The photography business is a fairly new type of industry. While you can earn around $100,000-$150,000 per year as a professional photographer, the majority of people still consider it as a hobby because not everybody has money for equipment or uses a camera just to take pictures of their surroundings or try themselves in creating art.
Nevertheless, thanks to modern technologies that are available today you can do almost everything by yourself and spend less on what other photographers charge $10k-$20k for. Here are some ideas about gadgets that every self-respecting photographer should have in his arsenal.
1. DSLR Camera
While most cameras nowadays are built-in with powerful features like autofocus, scene interpretation, etc., DSLR cameras beat all amateur cameras with ease for several reasons. First of all, most DSLRs have larger sensors than point-and-shoot cameras that ensure better image quality and less noise in shadows areas.
Secondly, DSLRs are much more customizable than other types of cameras so you can adjust them to the settings you need for your work. Thirdly, DSLR has an interchangeable lens system which is important if you want to shoot with a specific lens or adjust the length of exposure (the best thing about this type of camera is that it shoots in RAW format).
Another less-known but a useful perk of a DSLR camera is its compatibility with most photo printers. It is important to pick the right photo printer that will suit your business. This way you can easily print out all of your pictures and start making money off of them.
Normally, if you are just starting out it will be good enough to get a wireless printer that allows uploading the pictures directly from an iPad or iPhone.
2. Quality Tripod
There is nothing worse than a faulty tripod that shakes just because its leg brushed against something while walking around. That's why when searching for a good tripod don't look at the price only.
There are decent tripods that cost less than $100, while there are also high-quality ones that are worth over $1000. The most important thing when buying a tripod is to be sure it suits your needs whether you want to use it for photography indoors or outdoors, for short exposures or long exposures.
A good quality tripod will take care of camera stability in any situation so you can focus on taking pictures your clients expect from you.
3. ND Filters
ND filter means Neutral Density which reduces the amount of light entering the camera lens by 1-stop (ND2), 3-stops (ND4), 6 stops (ND8), 10 stops (ND10).
Thus if your camera settings allow a higher shutter speed than 1/500s it will allow you to shoot smooth waterfalls or car traffic without a reflection. This is because your camera shutter isn't allowed to stay open for a long time.
4. Speedlite / Flash Unit
Speedlight is a must-have gadget if you want to take pictures in low light conditions while blurring the background and adding atmosphere to the shot. It's also a great accessory for portrait or wedding photography when you need certain shadows on the face of your model.
There are many different types of speedlights with a wide range of prices so choose wisely according to your needs. A high price doesn't always mean good quality so check reviews before buying one.
5. Color Checker Passport
Color checker passport is a gadget that should be present in every photographer's bag because without it you can't be sure whether your camera captured the right colors or not. It's very useful when shooting outside where changing weather conditions affect the quality of your photos.
What color checker does is provide accurate information about the light source and surroundings which enables you to adjust your settings accordingly if needed. Also, I've noticed that my indoor studio shots look natural and more alive than usual.
Depending on the light source you choose, it is important to use reflectors especially when shooting outdoors or with your natural light because it will help fill in shadows and remove excess lighting that makes the subject look washed out; this accessory can be purchased in different sizes such as 5-in-1 32″ Collapsible Portable Photo Video Studio Adjustable Lighting Reflector Disc – Translucent, Gold & White which makes it very flexible for different types of shoots and occasions.
7. Memory Cards / Hard Drive
Another must-have gadget is memory cards to capture and store your photos because they can allow you to shoot more images in one go especially if you're using a DSLR or any other high megapixel camera that takes big files on its memory card.
Also, some cameras will only work with specific brands of memory cards so before purchasing one, always check compatibility details first. This way, you'll be assured that the card will function properly and won't damage your camera in any way which can be costly so better do your research and get what's needed for smooth operations from start to finish!
In case you want extra storage space for your work, external hard drives are a good investment to have. It's not really necessary but if you do a lot of editing and saving of photos on your computer then having it as a backup is always okay to have just in case something goes haywire with one drive or you accidentally lose files from misuse or virus attacks.
8. Portable Powerbank / Phone Charger
A portable power bank is a great addition to your camera bag, especially when shooting outdoor weddings, events, or places where there is no electricity available.
Besides that, it's useful as a backup charger for phones and tablets as well as for charging speedlite batteries on the go. My personal experience shows that I've always needed one of those so better start saving money now before you regret it later!
If you are into the photography business then it's a must to purchase some of these gadgets which will improve your workflow and result tremendously, especially if you take pictures outside. I hope this article helped you to decide what accessories you should invest in because there are so many on the market that it can confuse even experienced photographers.
Even though they aren't cheap, the good news is that all of them can be found on Amazon for a reasonable price. Furthermore, make sure to check out my other articles about photo editing software and photo equipment.