As a photographer I have spent quite a bit of time researching photography equipment and what I need for my business. Particularly what equipment will allow me to achieve a desired look for my images. I strive for my work to look bright, crisp, rich in detail and of course I love achieving those coveted blurry backgrounds. To achieve this look it is a combination of great light, an artistic eye and also knowing which equipment to utilize.
As a business owner, owning a few key pieces of photography equipment is convenient for quick photography jobs or when you are not able to outsource a professional photographer. Therefore I have compiled a photography equipment list that business owners can use for their own creative businesses even if they are a beginner photographer.
1. DSLR Camera
Everyone is getting their hands on a DSLR camera these days. And why wouldn't you? High quality camera's are finally affordable for the average consumer, now the next step is learning how to use it effectively.
DSLR camera's are great for entrepreneurs by enabling them to create photos to use on social media, their blog or create video content such as tutorials. They are also great for personal use. Now you can take beautiful photos of your vacation, family reunion etc.
I suggest purchasing a camera that is user friendly if you don't have a photography background. The more expensive models are quite confusing if you are just starting to learn how to use a DSLR, and if you don't know how to use the additional functions it provides you no extra benefit. Save yourself the extra money and invest it in other areas of your business.
Lastly, don't worry if you have little or no experience with a DSLR camera, there are lots of free tutorials online walking the user through the different functions of your camera model. Or if you learn better with an instructor present I am certain there are beginner-intermediate photography classes near you, just do a bit of research online.
The camera models I recommend:
- Nikon D3300, $650
- Nikon D7200, $1200
2. Prime Lens
The first purchase I would make after a DSLR camera is a prime lens. Prime lenses are lenses where the focal length is fixed. They produce sharper photos and are constructed with higher quality glass than zoom lenses. I suggest investing in a prime lens that is similar to your own field of view, so a 35mm or 50mm, and also choose a model that has a low aperture.
The prime lenses I recommend:
- Nikkor 50mm F1.4, $580
- Nikkor 50mm F1.8, $200
- Nikkor 35mm F1.4, $1200
A lens with a focal length around 35mm-50mm is quite versatile. I use my 50mm F1.4 and 35mm 1.4 for everything. It is a great focal length for portraits, detail shots of products, and shooting in small spaces. Photography forums will tell you an 85mm or 70-200mm lens are the best portrait lens, and I don't deny that fact. However you need to have a large space to shoot in to be able to use it.
Another distinctive quality of my style of photography is the soft, blurred out backgrounds. I love how dreamy the photos look. This can be achieved with a low aperture, anywhere from F 1.2-2.8. Having the ability to shoot at a low aperture is also beneficial for low light situations, such as when shooting indoors.
3. Wide Angle Lens
A wide angle lens is necessary for when you want to capture a wide field of view. It is used to photograph interiors, landscapes, architecture, events etc. I use my wide angle lens a lot when I travel, so it is great for personal use as well.
If you are an interior decorator, an event planner, a restaurant owner or architect than a wide angle lens would be a great tool to help market your business. Photographing detail shots of your work is great but in this case capturing those wide, cinematic scenes really showcase the entire project.
The wide angle lenses I recommend:
- Sigma 10-20mm, $650 (for crop sensor cameras only)
- Nikkor 24-70mm, $2350
4. Tripod & Remote
If what you are marketing is you for your business, then you need to be in front of the camera as often as possible. So if you want to take photos of your outfit of the day or film a video with yourself for Youtube, a tripod and remote will prove very useful.
A tripod is a three legged stand for supporting a camera. A tripod is ideal to use if you need to take photos or videos of yourself. A tripod also reduces camera shake. So if you find your photographs are not as sharp as you would like then using this piece of equipment could help solve that issue.
A remote is a tool to accompany a tripod. Most cameras have a self timer, so you can jump into frame before the photo is taken once the camera is set up on a tripod, however it can get tricky making sure you are in focus. A remote allows you to stand anywhere and take photos. You don't have to go back after each shot to reset the timer, and you will have an easier time achieving in focus shots by always remaining in front of the lens.
*Note that not all cameras work with remotes, so check first that your camera model does before you purchase.
Tripod & Remote I recommend:
- Manfrotto tripod models, $100+
- Nikon wireless remote, $20
5. Phone Camera
The piece of photography equipment that everyone needs is a great phone camera. Smart phone's have amazing quality camera's built in them now, and despite it not looking as professional as a DSLR camera, they have many benefits.
Benefits of Phone Camera's:
- Portable when you don't want to bring camera equipment
- Does not require batteries, an SD card or additional accessories
- Can post photos immediately to social media without having to upload to a computer first
- Very easy to use
- Very affordable and free apps available to edit photos
- Perfect for spontaneous shots or behind the scenes
The Phone camera's I recommend are:
- iPhone 6 plus, $900
- Google Nexus 6P, $700
With this list hopefully you have learned what photography gear will best suit your business needs and also what is within your budget!
Let me know in the comments, what piece of photography equipment do you find most helpful for your business?