I’m one of you. That’s right; I have three daughters filling my home with singing, dancing, and messy crafts, mainly slime. Ugh, the slime!!! When my girls were younger, I decided to try photography so I started a photography studio in Raleigh.
After researching a wide range of photography gear for my studio, I purchased a camera on amazon and dove straight in. A few Christmas Mini Sessions led to a few Spring Mini Sessions, which led me to open a photography business.
Are you thinking about starting a photography business around the Raleigh area? If so, I’d love to walk you through a few things I learned over the last 5 years.
The Photography Gear I Use
The Best Camera Body
Choosing the right camera can be daunting. I know; I’ve been there.
There is a huge debate about which camera brand is better. You have so many great options! Just choose one and go from there. You’ll see the leading camera brands of Canon, Nikon, Sony, and Fuji. They all have beginner lines. Luckily I have a good friend who did a lot of photography for his university in Virginia. A few quick phone calls with him helped steer me in the right direction. Scott directed me to the Canon beginner line known as the Rebel t series.
The EOS DSLR Canon Rebel t7 is what I started with. Included with the camera body was an 18-55mm lens. If you are new to photography, you might not realize that you must change your lens. You have the camera body and then a lens. You can purchase or rent different lenses depending on your job opportunity. The 18-55mm is a great place to start! The lens can zoom out as far as 18mm and zoom in to 55mm. 55mm is what you would want to take a portrait at, and 18mm is more like landscape but enough about the lenses for now.
Let’s chat about the Rebel t7 body; it “is a sleek entry-level DSLR featuring versatile imaging capabilities and a helpful feature-set.” This starter camera is still considered professional level, so don’t let the word “starter” put you off. Its interface will help you learn how to shoot with the auto setting, and as you grow, you can work toward the manual setting.
The Best Camera Lens
When I first started photography, I didn’t understand how the different lenses affected the image.
I quickly discovered I loved taking portraits with a “blurry background.” The blurry background is known as bokeh. According to Google, bokeh is a word with Japanese origins, defined as “the way the lens renders out-of-focus points of light.” You can achieve that bokeh effect by lowering the aperture in the manual settings. The aperture is the space in which the light enters the camera.
The Canon Rebel T7 comes with an 18-55mm f/3.5 aperture. I learned that the 3.5 aperture wasn’t creating the bokeh I wanted. So I did some research on the perfect budget-friendly portrait lens. This lens is endearingly referred to as the nifty fifty. The nifty fifty is a 50mm f/1.8. Remember, you get more bokeh with a lower aperture. This was a perfect beginner portrait lens. You can check out this lens by using the link below.
The Best SD Cards
There’s not a whole lot to say about SD cards. However, you need one if you want to take pictures immediately. The more memory and the higher speed, the better! It can be frustrating in the middle of a session when your SD card runs out of room or when you are snapping away, but your card is so slow. I like the memory to be around 128Gb and the speed to be around 170 mb/s. So far, this seems to be a good fit for my business. Oh, speaking of memory, another thing to do right away changes the file size from JPG to RAW. The RAW files will allow you to capture more so you can edit the details in Lightroom.
The Camera Bag
I’m super picky when it comes to storing my camera. I have tried many different ways to carry my gear. Initially, I left my bag in the car and walked around with my camera. Honestly, that’s not too smart. Your battery could go dead, or you could run out of memory.
Extra batteries and SD cards should be in your bag at all times. I’ve found this compact but roomy backpack. It has come in handy over the past year, and out of all the bags I’ve gone through, this is my favorite so far.
You Got This!
Whew, that’s a lot of photography gear information. But, I hope it has helped. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions about starting a photography studio.
July 11, 2022