing your photos is just as important as taking the pictures – this is how photographers stand out in their market, as each photographer’s style is unique and different. Adobe Lightroom is the most popular editing software, and is worth the $10/month.
After you photograph your clients and edit their images, you’ll need a way to deliver their images to them in a professional manner. I’ve heard of many photographers using Google Drive to deliver images, since it’s completely free, however, quality of images are diminished each time an image is uploaded and downloaded from Google Drive. In addition, while it is free, it doesn’t “wow” clients like a gallery delivery site does, as it doesn’t have a professional look. My gallery delivery site of choice is called Pixieset. They have a free option, and a few paid plans. It’s professional, user friendly, and my clients love it!
View more software recommendations here.
A lot of preparation goes into investing into and starting a photography business, and it definitely takes some time, effort, and money to get started. Hopefully this post was helpful in getting you started with reliable and affordable equipment and software for you to start and grow your photography business. For more photography business resources, guides, and trainings, click here.
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