“I’m wanting to get into photography and start a business. What is the best camera to buy?”

Well, this is a loaded question. Ask 20 photographers this question and you’ll likely get 20 different answers. I’ll try to answer this the best way possible. And this is just my thoughts and opinions on the matter after being involved in photography for over 20 years and doing the business of some sort for over 15 years.

First, one needs to establish a budget or an amount of money one wants to spend or can afford to spend on a camera. DLSR bodies can start anywhere from a few hundred to upwards of a couple of thousand dollars.

Second, I would like to state that a successful photography business is more dependant upon being a good business person more than being a good photographer. One can take decent photos and have great business skills and thrive in the photography business. One can also make AMAZING photographs and have poor business skills, and that person will most likely fail at the business.

With that being said, I would suggest buying a used DSLR body that you can afford. While you can get by with a kit lens, a few good options for other lenses would be an “inexpensive” 50mm f1.8, 40mm f2.8, or 35mm. One more option, if focusing on portrait work, would be an 85mm f1.8. I would suggest buying these used as well, however the 50mm can be had for around $150 new. The reason I suggest these lenses is so one can practice on framing and composition. And the reason I suggest buying used is because so many people like the idea of the photography business but in practice they learn it’s not for them. So rather than spending THOUSANDS on gear and then end up not wanting to peruse photography and/or the business, I suggest only spending hundreds 🙂

Now, before jumping into the business I would suggest one learn camera functions and what the f stops, shutter speeds, and ISO does and how they all relate. I would suggest one learn composition and how to use light. It could take months or even years to get this down. It just depends on how much time one outs into learning. While schooling isn’t necessary to be a good photographer or have a good business, just know that there are thousands upon thousands of students across the nation and in your communities who have spent 2 to 4 years in some sort of photography centered schooling. Who have been practicing this day in and day out, who have now graduated and want to do the same thing you want to do, and you just decided a few weeks ago and just got a camera for Christmas a few days ago.

In no way am I trying to discourage you from what you want to do. I’m just trying to bring reality to the forefront of your minds so you can know this isn’t an easy industry to make lots of money in. It takes time and hard work. It may takes several months or even several years to get to where you want to be.

Just know there are lots of good resources online and many people who teach photography and are willing to help. Likewise there are many who have only been doing photography for a year or two and think the have it all figured out… Us photographers who have been doing it for 10, 20, and 30 years don’t have it all figured out. But the “seasoned vets” definitely have been around the block a few times and will, or should have some good advice to chew on.

Side note: I wrote another article on a minimalistic type of photography gear needed for the photography business… In that article I stated all one needs for most photography applications (portrait, sports, wedding, and event photography) is a body (and a back up) and them two lenses…. The 24-70 f2.8 and the 70-200 f2.8… I still stand by that 100% for the photography business, but for learning photography I’d first go the route stated in this article.

I hope this has been somewhat helpful. Reach out to me with any questions you may have. Leave your thoughts and comments below and share if you’ve found this information helpful.