When I first started my photography business I didn’t have much. I was on a small budget because I had just been laid off of my corporate job, which I now look back at a blessing in disguise. In addition to blogging, photography is one of the things that allowed me to stay home with my kids and not return back to the corporate world.
At the time I was barely making any money from my blog, so I knew that I needed to use as little money as possible to start until the income started coming in consistently.
Is it possible to start a photography business on a budget?
Yes it absolutely is! I did it!
Remember, I had been laid off and my blog income was just starting to come in, so asking my husband to use our savings to start a new business probably wasn’t the best idea.
So how did I do it?
What you need to get started
To get started in photography you need at least three things.
A DSLR camera, a prime lens and some editing software.
DSLR & Lens
To this day I purchase all my camera gear on Amazon and eBay because I usually find the best prices online AND there are always options to purchase everything individually which I do. I never purchase the kits. More on this later.
The Rebel is a basic DSLR camera. Most would say it’s probably the best starter DSLR because it’s a smaller DSLR compared to the full-frame, professional cameras. It’s also a good starter camera if you have never learned how to use manual mode before.
I had never put my camera in manual mode until I purchased my Rebel. I did not know anything about DSLR cameras or manual mode until I got my camera and started playing around with it. Once I got my camera I didn’t allow myself to put my camera in auto mode. It was one of my goals to learn manual mode, so to challenge myself I never switched to auto and made manual mode work for me.
At first it was a lot of trial and error. Once I learned the triangle of exposure things really started clicking for me.
I’m proof that you don’t need top of the line gear to make beautiful photos. I do not own and have never owned an L-lense from Canon. While they are great I’m sure, you might not be able to purchase one right off the bat if you are just starting out. I don’t have any immediate plans to purchase one either.
Here’s a tip: Don’t purchase the kits. They come with too many things you don’t need and lenses you will want to upgrade from anyway if you’re serious about photography. I have never used a kit lens and here’s why. The aperture isn’t low enough. You want to start with a lens with an aperture starting at 1.8 at least. The lower the aperture usually the higher the cost of the lens, usually. The 50mm 1.8 is probably the best lens to start off with if you’re on a small budget. This thing retails for $125 and provides a great quality photo.
Professional photographers edit with professional editing software. So you will need Lightroom & Photoshop or at least one of those. You can sign up for the Adobe Creative Cloud HERE.
I learned everything about editing through free sources like YouTube and other websites and photography blogs. There are a ton of free resources out there on the web. But if you learn better from step-by-step instruction it might be good to invest in some photography workshops or ecourses. I love getting my camera out and shooting, but for me, the magic happens when I get in front of my computer to edit. Editing is my favorite part of this creative process. Learn some great editing techniques and you will be able to transform your photos into something even more magical.
Once you have a good camera, a lens and some editing software get out there and practice! Practice does make perfect. Challenge yourself to get out of Auto mode. Trust me when I say that once you begin to learn Manual mode you won’t want to go back. Ever. Auto will never give you the professional quality photo that Manual mode does.
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