Hi, this is Jay P Morgan. Today on The Slanted Lens we’re going to look at the six pieces of equipment, six pieces of equipment that you need to make money in photography. That’s all you need, six pieces of equipment. You should allow yourself with a minimal amount of equipment to start a really healthy side hustle, or a great way to make a living. You don’t need a ton of equipment. I have mentored hundreds of people, and they have all started out with simple equipment packages, but you do need these six things. So let’s take a look at those six things right now.
Number one is a camera. You’ve got to have a camera, obviously. It doesn’t have to be the best camera in the world. This is the EOS R it’s a great camera, not the best camera in the world. This is a Canon Rebel. I know a lot of people who have made money and are making good money shooting with a Canon Rebel. You just need a decent camera that is going to get a decent image and the Canon Rebel is exactly that. It does not have to be a full frame and does not have to be a $6,000 camera. You can spend $1,000 on a camera and get a camera that is going to be very, very usable and get you great images and help you start to make a living.
So once you have a camera, what’s the next thing you need? Well, number two is a lens, you have to have a lens on your camera. Now this varies for every single person. You are going to want to choose the lens that is best for you and what you’re going to be photographing. That 16 to 35mm is a great place for someone to start who’s going to do architectural kinds of work. But if you’re going to do portraiture, I think a 50 millimeter, a good fast 50 millimeter like a 1.2 is a great place to do portraits and some kinds of family settings. You can even do a lot of wedding stuff with that 50 millimeter lens. Generally speaking, I tell people to get a zoom just because it gives you more options. If you’re doing portrait kinds of things a 24 to 70mm is a great lens because it gives you a little wider for context, but then a little more closer to an 85 gives you more of that context, a little more of a portrait type lens. So I think a zoom lens is a great second piece of equipment to add to your equipment package, because it does give you some options.
So number one was the camera. Number two was a zoom lens. What’s number three? A card, you have to have an SD card to go in your camera. Get two of them. Don’t buy a small SD card like 16 megabytes. Get at least 64 or 128 MB. You know at this point 256 MB is almost starting to become mandatory on a lot of cameras. It depends on what camera you’re shooting on. But get decent SD cards that are going to last you for a long time. And that are going to really give you the space to be able to shoot a lot of images. Alright, so there’s number three.
Number four, a tripod, you’re going to need a tripod. There will always be situations where you’re shooting where you’re going to need a tripod. If you’re doing event photography at night, you may want to get some long drag shutter images. So a tripod becomes very important. Or if you want to set up your camera and then go work with your talent. So having a tripod is just a must in photography. You may not use it all of the time, but you should always have one.
Number five, you have to have a computer or access to a computer with the ability to sort images and send images to people. You can try to do it all on your phone but that just becomes extremely cumbersome. You don’t even need to have Adobe Photoshop, there are other programs out there that will give you a great way to sort and send images and they are much less expensive and don’t have a monthly fee. So you don’t even need Photoshop. But you do need a computer or a way to be able to sort your images and send images out because everything becomes about editing and fulfilling orders and getting things out to your clients.
Number six is your first piece of lighting equipment. It’s a 4 in 1 or a 7 in 1 reflector. You want to get a reflector with multiple covers because you can use a translucent to allow light to pass through it to just give a nice soft light on someone’s face. Put it up in front of the Sun and it makes it like a softbox. You can put on a hard bounce so you can bounce light back into someone’s face to open up the shadows. You don’t even need to stand for this. There’s always a boyfriend, girlfriend, brother in law, somebody standing around or a good friend of yours who will go and hold a reflector for you. But that’s going to give you a piece of lighting equipment that’s going to make your images look a lot better. They’re going to up your images significantly one level because you’re going to have much nicer lit images. And they’re going to look so much better than taking just exactly whatever nature gives you.
I may throw in a bonus piece of equipment, number seven. The first thing most people are going to step up to after this set of equipment is some kind of on camera flash. The reason that we go here is because we want something that we can do event photography with or wedding photography with. Something to provide a fill light to be able to bounce off the ceiling to give us a nice light when we’re doing events or weddings. And this becomes a very easy way to accomplish that. It’s compact. It moves around with us very easily. It’s just a really simple way to work.
I’m not an advocate of buying the stuff that’s a brand name because generally speaking, you can find really great aftermarket strobes or on camera flashes that are half the price at least. Because if you spent $500 for a 50 watt strobe, you paid a premium because for $500, you can get an FJ400. You can get a 400 watt strobe, but does a 400 watt strobe move around like the FJ80? No, it does not. And so that’s why a lot of people get this.
So there you have it. Secure these six items and you now are ready to make money in photography. You are ready. I give you permission to make money in photography. Get these six pieces of equipment and start shooting now. More than likely you have all six pieces of this equipment. So why aren’t you shooting? Why aren’t you getting jobs?
Carry your camera with you everywhere you go. So people are going to ask, “Hey, are you a photographer?” “Yes, I am. Here’s my card.” Get out there and start hustling. Network with everybody you know. Start to take pictures and put them up on Instagram of your nieces, your nephews, your family, of buildings or of whatever is going to be key to the type of work you want to do and just start shooting and putting things up. As you start shooting and putting things up, things will start to happen. But if you wait, these six pieces of equipment are just going to sit around and not do anything where you could have a great side hustle going or a great way to make a living.
So leave some comments. Let us know your story. How is it that you got started in photography. Tell us your scary stories about how hard it was in the beginning. You have to overcome each one of those. But remember, what makes a professional? That is, practice in a stress situation makes professional photographers. So keep those cameras rollin’ and keep on clickin’.