So, you’ve had enough. You’ve spent hours trolling stock photography sites, looking around the web for any royalty free or creative commons images that will fit your business and your message.
Finally, you’ve said, stuff it! Let’s create our own, after all how hard can it be.
It’s a brave decision because it’s actually not that easy but, it can give you the image you’ve spent hours looking for.
So how do you go about it?
Well let’s forget the creative side for a moment, I’ll cover that in future posts. Let’s look at the second most important item and that’s equipment. Below is a basic stock photography list
Whilst equipment is not everything. It’s a bit like wanting to drive a car you have to have one or at least access to one and then you start to learn.
Now I wouldn’t recommend you borrow the equipment, at least not all of it.
Where the car analogy differs is that it usually will take you a few minutes to adapt to the basics of a different car. Unless of course it’s a car from a different country that drives on the opposite side of the road, in which case that’s going to take a lot longer.
With a camera, there are similarities and different cameras of the same brand often have strong similarities.
But to speed up the learning process and then the shooting process, it’s best to stick with the same equipment if possible.
So, without further ado, here’s’ a list of what you need to get started:
Yes, I know, that’s obvious.
There is a whole range of cameras out there.
My suggestion is to have either a DSLR or a Mirrorless, i.e. a camera that has interchangeable lens.
A few years ago, I would have said a compact camera but nowadays a good smartphone camera more than does the job.
Why do you need this as well? To take reference pictures to help stimulate creativity. To quickly record some visual ideas about your business that you can come back to.
As with cameras there are countless lighting systems available. Your camera may have a flash but I would recommend that you have off camera lighting or flash.
A lot will depend on whether you intend taking images that will need artificial lighting.
Even you intend to use natural lighting there will be a situation where artificial lighting will be necessary, even if only for a special effect.
Keeping a camera still will be essential on some shots especially in the light is low.
As I mentioned earlier if you have a camera that has interchangeable lens then you need a couple of lens at the least. Allrounders are the best way to go. In 35mm speak, 24-70mm and a 50-120mm or close to are good examples.
If you can stretch your budget to a prime lens, then a 50 or 100mm will give you nice crisp images.
Computer or Laptop:
Most people and businesses have at least one desktop or Laptop or something in between.
How much RAM and Processing Speed you need it will depend on the amount of post processing you want to do and what programs you will use.
I’ve found that having a SSD drive rather than a standard moving parts drive is worth the extra cost.
It’s like choosing between a motor bike or a pedal bicycle for speed! You’ll get there slowly on a bicycle but nowhere as quick as a motor bike will take.
Storage is cheap so make sure you have plenty of it.
Portable hard drives or NAS type storage always works well.
If you are using a laptop it’s worth investing in a good easy to calibrate monitor, so you can view and see your images as you want them to look.
Best size is around 22-26”. Bigger if you can afford it.
Some basic but necessary accessories would be SD or memory cards, spare camera batteries, camera bag, cleaning cloths and back up hard drives.
Of course, buying photographic equipment can be a bit like a black hole.
But don’t let that scare you, what’ve I’ve listed above is the basics and even that could be cut back a bit.
It’s not the equipment that takes the photo it’s you and you can take excellent photos with even a basic smartphone camera.
Whilst the better camera equipment will give you increased quality in some circumstances, better equipment is more about having additional flexibility and options.
I hope I haven’t put you off because this is an investment in yourself and your business.
Taking some great and powerful images that compliment your brand can provide a huge return on investment, especially if you use them for marketing on the right platforms.
If you have any questions or comments about this post, please leave them in the comments section below.
Or feel free to contact me directly via my contact page
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