what do you need to start a photography business


Like a true artisan or craftsman, photographers depend on their equipment. We could say that to some extent the quality of our work also depends on the quality of our equipment, but that's another blog post!

If you're a relatively new photographer, then photography equipment is something you're likely giving much thought to and maybe some sleepless nights as well! We know we certainly did in our early years, so we thought we'd tackle this subject today.

How much photography equipment does a photographer truly need? The answer, of course, depends on what sort of photography they do. So we'll be speaking in broader terms about essential equipment for a photographer who's becoming serious about his craft. 


One, Two, or Three Cameras?

Obviously, you need at least one camera, but two cameras are better.  So, why two cameras? The first reason is so that you don't have to keep switching out lenses on your single camera. 

Initially, the camera bodies should be identical. One serves as your primary camera while the other is the back-up along with the second lens of choice. As your body of work and expertise expand, you can add a third, pricier, and more professional camera body. 

Keep in mind that you can purchase a camera or rent it. However, renting long-term doesn't make much financial sense. If you need a specific camera for a big job, then you can rent it. Eventually, you can purchase more cameras as your business picks up. 

start with your camera

How Many Lenses?

You'll want at least one - ideally two - lenses per camera you use. Unlike the cameras, however, you'll want some diversity in the lenses to give yourself some options. For example, you want lenses you can swap if there's an issue with a particular lens.

This means you need versatile lenses. Consider keeping these in your bag: 17-40mm L, 35mm, and 28mm lenses, along with 24-70mm, 35mm, and 85mm, and 85mm, 100mm, and 70-200mm lenses. 

You'll find with time that you resort to a favored lens over and over - and that's fine, of course. 

how many lenses

What About Lights?

Lights mean upping your game. It's a lot trickier to work with lights and, we'd recommend that whenever possible, you stick to natural lighting.

Skip the flash and other photography lights. If you really want to dabble in lights - which you will likely need to at some point - then we suggest purchasing (or renting) Speedlights for versatility. Ideally, you should have three lights you can pull out when needed.  

use natural light in photography


You can't get away from using computers and hard drives for today's DSLR photography. Most photographers own a computer, a hard drive, and a laptop. Hard drives and the Internet cloud are for storage, the laptop is for taking with you on location, and the computer is for making edits in the studio. 

technology in photography world

Lastly, do NOT forget one of the most critical elements: back-up all of your work! No amount of expensive equipment and multiple camera bodies can save you if you haven't backed up your work.