The good news is that there is no pre-requisite to photography. You don’t have to have a degree or a bunch of classes under your belt. Getting involved in photography can seem intimidating if you’ve never done it before, but don’t worry. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to drop thousands of dollars to begin taking photos.
There’s plenty of equipment on the more affordable side that you can pick from, and you don’t have to buy it all on your first time around. One of the worst things is spending money on something that you don’t end up liking or doesn’t work for you, so don’t be afraid to take your time while you build up your gear collection.
At this point in your photography journey, you might not know exactly what you need. What’s actually essential in taking photos? Are there editing programs that are better than others? Why does it matter what lens I pick?
Top Ten Gear Pieces To Have In Your Stash
The first thing you’ve got to buy, and the one thing you absolutely need if you’re going to take photos, is a camera. David and Rich prefer to shoot with Canon products, but Nikon, Sony and the like are all good alternatives if you like those better.
A great camera to start out with is the Canon T7. This one comes with a built in flash and it’s a more compact size that won’t weigh you down too much on your adventures. It comes with a memory card, which will store your photos and the information from your camera. Make sure you hold on to it — you can’t take pictures without it!
Next, you’ll want to find a lens. A good one for a beginning collection is the Canon50MM 1.8. Let’s break down what that means. The 1.8 is referring to the size of the lens aperture, which is basically how much light the lens lets into the camera when you take a picture. 1.8 is on the larger end of the lens spectrum, which means that there is a larger opening and more light coming in. This also means there is a faster shutter speed, which is the length of time that the inside of the camera is exposed to light
You’ll also want to get a flash, like the Yongnuo YN560-IV Speedlite, for the times when you need extra light. You can pick from a variety of flashes that attach right to your camera.
Speaking of light, reflectors will help redirect light in a scene if the natural light isn’t working for the photos.
Have a set of rechargeable batteries on hand just in case some of your equipment begins to run low. Switch out old batteries for new ones so that you don’t have to end a shoot earlier than needed! It can’t hurt to have a few extra chargers on hand as well. Better safe than sorry.
Make sure you’ve got a good camera bag to protect and organize your equipment. That way you’ll know where everything is when you need something. You’ll want to make sure it’s the right size for the equipment that you have, so that it doesn’t weigh you down, and that it’s not too cluttered, so nothing will get lost or broken.
A cleaning kit will help keep dirt, dust and moisture out of your camera so it runs smoothly. The last thing you want is equipment that starts malfunctioning just because dust got inside of it! An air blower will help remove particles from the inside of your camera, while the lens wipes and cloth will get rid of smudges or dirt on the lens itself.
Choosing the right tripod means that you’ll give your camera the stability it needs for you to take longer exposure shots, landscape shots, and panoramas without being shaky… and if you are curious to read more thoughts about Tripods, head on over to My Favorite Tripods Blog Post.
You’ll also want to get a good camera strap for two important reasons. First, your camera will always be at your disposal, even when you can’t hold it. Second, you won’t accidentally drop it on the ground. A good strap will also keep you comfortable so that you can make it through long shoot days.
Finally, there are a couple of editing programs you’ll want to look at once you’ve taken your pictures. Make sure your computer is compatible with Adobe Creative Suite so that you can use Photoshop and Lightroom to edit all of your photos.
Don’t worry if you don’t have all of these items quite yet — figure out what is the most important thing to you and use this list of gear to help you get there. Taking photos is all about your personal expression and capturing the moments in life that are the most beautiful to you.
Everyone is at a different place in their photography journey, but every great photographer started out in the same place. So whether you’ve admired the art your entire life or you’ve never picked up a camera, you can start exactly where you are now.