The minimum equipment list

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by skywalkerbeth, Feb 10, 2008.

  1. skywalkerbeth

    skywalkerbeth TPF Noob!

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    Hello all,

    I am planning to make steps into turning my hobby into a business - which may take a while, but that's ok, I'll build it up as I have the cash.

    What would you consider to be the absolute minimum list of equipment needed to get started?

    I currently have:

    1. Canon 30D
    2. 35mm 1.4L lens
    3. Polarizing Filter for same
    4. laptop (that is running out of space!)
    5. tabletop tripod
    6. Canon SD 800IS
    7. Photoshop Elements and a manual - haven't cracked it open yet

    My wish list:

    1. ND filter
    2. Gitzo travel tripod - GT1550
    3. LENSES - all I have is the prime. (next research project - which lenses)
    4. A remote for the shutter

    What would you consider to be the utter minimums (equipment only, for this question) for a photography business?

    I haven't thought of a proper name, nor do I have a website (I just use flickr). I don't have a marketing plan, and I surely need to learn how to use photoshop and also just become more proficient as a photographer, period.

    Many thanks to all.
     
  2. skieur

    skieur TPF Noob!

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    Well with lenses it depends on what type of shooting you expect to do. Zoom lenses by the way have caught up to primes in terms of quality according to the magazines that use labs to test such differences.

    I find that a lens with 28mm in its focal length is very useful. It allows you to work in tight situations and will get more use than wider lenses that cause more distortion.

    A fast 70mm to 200mm f. 2.8 is very flexible for indoor shooting of an event, wedding, church ceremony etc.

    A good macro/portrait lens 100mm may or may not be a consideration depending on your plans.

    Again depending on what you plan to shoot, you may require a light table, light boxes, reflectors, a small lighting kit in a case and one of the glassless high quality scanners. I have also found use for a copy stand.

    skieur
     
  3. MichaelT

    MichaelT TPF Noob!

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    Well, in my opinion you're going about it backwards. A lot of people do that.

    It's like video editing. Lots of people buy the computer and then try to make it do video editing. The better way is to decide that you want to do video editing, find the best program to do it, and lastly buy a computer that is built to run the program.

    In your case, first decide what kind of photography you enjoy the most, then define the equipment that will best facilitate that kind of work. You may need to sell what you have to get what you need.
     
  4. lifeafter2am

    lifeafter2am TPF Noob!

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    You have to know what you want to shoot first, as everyone else has said.

    I can, almost safely, say that a 70-200mm f/2.8L can never be a bad purchase. It is a great lens and has a wide versatility.
     
  5. Peanuts

    Peanuts TPF Noob!

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    As previously stated, determine what you are wanting to shoot and build around that. Don't worry about websites, marketing, logo, name, business card etc. until you have a business plan
     
  6. skywalkerbeth

    skywalkerbeth TPF Noob!

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    Thank you! Good ideas, all.

    I envisioned starting out by selling what I've already taken and what I really enjoy taking - photos of my travels. It's when I feel the most inspired to shoot. My lens repertoire is pretty limited for that - not to mention the "type" of photos I take while traveling - I'm more shy to take those great people candids. I need to work on that a lot.
     
  7. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    Sounds like you're talking on location portrait work.

    The minimum equipment list is one camera and one lens. If you understand light well enough you can get away without so much as a reflector.

    Mere mortals will generally require a reflector and some sort of fill flash, then a wide angle, standard, and portrait lens.
     
  8. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I agree with the others, concentrate on the type of photography business you want to have, then build your equipment toward that.

    Selling image, on their own, would be (IMO), very hard. A much better way to be successful would be to sell the service of professional photography.

    More important than any bit of equipment...is knowledge (and further to that, experience). Work on that and the rest will fall into place.
     
  9. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    Equipment is the least of your worries. Focus on the creativity that will get you noticed. More often then not you can get by with what you've got and a bounce.

    Love & Bass
     
  10. Sclark

    Sclark TPF Noob!

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    Personally, I'd recommend a better camera if you are looking to go into this full-time. While the 30D is nice, I'd suggest selling it and replacing it with a 5D or 40D. You'll get significantly better photographs.

    I'd also recommend at least a 24-70 2.8L lens - this is a very good lens for any photography.

    LIGHTROOM! I suggest Adobe Lightroom. Download the 30 day demo at adobe.com. This is a must-have. (Or you could get photoshop CS3).

    Those are what I would recommend off-hand. :)

    Hope this helps.

    - Spencer Clark
    Anna and Spencer Photography - Atlanta Wedding Photographers
     
  11. photogincollege

    photogincollege TPF Noob!

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    Also, if you can afford it, and do want to upgrade camera's, keep your 30d, and use it as a backup.
     
  12. AprilRamone

    AprilRamone TPF Noob!

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    I agree with Spencer about getting lightroom. You can do a lot of editing in that without even needing to take your images into PS. But, eventually you will want to get PS as well.
    I disagree about needing to upgrade your 30D though. I guess this just depends on what you are wanting to take pictures of, but I use a 20D and get great results using nice lenses. Of course, I do want to upgrade to a 5D eventually and just keep my 20D's as back ups. I just wouldn't upgrade first thing if you are just starting out. I'd prefer to upgrade lenses first.
     

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