There’s a fine line between a hobby photographer and a professional photographer. For one, a pro tends to make a sizable career out of it, while the hobbyist does it for fun, even if they make some money. But if you want to make a career out of photography, it’s imperative that you have the correct equipment.
What kind of equipment you get to set up shop will determine the types of clients you get. Whether you do outdoor photography or studio works, we’re going to walk you through the key pieces you need to assert yourself as a professional.
The Camera (Or More)
A photographer isn’t going to get very far if he or she doesn’t have a camera. The kind of camera you want is highly personal and dependent on your needs, budget, and your own tastes. You want a camera that has a high resolution. You also have to choose between digital or film, although many photographers these days use both. Usually the film for hobby pictures, and the digital for professional works.
We can’t tell you exactly which camera you should get. But once you have found the perfect one for you, you’re ready for the next pieces of equipment.
Just because you have the camera doesn’t mean you can’t get accessories to make it even better. Most pros have an arsenal of different lenses to use on their camera(s). These lenses let them get closer to microscopic details and usually need to be carried in separate bags because they are so big. They are ideal if you take up-close nature photography, but can be used for other purposes as well. Some popular lenses include those that create filter effects without any photo editing. If you want a surreal edge to your photos, this could be a good investment.
No matter how steady you think your hand is, it’s not steady enough for most professional portraits. A tripod is one of a photographer’s greatest friends. With a tripod you can ensure that your camera is set up perfectly while you concentrate on creating a scene or fixing your lighting. A good tripod is one that is sturdy and adjustable, meaning you can lower or raise it depending on the height you need. Tripods are one of the cheapest accessories you can get without sacrificing quality.
If you do studio photography, then you know how important it is to have the proper lighting to make sure your photos come out great. You can’t just rely on the flash that comes with your camera – oftentimes these flashes are much too powerful for a professional photo. Instead you need to invest in studio lighting that will bring out the best in your subject, without washing them out or making them too dark to properly capture. Lighting is important even for some outdoor shoots, such as doing outdoor wedding photos.
Photoshop (Or Other Program)
Photoshop or something like it is a must these days. You don’t have to get crazy with the editing, but it can help you touch up lighting issues, erase objects that should not be in the photo, and add filters to create a certain feel in a photo. These programs aren’t that expensive or take much to get used to, so it’s worth checking out.
Becoming a serious, professional photographer requires more than just a point and shoot camera. You need the other essential pieces as well, but luckily you can bring them in gradually. Good luck on your new career as a serious photographer!