Tips and tricks for your photo business as well as the gear I love, editing tricks, behind the scenes into my shoots, and the tools I use.

Photography Must Haves

I was visiting with a photographer friend the other day and talking shop about a new business adventure for them, when I realized they were lacking some of the basic must haves. They knew the terms but were completely misinformed on what that meant. So if you are just starting out, or maybe you’ve been in the business a while and just aren’t up to date, check out these tips that I’ve picked up along the way. Maybe you learn something, maybe it’s a refresher course for you, or maybe you have some tips for me to add. Now is the perfect time to add to your Christmas list!

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. These are my honest opinions.

Camera - this one is pretty obvious. On the off-chance you don’t have one, I highly recommend the Fuji X-T2 or the new Fuji X-T3. If your budget it higher and you don’t mind a little extra weight they also have an incredibly impressive Fuji GFX with a medium format sensor. I’ll have some serious camera envy if you get that. Or if Fuji isn’t your style here are some great Nikon, Canon(my first love), and Sony options.

Computer - Equally as important as the camera, also equally as obvious. You want something with a good processor and a large memory. This one is the mac daddy(no pun intended) that I use at work, but if you need something a little less try this one.

Calibration tool - this is a must have tool for editing. If you don’t calibrate your monitor, you will have some very unhappy clients when it comes time to print(speaking from personal experience during my time at the lab). Monitors are typically set too bright and cool for editing. So when you edit your photos they may look great on your screen, but when it comes time to print they will be too dark and yellowy.

External storage - essential for file transfers and backing up your work. Lacie drives are rugged and great for travel.

Editing software - for basic edits I exclusively use Lightroom, for more advanced retouching it’s all Photoshop. Praise the editing genius(es) who created these products and they are available for $9.99/month.

Website or online gallery - I use Squarespace for my website and Pixieset for my client galleries.

Business cards - I really love MOO. The quality is fantastic, they have a lot of options like gold foil, raised graphics, and printfinity. I have used printfinity which allows you to have the same front, but all different photos on the back. This is great if you do different kinds of photography or just can’t decide what photo you prefer.

Print lab - You could print yourself, but after working at a print lab, I see the benefit of professional prints on light sensitive paper. They also utilize heat press, uv protective coatings, and other difficult for at home processes. I use My Photo Pipe because they are local(also where I used to work so I know their quality control first hand), but Parabo Press, Bay Photo, and Adorama are also worth looking at.

Bag - Invest in a good camera bag. I’m a big fan of Gillis(my current crush), Kelly Moore(my current bag), ONA, and Portage.

Tripod or Monopod - You won’t need this all the time, but you’ll wish you had one when you do.

Flash - I’ve been using the Profoto Air system lately and am in love.

Memory cards - Last, but certainly not least, make sure you have enough memory. Whether it’s SD cards or CF cards, somewhere to store them safely, and if you shoot video be sure that they are rated for 4K. PS check out this cutie for your keychain.

Portfolio - This may not be necessary depending on the type of photography you do, but if it is check out my “How to self publish a book” blog post.