So, if you have really made your mind, to venture into the Photography business, then I believe, you need some gadgets on ‘the must-have list’. What these gadgets are? Let’s have a look.
But before you start reading this blog let me tell you that I am assuming you know the role difference between the candid & traditional mode of photography, similarly between cinematic & story mode of video.
So the list of essential goes as follows:-
Camera – Mirrorless camera is the best technology in cameras right now, in the market. As they can play both the roles of capturing pictures and video. Sony a7iii is my personal favorite.
Lens – Considering the camera as brain then the lenses are obviously eye to the same. And what lenses you possess can really differentiate you from the rest of the fraternity in the market.
There is a vast variety in lenses, from prime to zoom lens, the macro lens to telephoto lens & fixed aperture to the variable lens, etc. So here comes the importance of the role that I mentioned above because that only defines, what lens you should have.
For example, a wildlife photographer will need a telephoto lens but a jewelry photographer will need a macro lens.
Camera SD cards – Sandisk, Lexar, Sony, Transcend; these are some brands providing best is class SD cards for cameras. So what we need to keep in mind before buying is the capacity e.g. 32gb / 64gb and then comes in the reading and the writing speed. Presently UHS-I & UHS-II (ultra high speed) are the categories that one should buy from any brand. Sandisk is something more economical and trustworthy in my opinion.
Flash – If you are into photography then you surely need flash to add the required light to the subject. Because major events begin in the evening & continue during nights, then there are many locations that are not properly lit so flash is something that helps you provide that extra throw of light to capture the subject. Even in the properly lit areas, you might need flash to cut the shadows on the face.
Again there is a huge variety of flashes in the market but there are two main categories that differentiate a flash and that is purely based on the location of use. So there are flashes, specially meant for studios, they are heavy and not meant for fast-moving events. You cannot install them on cameras. Then there are flashes that are compact, handy, and very specific to outdoor & fast-moving events. These can be installed on cameras.
I prefer Godox flash because they have a good range of flashes that can fit into various budgets.
Lights – Imagine you are a videographer and not into photography at all. Even at weddings or for corporates what you do is make videos. So you don’t need a flash now rather you need a light, a source that throws continuous light. The objective is simple, lighting the area and highlighting the subject. So again there are portable LED lights in the market that run on batteries and another category are the lights with fixtures that need electricity to work. Must mention that there is a category that is a crossover i.e. they can work with electricity as well as they can run on either external batteries or after being charged.
For events and occasions where the camera has to move, you surely need portable lights but for the studio setup, the other category will work. Feature-wise one can look for RGB option of light, lights with accurate kelvin value and a variety of adjustments that can fit in and around the light. Godox & Yongnuo are the brands that most of the category. And for the one who is looking for perfection, can go for Aputure which is a little premium brand too.
Diffusion – Be it flash or video light, it really can affect the skin tone of the subject. Though to control the throw of light there are inbuilt functions still you need to diffuse the light as per requirements. And here comes into play the diffusers and the softboxes. There are multiple options in sizes and shapes which one can buy but it is suggested to understand first the relation between the source of light and the throw of light that is required. For example, a smaller flash will work well with 40×40 cm softbox but the same flash might not give the desired result with the parabolic 120cm softbox. So you will need a bigger flash like Elinchrom ELC or Godox SK etc.
Stands, Mount & Fixtures – Nobody knows in the beginning but stands and fixtures are the most important part of the photography business. Before planning your budgets, I suggest you keep a space for stands, mounts and other fixtures that are required to make a setup ready. Just for example, you are doing an in-house product shoot and you plan of taking an over-the-table shot, you need two fixed sources of light one for the product and another for the background and you need to mount a flash too. This simplest setup will require 2 stands for a backdrop, 2 for the light source, 1 for flash and respective mounts. Also, the camera will need a stand or a specific tripod for the same.
Tripod and Monopod – This again is a must need and both are required in different situations. This gives you the stability to shoot. For events like marriage, monopods are widely used. Tripod on the other hand gives you the freedom to move, once you have made the basic setup. Also for the situations like a talk show or theatre work, camera is required to be fixed and one surely needs a tripod. Manfrotto is the leading brand that provides the best in quality but there are other smaller brands too like Simpex who cater to your needs economically.
Bag – Kitbag is again something that a person does not count in the budget but you surely need a good bag to protect and move your gadgets onto locations. These bags can really turn a savior in case of accidents. So one should look for bags with good protection and waterproofing features.
Extra Batteries – With a single battery option to the camera, flash and light you can’t survive events that run for longer hours. Imagine a full day wedding full of events, what will you do in mid of something if you are out of battery! You surely need a back-up and hence you need an extra battery for every gadget that you possess. For this, I will suggest going with branded batteries for respective gadgets.
Bonus knowledge – You need to have a bundle of software to edit and present the stuff to your clients and prospects. And the undoubted hero is Adobe, providing software like Photoshop & Lightroom for Photo editing and Premiere Pro for professional video editing.