When entering the industry, new photographers are often constrained by a tight budget. Perhaps you’re yet to secure a reliable client base, or overheads are eating into your earnings. Naturally, lining up some quality gear is often at the top of the list for many newbie photographers, even if it isn’t as important as the person behind the camera. With that said, there’s nothing wrong with picking up a good camera and a versatile set of lenses. But there are also some budget items photographers should considering carrying. Not all of the items will necessarily influence the outcome of your work, but they will sure make your job easier.
Using a flash isn’t just for night time work. In fact, there are many applications you could well find yourself benefitting from using a flash in an indoor setting. Portable flash units, often referred to as speedlights, provide photographers with greater capacity to fill light and also bounce light. In particular, they can operate on angles and direct light where it’s needed most. What’s more, portable flash units use their own source of energy, so you can reduce the battery consumption of your camera.
Filters and Reflectors
If you want to infuse a different level of warmth into your photos, purchase some filters. You can find filters which adjust the colouring of your shots, impact the light levels, or influence depth. Reflectors on the other hand can be used as an alternative to a portable flash for the purpose of bouncing light to fill your shots, and across a variety of colour shades. The good thing about reflectors these days is that you can find them in a collapsible format, making them easy to transport.
Tripod and Remote Shutter Release
Sure, many cameras today advertise their image stabilisation capabilities. And for the most part, they’re a step up compared with yesteryear. With that said, there are still certain occasions, like low light environments for instance, where a tripod pays dividends because of its ability to help with longer exposure. Opt for a durable tripod that supports the camera you’re using, and which you’ll be able to continue using in the future. Splash out the extra few dollars for a remote shutter release, which will provide you with some flexibility in your work.
As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. First things first, change the strap on your camera and pick up one that’s more sturdy and comfortable. Not only do you reduce the risk of dropping your camera, but you may find it more practical to work with a longer strap. For transport purposes, don’t skimp on a good quality bag that offers enough storage and sufficient protection from damage. It’s also important to take care of your gear and avoid the prospect of dust or dirt causing damage. Pick up some good cleaning materials including anti-static microfiber cloths, and even a small air blaster to remove any dirt from crevices.
External HDDs, Spare Memory Cards and Extra Batteries
Last but not least, there are few things worse than having a great photo session with a new client, only to lose the work because you didn’t back it up. Similarly, you don’t want to be in the middle of a photoshoot, only to find that you can’t store any more photos on your camera’s memory card, or that you’ve run out of battery. In fact, this is a certain buzzkill and does your professionalism no favours. In today’s day and age, with these items quite affordable, you’ve got absolutely no reason to skimp on owning a few of these.