Becoming a professional freelance photographer can be an exciting decision; however, it is important to have the proper photography equipment. A variety of lenses, a good camera, and a few other accessories are key to becoming a profitable photographer. Also, the photography equipment varies with the type of photography. For example, a nature photographer may use different photography equipment than a product photographer. So, it is often suggested that a photographer focus on one general genre of photos so that he can keep his equipment to a minimum.
To begin with most photographers should have a high-quality camera and several lenses. Many times, lenses are extremely expensive. Consequently, it may be a good idea to rent the extra lenses. But the main photography equipment, such as the camera and the main lens, should be the photographer’s own equipment – not rented.
When photographing people for portraits, having the proper lighting is important. Monolights are relatively inexpensive and should be among the first purchases. There are even monolight kits available for purchase. For a few hundred dollars, a new photographer can have two tripod/light stands, one mini backlight stand, two monolights, two soft boxes, an extension cord, a reflective umbrella, a soft white umbrella, a strobe flash light, and a padded carrying case. A reasonably priced kit will help the photographer achieve a professional look for his photographs.
For those who want the bare minimum in photography equipment, a main monolight, and then two smaller ones should also be purchased: one for background light and one to illuminate the client’s hair and face. An umbrella for lighting, soft boxes, and grid spots are also photography equipment requirements. The umbrella for photography is created to reflect, bounce, or soften a source of light. A soft box is a box that surrounds a light so that the light is diffused and has a soft appearance in photos. A grid spot actually prevents the light from spreading so that it can form a concentrated spot of light on a given subject.
Most photographers prefer to use a digital camera. However, the kind of lens that is used for a photo shoot depends on the kind of subject. So, if a photographer is shooting an environmental portrait, he may prefer to use a medium-wide lens. But for many other shots, he may favor an 85 mm (3.35 in) lens. Sometimes, fast lenses are preferred, especially for subjects where there is little depth of field.
In photography, the perfect shot can rarely be duplicated even minutes apart. Lighting, lenses, and timing each play a role. Having the proper equipment will make starting a business as a professional photographer much easier.