Choosing the Right Photography Equipment

I used to think that the price of your camera or lighting equipment was positively correlated to how good your pictures turn out.

It’s not.

I recently photographed my first wedding along side another photographer. Surprisingly, his camera wasn’t a DSLR. I asked him why he chose the Sony A9 over a Digital Single Lens Reflex camera and he told me that for him, it was lighter and had better quality. Note how he said “for me.


Choosing the right photography equipment boils down to your preference. Before I dive into the things you should consider when purchasing the right equipment (primarily your first photography gear), I want to give you some piece of advice:

DO NOT  feel intimidated by what other photographers have because your starting point doesn’t determine where you will end up.

My first DSLR was the Nikon D300 which I used to practice with by covering events at my high school as well as family gatherings. Older, taller, more-experienced, male photographers would come to these events loaded. They had bigger cameras, longer lenses, sturdy lighting equipment, and those khaki vests with multiple pockets which signify you as an actual photographer. They were ready to shoot.

After each event, streams of candids and portraits were posted onto the schools website. Out of fear of looking mediocre, I never posted the pictures I took. I thought my camera quality wasn’t the best compared to the others. Nevertheless, what surprised me were the alarming similarities between the content of my pictures and theirs.

Secondly, It’s not about the camera, but the person behind it.

You need to understand that even the most expensive camera in the world is capable of taking shitty pictures.

Taken with my $500 Nikon D300

Now, I am not going to lie to you and say any camera will do because it won’t. Your potential clients and audience will appreciate quality looking pictures. But if you lack vision, creativity, passion, and drive, your camera wouldn’t matter my dear.

Check this video out. Lee Morris from Fstoppers illustrates why expensive gear doesn’t equal good pictures.


What is your niche?

You can’t be shooting a wedding with a telephoto lens. Are you trying to zoom into someone’s destiny?

Image Chaser

When choosing the right equipment, you need to consider your interests and what you’re trying to shoot. Equipment owned by a sports photographer would differ from that of a travel photographer. This is because a sports photographer would probably have a telephoto lens and a very sturdy tripod to balance it. On the other hand, a travel photographer would carry lighter, portable equipment that wouldn’t slow them down.

I’ve been blessed to be able to experiment with different fields of photography from events to architecture to nature to portraits, phew!  Overall I prefer photographing and styling high fashion / editorial shoots. Therefore, all my equipment is tailored to that niche.

I primarily use a Canon 70D with a battery grip and 50mm 1.8 prime lens at photoshoots. In my kit, I also carry an 18-75mm zoom lens on hand, a Sigma fish eye lens, and a 43-inch reflector.

The 50mm enables me to get sharp portraits without distorting my subjects features. Due to its low aperture, I get an amazing shallow depth of field. It’s fixed focal length allows  move round more and explore more vantage points.  The reflector which has 4 different faces (black, white, gold, silver), allows me to not only take out shadows from my subject, but bounces off some sunlight for a healthy glow on my model as well. As an outdoor fashion/editorial photographer, I don’t need much!

Do you have a budget?

If you want to make a career out of it, you have to invest.

Being a photographer is expensive.

If it’s just a hobby for you, I wouldn’t suggest pouring all your money into. Why? because I believe hobbies are like fads, they’re short lived. You don’t want to regret spending so much and not end up using it long-term. Therefore, I would suggest the Canon Rebel T3i kit. It’s reliable and inexpensive!

Although my first 2 cameras were hand me downs, every other equipment I own, I’ve bought them. I’ve had to sacrifice a Zara bag or Topshop jeans just for a lens!

If you don’t have the initial seed money, you can always rent brand new or used equipment from stores like Henry’s or photogrphers on Kijiji.

Investing in yourself, your career means that you expect some form of output. Whatsoever you sow is what you will reap (Galatians 6:7).


Do your research!

You know how in the beginning of this post I said it all boils down to you?

It’s like finding the perfect wedding dress or purchasing your first Christian Louboutins, you have to do your research. What do you like? What are you most comfortable with?

I mean you can’t spell camera without me. *shrugs*

Things to consider:

  1. The weight
  2. The price
  3. The settings
  4. The placement of the settings
  5. Does it have wifi?
  6. Film, Digital or DSLR?
  7. Is it strong and durable?

This list goes on!

What is right for you?


Until next time raindrops!

Enem Odeh 🌸





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