Photography can be an expensive habit. Let’s be honest. There is the camera, extra lenses, flashes, and the list goes on! If you did a search for camera lenses right now, you would see that some are over $5,000! HUH!? Who can afford that! The more serious you get about photography, the more expensive it can be. The combination of the plethora of gear and the cost of these items often discourages new photographers. Some even quit due to feeling extremely overwhelmed.
The good news is that, with the right direction, photography can actually be a rather affordable and fulfilling hobby! Let’s go through five must-have photography items all under $150 bucks!
1) External Camera Flash
You may think, “What a scam! I already have a flash built into my camera.” The flash built into your camera is the type that will leave your subject seeing stars after a picture. It is harsh, bright light that cannot be adjusted.
The built in flash will dull colors, create unwanted shadows, and flatten your image. An attachable, external flash hooks onto the top of your camera. It’s settings can be adjusted and by aiming it towards the ceiling (instead of directly at your subject), you can create a natural brightness.
Here is an example of the built in flash on the left (Ekkkk!) vs. the external flash on the right (score!!):
More good news: an external camera flash usually costs around $40-60. Here is the camera flash I have, which I love! It works for Nikons, Canons, and a few other brand cameras.
2) 50 mm Camera Lens
If you are getting more serious about photography, chances are you want to dabble in the lens game. There are many different lenses out there, and what you chose should be based on what type of pictures you are taking. If you are taking portraits, I highly recommend the 50 mm lens.
I use the 50 mm lens for 99.5% of my pictures. The 50 mm lens is often called the “normal lens”, because it takes pictures just like how your eyes see things. It allows for excellent pictures in low light (such as indoors), and gives amazing background blur! Here is an example of a picture I took with my 50 mm lens.
The 50 mm camera lens is a great first lens to purchase, and I recommend it for everyone. Here is the lens I purchased years ago and still use! (yes I get ridiculously excited when I talk about this lens!)
You may not use a tripod often, but it is a great item to keep in your camera bag. It allows for steady shots, AND can give you (the photographer) the chance to be in a picture sometimes!
Recently, my sisters were in from out of town and my regular photographer was not available to do our family portrait. No problem! I set up my tripod and got an image of all of us (yup, I am in that picture!)
You want to make sure you find a tripod that fits your camera. The below tripod works for both Canon and Nikon.
4) Photo Shoot Gear
I love doing at-home photo shoots. It is a great money saver, and kids are much more comfortable in their own homes. If you have ever considered doing a DIY photoshoot, there are a few items to get to optimize your pictures. You will need:
- A backdrop
- A backdrop support system
- Lighting (optional)
I have found really fun backdrops on amazon for any occasion.
The backdrop support system can be used to set up the backdrop. It only takes a few minutes to set up. I recommend purchasing a kit that comes with clips to hold up your backdrops, similar to the one below:
If you are using natural light or an external flash, then you may not need any additional lighting; however, it is very helpful to invest in studio lighting if you are going to do photo shoots frequently. Studio lighting only takes a few minutes to set up and allows you to focus on taking pictures instead of fiddling with settings or a flash.
Before you know it, you can do this in your living room!
5) Camera Protection
You won’t get very far with photography if your camera is broken or you are afraid it will brake. Make sure you have a camera bag that is waterproof and lightweight. You should feel comfortable slugging your camera bag over your shoulder and bringing it outside with you!
There are many options to pick from. I recommend either a waterproof camera bag that will hold all of your gear, like the one below:
Or a camera case, which will allow you to bring your camera with you in another bag, like the one below. Just ensure that it will properly fit your camera and attached lens.
Don’t be overwhelmed by the variety and price of camera accessories. You can get fantastic, affordable camera gear, which will help you obtain those professional looking pictures you hoped for!
Check out KEH Camera, too. It is an overstock camera gear site, that has amazing deals on photography gear!
Are you traveling with your camera? Or are you looking for other items? Travel Party of 4 is a blog dedicated to travel and family; living by the motto “it is travel that makes a person rich!” If you are looking to take the next step in your photography journey or wondering what other products you need, click here to check out this fantastic resource on great items you need in your camera bag. It is a great guide for photography gear, including spacious and durable camera bags!
Check out my other posts on photography, and share this if you found it helpful!
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