When I bought my first DSLR from a friend and started getting serious about my photography business, I was overwhelmed with the amount of “stuff” I could potentially accumulate. Things could get expensive in a hurry! As time went on, I noticed that I could do a LOT with the amount of equipment I had. Here’s what you need to know if you are just starting out, and a few other recommendations to help you.
Obviously, you need a camera. I started out with a Canon Rebel xsi that I bought from a friend who had upgraded after launching her photography business. This was the perfect starter DSLR. I think I paid $500 for it, and I had it for nearly 3.5 years. It used regular SD cards (which I had from my point and shoot) and the kit lens was a great starter. If you are looking for something to start with, check out these cameras: Canon Rebel T5, Nikon D3200. (I am a Canon girl, but have friends that love Nikon!) You may also find a good deal on an older model at a camera store or even on Craigslist!
Next up: lenses. I started out with the 18-55mm lens that came with the Canon Rebel xsi, and for all intents and purposes, it did what I needed it to do! It wasn’t until almost 8 months later that I added one more lens to my collection: the 50mm 1.8. This is a must. For the price (around $100) it is worth it. If I had to choose between ALL of my lenses, this is the lens I would keep. They don’t call it the “nifty fifty” for nothing. I had this and my kit lens for nearly 2 years before adding another one to my collection, and I can’t say enough about it.
My biggest tip for buying lenses: Narrow down what you will use it for. If you need something all purpose for kids, look into the 50mm 1.8. Need something that will shoot from far away? You need a zoom lens. Check out this article for some very, very helpful tips when choosing what lens to buy. Another good way to get help choosing a lens is to ask a friend or other photographer. They may be able to give you more insight to what you need based on what you use them for.
Memory Cards. Make sure you look at what type of card your camera will use! Not only will you need 1-2 cards (maybe more) but you will need to be sure you have a card reader in order to import to your computer.
Another MUST is an extra battery. These generally are pretty inexpensive and well worth it, especially if you are a forgetful/spur of the moment mom like I am!
If you are out and about using your camera, then I suggest getting a camera bag as well. I used an old tote bag for a long time until I got too many items and things started getting scratched. There are literally hundreds of options for a camera bag, but look for one with inside dividers. This will keep your gear from getting broken, scratched, or bumped. The camera bag shown in the photo above is from Jo Totes. LOVE it!
Here are a few extras that are worth mentioning but aren’t 100% necessary: tripod, wireless remote, camera strap cover, and external flashes. These are items that I eventually accumulated once my photography business took off!
This post is part of the #WeDo series over on The Charming Blog! Check there all week for more photography related posts!
I am happy to answer any other questions you may have about your camera gear– feel free to email me! email@example.com