Considering New Equipment? Look Before You Leap!
Question: What are your best suggestions for budgeting in new equipment, how do I know when to invest?
There’s no question about it: The business of photography is a costly one. From camera bodies and lenses to lights and props, good budgeting is the key when investing in new equipment.
My dog hanging out in my new Tamrac bag!
Think Before You Buy
Of course, with new technology being released on a daily basis, it is easy for the photographer to get lost in the desire for the latest, most advanced gear. But the first step in purchasing new equipment is figuring out what you actually NEED.
First you need to ask yourself some questions:
- Do you typically shoot in studio or on location?
- What kind of lighting situation do you typically shoot in?
- What is your subject?
- What gear do you already have that will complement your purchase?
- How will your new piece of equipment help you advance as a professional?
Consider the Details of the Job
Your answers are important parts of your purchasing decisions, or should be. Shooting in-studio means a lot more control over the lighting, for instance, which means you’ll either need to purchase or rent those lights. When on location, you can bring portable lights but will have much less control over the lighting, so equipment with a larger range of controls is ideal. Details like this need to be taken into consideration when budgeting
The subject you’re shooting also makes a huge difference in determining what gear to purchase. For landscape and product photography, you need a tripod. If you’re shooting cars, you may need a camera mount. If you’re shooting very small objects, you might invest in a macro lens. There are also special lenses geared toward portrait photography. Ultimately, the subject and your photography style make all the difference when budgeting for gear.
One of the most important things to consider when budgeting for new gear is determining how that particular piece of equipment will advance you toward your career goals. Like I said, it’s easy to get wrapped up in all of the new technology that comes out and lose sight of what you’re aiming to achieve as a photographer.
Make sure to stay focused on your goal and to budget for the gear you actually need to reach that goal. It’s usually cheaper than just buying whatever you want!
Growing up as a skater and surfer in sunny, Southern California, Jim Jordan spent his high school days scouting models and finding the next great faces of the coming generation. With a passion for beauty and styling, Jim quickly became a highly respected hair and makeup artist, traveling the world and working with the biggest actors, actresses and supermodels of the time, such as Cindy Crawford, Elizabeth Taylor, Sophia Loren, Farrah Fawcett, etc. He worked with the world’s best photographers, such as Herb Ritts, Peter Lindbergh, Steve Meisel, Patrick Demarchelier, to name a few, and after many years of behind the scenes experience as a hair and makeup artist, Jim picked up a camera and immediately developed his own unique style as a photographer. Jim now shoots celebrities such as Leonardo Dicaprio, Drew Berrymore, Charlize Theron, Marisa Miller, to name a few, and shoots for clients such as Vogue, Vanity Fair, Elle, Marie Claire, etc. Jim also directs and shoots seamless campaigns for clients such as Mercedes Benz, J Crew, American Express, Warner Brothers, and many more. Jim now lives in LA and NYC, and shoots in the most picture perfect places around world. Jim Jordan Photography
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