If you are contemplating opening a photography studio,
use these guidelines to help you understand what equipment
is needed to operate a photography business.
To start, spend a few minutes thinking about the type of photography
you will be offering your clients.
Will you be photographing commercial work?
Are you in your studio, photographing portraiture?
Are you out on location photographing weddings, and traveling
Will you be offering your clients a combination of these services?
Once you have a goal in mind for your business, then you can
begin gathering the proper equipment.
To give you an idea of what I consider to be the minimum amount
of equipment needed, I’ve created the following list.
Equipment needed for a photography business
At all times, under any circumstance, you should always have
at least 2 camera bodies. Not only is it important to have
an extra in case one shuts down or quits working, but it’s
also nice to be able to have two cameras ready with different
lenses – so you are ready to capture anything at any
I feel lenses are a personal choice, depending on the type
of photography you will offering. Have a variety to use in
many circumstances. Fast shutters are great for low light situations.
Telephoto lenses are great for working event photography.
Some Ideas of Our Favorites:
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM
Canon EF 15mm f/2.8 Fisheye
Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM
Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM
Most photographers are now shooting with digital cameras.
Having a variety of flash cards handy is a must. I recommend
having several available for each of your camera bodies. I
don’t recommend buying large cards with capacity to do
an entire shoot. If you have an error in your card (low chance,
but you never now), you’re better off using a variety
of cards for different portions of your shoot.
Any shoot can be better managed if you have the ability to
place your flash cards into your laptop at
the time of the shoot, download the images, and save them to
one or more sources. You can view the images, and begin organizing
Flash units and Lighting Options
Depending on your photography specialization, you will need
to have at least one on-camera flash unit, and at least one
stand alone flash unit for a more controlled light source.
You may also need lighting kits, including power sources, lights,
softboxes, umbrellas, light stands, and reflectors.
Depending on the type of shooting you are doing, you may need
additional items to help you perform.
- A tripod for shooting formal portraiture and long exposures.
- A monopod for quick movement.
- Radio slaves
- Posing tools
- Shooting tables
Cases and Storage
Storage cases are very important, especially for the photographer
that shoots on location. Don’t skimp on storage and cases – they
will protect your investment. And if you have cases with designated
spots for everything, you can take a quick inventory before
closing up and leaving a location.
This is a must for any business, old or new. With Internet
access, you should monitor your own website to market your
business, and should have the ability to connect with your
lab for quick results. Consider Internet access in your studio,
and remote access for traveling.
With these basic pieces, your photography studio will be up
and running in no time at all. The better prepared you are
at the beginning, the easier it will be to grow along the way.