So You Want To Be A Semi-Pro Photographer?


Are you on your way to becoming a Semi-Pro photographer? You should feel excited because maybe before you felt like you knew nothing about photography or you didn’t even know where to start. Now maybe photography isn’t your main source of income yet, but you have some fun with mini sessions and portraits.

The last gear guide, So You Want to Be a Photographer, showed you different pieces of equipment to begin your gear collection. Good news! The gear you need at this Semi-Pro stage in your photography journey is going to be a lot of those same products that you already have in your bag. You’ll reuse a lot of the same pieces to figure out better ways to use them, or you can replace them with versions that offer more than the originals. Let’s take a look.

Top Ten Gear Pieces To Have In Your Stash

Once again, a camera is absolutely essential if you want to be a photographer, and if you’re in the market for an upgrade, the Canon 6D MK II is a great price for a full-frame camera that has a top-notch sensor. It’ll give you sharp and high quality images. There’s even a built-in GPS so you can geotag your photos inside the camera.

You can use the same flash as you did with the hobbyist collection – the Yongnuo YN560-IV Speedlite. For some more information, this flash gives you 100-1500 flashes from just one set of batteries, and it automatically saves your current settings. There’s a built-in bounce card, which goes on the flash and diffuses the light to make it less harsh, and it’s got a color temperature of 5600K. Depending on how high the number is, the color temperature will make the photo warmer and more yellow-toned or cooler and more blue-toned. 

The Canon 50MM 1.4 is a great transition from the 50mm 1.8 we saw in the hobbyist collection, but it’s not too much of a jump that it’ll be overwhelming. It’s got a lower aperture than the 50mm 1.8 so it will let more light through the lens. 

Another good option for a new lens is the Cannon 24-70MM. It’s great for working in difficult lighting situations and can serve you whether you shoot wide-angles or portraits.

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Speaking of lenses, you definitely do not want yours to get scratched. You can get a clear protective filter that protects your lens, and your photos, from UV rays. You can also get colored filters if you want to color correct a shot. This link will bring you to a list so you can choose depending on what you’re looking for.

When you’re working, the last thing you’ll want to do is sort through your cables to find the one you’re looking for. A cable management bag will help you keep track of all your cords, saving you space and time that you’d otherwise spend untangling them. 

A step up from a camera strap, a camera holster will help you carry your camera comfortably on your waist. You won’t feel any weight on your back or neck, and you’ll still be able to reach it easily. 

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memory card case is a perfect way to keep your memory cards protected. They’re small and thin, and since they store all of your photos, you want to make sure you keep them from getting damaged. Find one that’s durable and water-resistant, especially if you travel a lot. 

A shutter release remote is a great option for people who don’t want their camera to be shaky, because you can have your camera on a tripod instead of holding it. The Vello FreeWave Plus is a great option because it’s wireless, meaning it won’t tie you to any one location. It’s also got different features for delay and different exposure modes.

light meter will measure the exposure and tell you the shutter speed and the aperture combination that you’ll need to use for the photo. 

While this isn’t a necessity for every semi-pro photographer, it may be nice to have some products on hand should things go wrong in the middle of a shoot. A Tide To-Go pen, some Band-Aids, a sewing kit, or even some hairspray. You never know when you’ll need them!

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While you may not be a full-time photographer quite yet, don’t get discouraged. 

You’ve come this far, so just keep pushing on! A big part of being a photographer at this level is networking. Figure out who you want to know and what you want to do and just go for it. Even if you still feel like you don’t know a ton about photography, don’t worry. There’s always going to be more for you to learn, and you’re at a great place. Enjoy it!

4 thoughts on “So You Want To Be A Semi-Pro Photographer?”

    1. David Molnar - Your Photography Mentor

      Kate, there are a few good options. This would be a great question for Rich and a Tech Talk episode! You should send that question into the team at [email protected] and tell them you have a Tech Talk question for Rich!

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