6 tips for beginner photographers before you go all in
Photography can be an expensive hobby and a great side business. It’s good to know you can get started in photography on a budget. Looking to follow your passion doesn’t have to break the bank, but there are a few things to keep in mind before you get going.
Get Started in Photography
First, gather some ideas on what style of photography you want to shoot and then start your research. Don’t worry, you can always change your mind later, but this will give you an idea of where to start.
1. Rent gear first
The biggest recommendation I give anyone starting in photography is to rent gear first. There are a few online rental companies that will ship equipment to you and when you’re done, you simply put it back in the box and return it on time.
There are a few online companies I recommend like borrowlenses.com and lensrentals.com. Many will have recommendations or packages for beginners so take these into account when deciding what type of photography you would like to specialize in.
Canon, Sony, and Nikon tend to be the most well-known brands, but there are others you can try out as well. Figure out your overall budget for equipment and start an account online to begin renting.
2. Research Cameras
When you’re ready to purchase, the bulk of your budget is going to be spent on your camera body and lenses. Once you have rented a few cameras and found a perfect match, research pricing and see if you can find any deals.
Many deals allow you to get a camera body and lens combo to help get you started, but normally the lenses are not the best quality. Something to keep in mind for upgrading down the road. I shoot with the Sony A7ii mirrorless camera, and I highly recommend it to anyone looking to get started with a full-frame camera.
There are also used camera options to consider. Companies like BHPhoto, Adorama, and MPB.com all sell used gear. They inspect all gear and let you know the condition upfront before you buy. This is a great place to start also if you don’t mind a used camera equipment.
3. Lens options
Once you have a camera body, you will want to find a great sharp lens. The lens choice will be based on your specific shooting needs. For landscapes, you will want a wide angle lens like the 16-35mm.
Shooting portraits will make you consider the 50mm, 85mm or the 135mm. Weddings or events will most likely need a zoom lens like the 24-70mm or 70-200mm.
These are not your only choices, but recommendations when you get started in photography. Whatever your shooting preference, make sure you invest in good lenses. Renting a few lenses can help you narrow down the best options for your shooting style.
I recommend waiting before you dive into flash photography. Many photographers start with natural light before jumping into off-camera flash systems or studio strobes.
If you feel you just can’t wait, then look into speedlights and remote triggers for your camera brand. There is a small learning curve to learning off-camera flash, but it can help with low light events and low-light shooting conditions.
Honestly, Youtube is an awesome resource for jumping into lighting. Do a few searches on “flash photography” or “single light photography” and you will find good how-to videos with links to equipment.
5. Editing Software
Post-production is an overlooked element of the photography process. You can outsource your editing, but I recommend keeping creative control over your work. Again, Youtube is an amazing resource for beginners looking to learn retouching techniques. You will find thousands of tutorials on Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop.
These programs are available for a monthly fee so you don’t have to make a huge purchase upfront. Be aware, there will be a learning curve when jumping into these programs. Keep practicing and you’ll get the hang of it.
6. Online Learning
Think you don’t have the time to learn photography? Think again. You don’t have to sit in a classroom for hours to learn a new skill. There are more and more online companies that specialize in creative learning. CreativeLive.com is one example.
They offer classes for all levels. From beginners to advanced students, you will find what you need. Learn at your own pace, and review items over-and-over until you feel comfortable moving on. Photography is a huge category along with design and branding. Need some help with social media? They got you covered. Check out more of the online courses here.
It’s a great time to start photography
There really is no better time to start like now. You can get started in photography on a budget and build as you grow. The best thing to do is start practicing and get your hands on a camera so you can go explore and discover your niche. You won’t regret it.
Jason The Creative – Dallas Portrait Photographer
Photography just decided to grow on me and I never looked back. I am a portrait photographer growing and specializing in model test shoots. Every one starts somewhere and this is my story. Instagram.com/jasonthecreative
What’s in my camera bag
My Portrait Photography Gear for Model Test Shoots
Sony a7riii Mirrorless Camera
High Resolution Studio Camera
Sony a7iii Mirrorless Camera
Great Photo & Video Camera
Sony 85mm f1.4 GMaster
Best Portrait Lens
Sony 35mm F1.8
Great wide lens for lifestyle shoots
Sony Zeiss 55mm f1.8
First lens I purchased – Amazing and light
Sony 24-70mm F2.8 GMaster
Best all-in-one Portrait Zoom Lens
Sony 24-105 f4.0 G Lens
Best all around walk-around lens
Secondary Portrait Photography Camera and Lens
Sony Mirrorless Bodies You Should See
High Quality Studio Camera
Great General Purpose Camera
High Quality Video Camera
Photo and Video Camera
Crop Sensor Video Camera
Amazing Budget Starter Camera
Full-Frame Lenses You Should Check Out
Tamron 28-75mm F2.8 Lens
Great budget option zoom lens
Sony 70-200 F2.8 Lens
Amazing Quality Zoom Lens
Sony 16-35mm f2.8 Lens
Superb wide-angle Lens
Sony 85mm F1.8 Lens
Great Budget Portrait Lens
Sony 24mm F1.4 Lens
Sharp Wide Prime Lens
Crop-Sensor Lenses You Just Might Need
Tamron 28-75mm F2.8 Lens
Great budget option zoom lens
Sony 18-105 F4.0 Lens
Awesome Video Lens
Sigma 16mm F1.4
Great YouTube Lens
Sigma 30mm F1.4
Sharp & Light Weight Lens
Sigma 56mm F1.4
Go-To Portrait Lens
My Current Off Camera Studio Flash Lighting / Location Kits
Profoto Air Remote TTL-S
Profoto B2 250 AirTTL Location Kit
Portable light strobes
Profoto OCF 2×3 Softbox
Portable soft light modifier
Profoto OCF Softbox 2ft Octa
Small direct soft box
Profoto 41in Deep Medium Umbrella
Main studio modifier
Profoto OCF Speedring
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