Essential Equipment for Photoshoots
Having the proper photography equipment determines whether you get the shots you want for you and your client. Besides skills and technique, being prepared with all the tools you need on the day of the photoshoot will separate you from the amateurs and hobbyists. Here are some must have equipment that I use on a regular basis:
- Memory Card. The faster, the better. I like to shoot fast and be able to take multiple shots during my shoots, so anything with 300MB/S reading and 260MB/S writing speed is perfect. It’s also great for 4K video as well. I highly recommend SanDisk’s 64GB Extreme Pro Memory Card. If you don’t feel like you need that speed, you can go one step down with a 170MB/s Extreme Pro card. Whatever you decide, memory cards are a great investment. Don’t go for any cheap brands. You never want to run the risk of losing data or having corrupted files. I have not had any issues with SanDisk yet. I’ve had a defective Sony SD card though, never purchasing that again (they even discontinued it)!
2. Mirrorless Digital Camera. My friend Brian first introduced me to the world of Sony mirrorless cameras with his Sony A6500. At that time I had a Canon 5D Mark iii, but I ended up falling in love with the Sony A6500 instead. I could not believe how amazing the auto-eye tracking and sensor was and the ability to look into the viewfinder to see your images the way you see things in a darkroom (makes it easier to review photos during daytime, especially at the beach). It is also a lot lighter (and cheaper too) compared to the Canon and other brands.
I decided to get the A6500 and then later on went for the complete switch to the Sony family by purchasing a Sony A7 III. I was completely in love with it. I’ve never held such a powerful camera in my hands. I felt like I was almost cheating as a professional photographer at how amazing this camera captures the photos. The video function is incredible as well. I could go on and on.
I highly suggest getting yourself a Sony Mirrorless Camera. The Sony A7 III is worth the investment. If you just want something to work with a budget, the A6500 is great (but hey if you have another few hundred to spare, get the newer version, A6600 – it has a flip screen!).
3. Lenses. This is what makes or breaks your shots. Also you have to know which ones to you use to get that perfect capture (kind of like the way a chef chooses the right knife for the right meal preparation). For the sake of everyone’s time I will only talk about lenses for fashion / model / lifestyle type of shots. A 35mm, 50mm, and 85mm would be the perfect set. I love the Sigma Art lenses, which I have been using since my Canon days. My lens lineup consists of the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art Lens for Sony, the Sony E50mm F1.8, and the Sony 85mm F/1.8. You could research the ones best fit for your camera if you have something other than the A7III.
4. Lens Filter. Protect your lens at all cost! I’ve almost-damaged my lenses so many times but luckily I’ve had a lens filter on them. Seriously guys, protect your investments! I’ve been using the B+W Filters for years now: B+W 67mm for the 35mm lens.
5. GoPro. I love capturing the moments, both in photos and videos. Getting content for both Instagram, Instagram Stories, YouTube, TikTok, etc all at the same time is possible if you have a GoPro mounted on top of your camera. Call it efficiency if you like, but it’s also great for capturing the moments when your models do something silly or get swept by a wave at the beach! Mine is the GoPro HERO7 Black, but the newest model is available and just $50 more so get that one instead: HERO8.
6. LED Soft Light Panel: I’ve had to do so many indoor shoots and nighttime photography, and it helps having one of these on hand: RALENO LED (great big size, covers a good range), and Portable LED (smaller but easier to stuff in your camera bag).
7. Backup Batteries: at least 2 spare batteries! I use one brand name and two generic ones.
8. Reflectors: These came in handy during so many of my photoshoots, and it is a must have for any photographer. Of course, you will need someone to help you hold it.
9. External Harddrives: Make sure you backup all your photos! I shoot with RAW files so my computer fills up fast. I backup all my photos and videos to my external as well as back it up on Google Photos and Dropbox. Never ever lose your files! I have been using Western Digital harddrives forever, so get the 8TB one.
10. Camera Bag: I’ve made the rookie mistake of storing my camera in a regular backpack, which resulted in several damaged lenses and accidental dropping. Make sure you get a good camera bag that fits all your lenses and camera body, along with all the other necessities. I use a waterproof, padded sling bag so I could strap it on and be able to access my gear one-handed.
Thanks for reading guys! Hope that was informative and helpful. Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions!