08 Jan Photo Equipment and Gear
My most commonly asked question isn’t, “what is the best time of day to shoot.” Or even, “What should I wear?” By far, the question I get asked the most is, “What equipment and gear should I buy to be able to take photos like you do?”
So, rather than continually emailing each person with the same information, I thought I’d post it here for you to have and share with all of your friends.
My first camera was a Canon EOS 40D 10.1MP Digital SLR Camera and, man, did I ever love that camera. It was the first time I realized just how amazing a camera could be. It was a great first camera and it doesn’t cost nearly as much as some of the other cameras out there. It will run you about $200.
I love that blurry background look – which means that I only buy lenses that have very wide apertures. A wonderful first lens is the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Camera Lens. It is so cheap for what you get – $125. Its a 50mm lens which means that it is a great mid-range lens and the f/1.8 means that you can shoot with a really wide aperture – great for those blurry backgrounds and shooting when the light is not so good.
You will also need a memory card. I recommend Lexar Professional 400x 8GB SDHC UHS-I Flash Memory Card LSD8GBCTBNA400. Lexar is a great brand and this one will write really fast which will let you take lots of pictures in a row without a lag time. This one runs $10. SanDisk is my second choice. It is a bit cheaper but not quite as reliable in my experience.
With a memory card comes a memory card reader. Transcend P8 15-in-1 USB 2.0 Flash Memory Card Reader TS-RDP8K (Black) is only $10 and you will need it to transfer your images from your camera to your computer.
So, there is your basic set-up. For $345 you can get a really decent camera system that will take lovely pictures.
Now, if you are anything like me and can’t help but continually drool after more and more gear…so, (brace yourself) here is a complete list of all of my equipment.
Canon EOS 5D Mark II – My most favorite camera in the entire world…until I save up enough to buy the Canon EOS 5D Mark III 22.3 MP Full Frame CMOS with 1080p Full-HD Video Mode Digital SLR Camera (Body)
Mark II Full Frame DSLR Camera.
(Yes, I use two camera bodies when I shoot…because…you know…you never know when you’ll need another camera body….right?)
(I know, this is a crazy expensive lens, but I use it for EVERYTHING. It is my workhorse. and it will run you about 2K because it is that good)
This is a great affordable lens for capturing people. 80mm is long enough that it makes your subject look beautiful – honestly, I try to avoid shooting people with anything smaller than this lens.
This is my second most useful lens and if you thought the 24-70 was expensive then don’t even look at this one. It cost more than my first car but the pictures it takes are amazing and worth every penny, in my opinion. This lens takes photo that are very far away and it compresses the image beautifully. This is the lens I use when I take close up photos of people. The compression is super flattering and the blurry background is amazing.
I bought this lens so that I could take photos of real estate and landscapes. With a really wide angle, it can make even a tiny bathroom like mine look huge and beautiful. If you want to go into real estate photography, this is your lens.
Canon Speedlite 580EX Flash for Canon EOS SLR Digital Cameras – Older Version I have 4 of these babies so that I can shoot with off camera light. Have you ever wondered why people look so washed out and one dimensional in flash photos? Its because most point and shoot cameras only use one flash ON the camera to provide the light. With these set up around the room, I can light a subject from multiple angles which gives a person dimension. I can also control how much light each flash produces. Its a pretty great system.
While you can put the flashes on pretty much any surface, light stands are cheap and useful so I have a couple of these.
Etekcity® 24″ (60cm) 5 in 1 Portable Round Collapsible Multi Disc Photography Studio Photo Camera Light Reflector Diffuser Kit, Great for Photo Shoots and Taking Pictures in Accurate Lighting Reflectors are so useful, and pretty fun. I use mine all the time to get the light where I want it.
So, that is about it. I mean, I have lots and lots of memory cards, extra batteries, battery chargers and a few fancy stylized lenses that I didn’t list, but this is my basic set of equipment that I take with me on just about every shoot.
I really hope you found this a little bit helpful. Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions. I’m always happy to geek out about camera gear 🙂