Although not optimal, is this equipment sufficient?


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Mar 9, 2009
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South Africa, Johannesburg
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Hi everyone

Let me kick off my first question on TFP. It looks like this is going to be an "addictive" forum:lol:

I recently invested in my first DSLR gear (Nov last year). I got the D90 with the 16-85 mm lens and a Sigma 10-20mm, a SB-800 flash, a remote shutter release and due to budget constraints, I bought a Panasonic FZ28 bridging camera as a "budget backup" camera which has a awesome focal range of 27mm-486mm. The FZ28 shoots RAW and delivers outstanding image quality, so though it would be a handy backup tool to have for now while I cannot afford another DSLR body.

I mainly focus on shooting real estate (interior and exterior), with my style mainly focused on blending exposures to balance lighting.

I am looking at exploring other areas of photography (to be more productive & boost income) such as event photography, informal family portraits and corporate head shots. I know prime lenses with F2.8 and below is the optimal gear to use for this, but I wanted to find out from the more experienced togs doing this type of work, can I enter these areas of the market with the equipment I currently have? Is my gear sufficient to "handle" the job in the meantime while I build up more capital to invest in the more optimal lenses? I am not in a position to yet buy another flash or lens and was hoping you can share your opinions with me.

Thanks so much for any input!
That entirely depends on the portraits. These prime lenses serve the purposes of shooting in low light, and shooting with large depth of field. Now typically portraits are often narrow depth of field to focus on the subject and throw the background into a blur, but rules are made to be broken and there are plenty of portraits that are taken no where near the widest aperture.

Have a play around and see what you can do creatively, and develop a style you like. The SB-800 is great since it's a portable sun in your pocket, use Wireless CLS to trigger it and head over to Strobist for some ideas of how you could use even this one flash creatively. When you have a style which does not necessarily require wide apertures then you're set if you can find others who like it too.

Finally low budget portraits is easy enough to achieve too thanks to the ludicrously low price of the 50mm f/1.8
Thanks for your response Garbz

I will follow your suggestions and head over to Strobist.

However, apart from the low DOF achievable with the prime lenses, is it "fair" to offer services at a price to shoot events and portraits with the gear I have? I will obviously show a portfolio with the work produced by my equipment, but just wanted to find out if it is acceptable to enter this market segment using what I currently have?

Any input from other members? Please give me hope:) I really thought with this forum being so active there would have been more than one response....

So this is one last "bump" from me :)

Hmm, well depending on the amount of space that I have I really like shooting smaller studio sessions with the Nikon 24-70. If by portraits you mean you're going to be upgrading to some better lighting equipment than I would be more concerned with whichever lens you choose's ability to stay sharp at F8 F14 etc. Your Sigma is useless in a studio enviroment, and in a perfect world you want a 70-200 2.8 and a warehouse full of room.
This forum isn't that active.

The equipment doesn't matter. The portfolio matters. As long as you don't misrepresent by showing a portfolio full of images taken on f/1.2 lenses with wonderful depth of field then your customers will know what to expect. Show them a portfolio with wider depth of field with your shooting style and fair has absolutely nothing to do with it. They will either like the style (and your price) and hire you, or they will say "Sod this I only let photos of me be taken with f/1.2 lenses" (unlikely but it would be funny to see someone this stupid).

Don't misrepresent the bounds of your equipment and you will be more than just fine :D

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