Photography is an expensive hobby or profession for that matter. But you can work your way around it and find good deals or simply not buy the stuff you won’t be using. That’s why today I’m narrowing down a list of photography essentials for all of you beginners out there. So you know exactly what you’ll need and what essentials to buy at the beginning.
There’s a stereotype in photography that goes something like “Why is your service so expensive if you are only pushing a button. Everyone can push a button”.
This pisses me off so bad. Firstly, because even though the photo itself is indeed taken by pushing buttons – not just one though – the final result works not thanks to that freaking button. The camera does the mechanics, but the photographer is the one taking the photo. Is like saying “Your meal is delicious, you must have a very fancy oven”.
There’s a lot of knowledge behind every single shot. Lighting conditions, how to position your subject, how t0 expose the camera correctly, composition, paying attention to small details and correcting them. In post-processing, backing up your photos. Culling them and choosing which ones to edit. Edit them – which can take hoooooours – and retouching them. Therefore, no, it’s not just pushing a button. And no, not anyone can do it. Not to say how expensive photography gear is! So yes, the service must compensate all of that!
End of rant.
I really hope you find this list helpful because it’s really just the photography essentials everyone would need at the beginning, no matter what style of photography you shoot. And I also wanted to clear out that I’m starting from the fact that you already own a camera and a kit lens at the very least. If not, what are we doing here?
PHOTOGRAPHY ESSENTIALS FOR BEGINNERS
- Tripod. I think that a tripod is a really necessary piece of equipment to have. It’s very helpful in very different situations; experimenting with long exposures, if you have a big lens and need steadiness, self-portraits, etc.
- Camera cleaning kit. There’s nothing as annoying in this world as coming back home from a shoot and finding out ALL of your photos have a spot/stain in them. Clean your lenses every time!
- Camera strap. I know must cameras already come with straps, but in case yours don’t I highly recommend getting one. You don’t want your camera falling from your hands! And they look cute 😉
- Camera bag. This is very helpful especially when you need to carry a lot of equipment with you. And if not, it’s really useful to store your equipment in one place at home. They can be really cute and comfortable to carry as well!
- Extra battery. I highly recommend this especially if you start shooting professional work. You don’t want your camera to die in the middle of a paid shoot. NO NO. Linked is a Neewer version of Canon’s LP-6EN, but of course you need to figure out the battery model you need for your own camera.
- Fast memory card. I know they can be expensive, but it will change your experience knowing that your camera is saving all that data quickly to the card, and you can keep shooting at a fast pace. And that you don’t have to worry about filling the card and not having enough space for more photos.
- External hard drive. With this one, I KNOW that can be expensive as well. But yet again, if you’re doing paid works, you need to back up your files. Raw files weigh a ton, and you need to store them in a safe place.
- ND Filters. These are helpful when you shoot outside, at bright hours and on wide apertures. But also when trying to do a day-time long exposure. ND filter will take 10 stops of light (depending on model and brand) and will help you get a correctly exposed photo, instead of an overexposed one.
- Speed-lite. These ones aren’t really that necessary. I, for example, love shooting with natural light. But I understand that depending on what you’re shooting and the situation you’re in, you need to have some sort of help lighting-wise sometimes. And it’s really great to learn how to use every equipment anyways. Speed-lites can be expensive, especially if they are originally branded. That’s why I linked this option because it has great quality and a very affordable price.
If you really are just starting into photography I would really recommend you read my four-post series Photography Tips. It will teach you in a really easy way, how to shoot in manual mode, understand your camera and all of those difficult terms, etc.
This is the order to read them:
As bonus tips I would like to add the following:
- The lens is more important than the camera. Of course, it’s not always the case, but it’s better to have an entry-level camera with a super powerful lens than to have the most expensive professional camera and a cheap kit lens. So invest in lenses first!
- Prioritize prime lenses over zooms, they are sharper and faster.
- If you are not sure what style of photography you want to shoot, therefore, you don’t know what lens to buy. Start with a 50mm! The nifty fifty is famous for a reason! Its focal length is similar to what your eyes see, so it’s really easy to use. Starting from that then you can move on to maybe a 35mm for wider looks, or an 85mm for tighter ones. These three lenses are known as the holy trinity. It’s great if you could have them all eventually.
- Practice, practice and practice some more!