Newbie (semi) question: What are the most essential pieces of equipment to start off a photography b

Discussion in 'Photography' started by Scotius, Mar 4, 2010.

  1. Scotius

    Scotius Guest

    I'm thinking of starting to do wedding, portrait, glamour, and
    real estate photography. What would be the most essential pieces of
    equipment I'd need in addition, obviously, to a DSLR (until now I've
    been using a point and shoot camera, mostly for fun)?
    I have read that a flash umbrella is necessary to diffuse
    light for softer portraits.
    I'm pretty imaginative, and I could possibly build some of my
    own equipment as well, so I may not need to buy everything that's
    necessary. In addition, I've read up over the years on quite a lot of
    photography articles even from well before the DSLR age and I think I
    may be able to do some interesting things, so obviously I'm on a
    budget and any advice about do-it-yourself would obviously be
    appreciated as well.
    Scotius, Mar 4, 2010
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  2. Scotius

    BobS Guest

    I'll pretend this is not some bait floating along that's connected to a
    low-life troll sitting under the bridge... There's a wee bit of that
    going on here in case you didn't know.

    First, I doubt you're going to do any kind of serious photography work
    and expect to get paid for it without first knowing what in the hell
    you're doing.

    Second, if you are that lucky, I'll invite you along as a consultant on
    my next trip to Vegas.

    If you are serious, get educated first, get lot's of practice (think
    apprentice work [go-fer] for a studio) and get some bucks behind you so
    you can purchase the right equipment the first time and not waste your

    By the time you're at a point where you can make the jump, all the
    equipment will have changed - several times over. Come back then and
    ask again.

    Bob S.
    BobS, Mar 4, 2010
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  3. Scotius

    Scotius Guest

    I assure you I'm not a troll. Just a budding photographer
    looking for some advice from people with experience on how to set up.
    Scotius, Mar 7, 2010
  4. Scotius

    Joel Guest

    Well, it's kinda possitive of negative, and I don't know how you claim all
    the credits from knocking down others.

    I don't say you are right or wrong as it can be either way. And for the
    OP and other(s), if he wants to photograph wedding then

    1. Not just buying 1 DSLR camera but extra one as backup camera just incase
    the main camera decides to go south. And Top_Of_The_Line_Lens(s) is the
    MUST HAVE, and be good with non-natural light, or good with FLASH cuz it
    deson't have much light inside the church.

    When using the word "CHURCH" then I can feel some blood boiling from some
    experted here. So, I won't go for small detail but just for the info, and
    extra infor when it's dark out side (raining, thunderstand etc. which mean
    even lesser light from stained glass windows)

    2. Then you may need to practice chasing little kids which is much easier
    than wedding. After done with kids chasing, you may need to start learing
    the face, angel etc. of single person.

    Then the action, motion, reaction and lot more from ONE or TWO, then BOTH
    and OTHER(s) during wedding. Did I forget to mention learning the angle,
    side etc. of the bride and groom (you know some shorter, taller, chunkier,
    skinnier, darker, paler etc.. than other).

    3. And you may have to learn to pay close attention to their eyes, tilting,
    and many small movement/reaction to CAPTURE the STORY. It's lot more
    challenge than bird watching/hunting.

    4. And I don't know if I responded to this before or not. You won't be
    ready *until* you can handle the post processing, which is one of the most
    important parts of the whole dream.
    Joel, Mar 7, 2010
  5. Scotius

    Joel Guest

    Even you may not like to hear the real deal, but he sure give a good

    My other advice, if you really want to go to photography business. I
    would suggest to go for funeral photography before wedding photography which
    is much tougher.

    In funeral, you will see TONS of real emotion to capture which is more
    complicate in the wedding. I assume you have seen wedding before, or watch
    some wedding video. Now just image the better angel, and do you have your
    camera ready to capture some lighting quick moment may only happen ONCE.

    And you can practice paying close attention to the movement of one abjust
    while paying some attention to what is going on around you. And will be
    seeing you in THE PEOPLE COURT heheh
    Joel, Mar 7, 2010
  6. Scotius

    Peter Guest

    You post suggests that you are new to photography.
    I strongly suggest you stay away from family event photography until you
    have honed your skills. Event photography carries a strong sense of
    responsibility. When a strobe stops working, or a camera acts up, the entire
    memories of the event can be ruined for people. If you must learn, go to an
    experienced event photographer and offer to work as an assistant for little
    or no wages, so you can learn what you are doing. However, before you do
    that, have at least a basic familiarity with photography. Try real estate.
    go to brokers who have properties listed for sale, and take pictures. See
    what you can get for them. At this early stage price does not matter. If you
    have any skill, you will eventually establish yourself. As to equipment,
    Google "architectural photography." get a Perspective correcting wide angle
    lens and a decent camera. Brand does not matter. Try to get good quality
    used equipment. Go to your local library and get Virginia Swanson's book on
    the business of photography.
    It's a tough business, but like anything else, it takes persistence and a
    realistic appraisal of you skills, initial wallet and personality.
    Peter, Mar 7, 2010
  7. Scotius

    Joel Guest

    Very true! and if you ain't wasting too much time arguing then you sure
    can sometime come up with some good trueful advice.

    Book? I haven't seen any good book for decades but copycat from one to
    other, and most of them are very basic (you read one you read all), and if
    it's a ideal book then a big chance that it's a day-dream book that we have
    been seeing most of our experts spray here now and then.
    Joel, Mar 8, 2010
  8. Scotius

    Chris H Guest

    You only need two things.

    1 Skill.
    1a Skill as a photographer
    1b Skill as a businessman

    2 Drive and determination.
    If you have only read that then do not do weddings.
    Chris H, Mar 8, 2010
  9. Scotius

    Chris H Guest

    And there is something wrong with that approach?
    Chris H, Mar 8, 2010
  10. Scotius

    Chris H Guest

    These people represent the real world and are as nothing compared to a
    bride whose one and only wedding you have just ruined.

    The OP has been treated very fairly (and got off quite lightly) for the
    questions asked.
    Chris H, Mar 8, 2010
  11. Scotius

    Chris H Guest

    ANY bridge can turn into a Bridzilla when the pressure is on or things
    go wrong. Things like poor photographs
    Neither do I. I don't want the pressure or the responsibility.
    I do. I would act as a second photographer but not the first.
    Chris H, Mar 8, 2010
  12. Scotius

    Peter Guest

    I don't understand how you can comment on a book you haven't read.
    Peter, Mar 9, 2010
  13. Scotius

    Joel Guest

    You smoked again! I used to be a bookworm that I spent lot of money on so
    many different books trying to prove me wrong. Yes, lot of technical books
    I may be very happy to learn 1-2 small tricks.

    Now stop smoking then you may understand. Now just pay a small attention
    to something like Book Review, the reviewer usually give HIGHER RATING if
    the book contains few things s/he already knew, s/he understand then give a
    higher rating to prove that s/he is good too. Or POOR RATING if the book
    contains so many dull old tricks, many things do not suite the reviewer

    Here, quite often some experts spray a whole charper of some book they
    read just to fool other about their knowledge.

    Me? when I was lot younger, I can read a small charper once or twice then
    rewrite every single word of the whole charpter (it was before I came to
    America). Even in America when so many things changed overnight, so many
    waco things going on I had no use of my talent (new language and new life
    etc.). But my memory was still real sharp that many friends called me the
    living-library cuz I was able to remember tens of thousands of items,
    numbers (it took me months to memorize them, but not in detail).

    After sickness, aged, I haven't read any book for probably around 23-24
    Joel, Mar 9, 2010
  14. Scotius

    Peter Guest

    Scott Kelby's publications impart tons of practical how to information in
    easy to understand language. I have met him several times. My impression is
    that he is a person who is doing what he does because he likes to do it. Yes
    money is important to him, but he gets a lot of personal satisfaction from
    his teaching.
    The book I suggested is strictly on the subject of the business of
    photography.I recommend that book to anyone seriously interested in becoming
    a professional photographer. I helps to remember that how well you eat
    depends as much on your business acumen as on your artistic ability.

    BTW The best offer I've ever gotten was from Katrin Eismann. She said that
    if I took her and her husband out for a round of golf, she promised a
    Photoshop tip on every hole.
    Peter, Mar 10, 2010
  15. Scotius

    Paul Furman Guest

    I would say lenses before flash or lighting gear though you can learn on
    a kit lens. For architectural you will need a good wide angle lens. For
    portraits you'll need a fast or long lens (50/1.8 is a good start
    though). Lighting can almost always be handled in simple ways by
    shooting at the right time of day or adjusting position, maybe some
    simple white boards or sheets for reflectors.

    Realtors won't want to pay extra but if you've got a nice wide angle
    lens and can show them big sharp prints, well lit and composed, you'll
    have a chance of impressing him that he can't match.
    Paul Furman, Mar 10, 2010
  16. Scotius

    Joel Guest

    For learning, I would say you are on the right track. But starting
    photography business then it's a different story.

    - Wedding, one should need 1 or 2 good flash(es). And knowing how to bring
    and control natrual light to where light is needed.

    - Studio, one should need several strobe(s) (I started with 2 then later
    added 2 more, but at the end I enjoy 1 strobe style the most). And pretty
    much can't go without the lighting meter. Wired is okay, but I prefer

    - Business, one should need several Top_of_the_line_LENSES. If one not
    afford at least 2 then don't start business yet until can bring 1-2 fast
    lens to business.

    I agree with you that Wide Angle lens is very handy. At the moment 15 is
    the widest lens I have, but because of the 1.6X bodies (1.9X so the 1.5X is
    pretty close to 25-30mm which is okay for people, but not wide enough for

    - And I wouldn't start business until I have pretty good post processing

    Then extra body, and some others.
    Joel, Mar 11, 2010
  17. Scotius

    Scotius Guest

    I have fairly good post processing skills. I'm a graduate of
    an advertising course, and we learned Photoshop in it to a fairly good
    degree. It would take me longer, obviously, than someone who works
    with it everyday, but I'm fairly good with it, and I understand the
    demands of RGB and CMYK for print, and how to modify accordingly.
    Scotius, Mar 24, 2010
  18. Scotius

    Scotius Guest

    That's why I was thinking that real estate would be a sure
    bet. I've noticed that many of the photos are so horrible that
    literally anyone could do better if they followed even basic rules.
    Right now I only use a point and shoot and I've taken nicer photos
    than I've seen in any real estate brochure.
    One of my photos of Detroit across the River from Windsor
    (Ontario, Canada) was selected by the Schmap guide, but I was lucky to
    be going on the road next to the river at the right time, and my Dad
    was nice enough to stop and wait for me (N'yuk, n'yuk). When he saw
    the photo he didn't think it was foolish, and actually said "Well, I
    guess it was worth it".
    Scotius, Mar 24, 2010
  19. Scotius

    Scotius Guest

    That's worth a lot more than 2 cents to me. Thank you.
    Scotius, Mar 24, 2010
  20. Scotius

    Joel Guest

    If you have already mastered few post processing skills/technique then you
    are pretty safe to master the other 3/5.

    If you only learn Photoshop for short period of time, then you are far
    from ok. Because I am a slow learner, it took me almost 2 decades and
    millions of photos to master few techniques. Exact in the past 2 years I
    haven't done much (because of the health), I was processing thousands of
    photos monthly, and heavy retouch dozen(s).

    So to me, post processing is one of the most important parts of the whole
    thing. And I don't mean by using plug-in or similar but to master the Brush
    technique. Yup! just the Brush alone would take some months to get the feel
    of it, and years to master.

    I don't learn the RGB nor CMYK to have much to offer. Or I do know what
    they are but they are but I don't plan to write a book about them to learn
    more about them.

    And because I am a slow learner so I just doing the same thing over and
    over and over, and I may learn something after tens or hundreds of thousands
    of photos.

    How good is your post processing skill?

    - When STUDYING the photo is the first step

    - When you can SMELL (study) the photo within a quick split second. Or just
    BLINK your eyes on the photo and you know what you can do with it.

    - When you learn that using plug-in is not a good learning learning

    Yup! same with most people, I was using plug-in on/off for quite some
    years (just to fool or impress other what Photoshop can do *not* my own
    skill) until I realized the limitation of plug-in to stop using plug-in. Or
    I don't use no plug-in *except* a very old and simple plug-in for the
    portrait I find it's more flexible than using several commands or an action.
    Which means I can do without but it may take me several seconds that I don't
    want to waste.
    Joel, Mar 24, 2010
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