Starting a Photography Business on a Budget

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For many aspiring photographers, the idea of using used or older equipment may seem to limit their photography, however with the right technique, you can deliver photography that competes with top photographers in the industry. The idea of spending a lot of money on equipment certainly brings the perception that your photos will be better, however many photographers in the industry have not even upgraded because they are consistently getting quality photography from older cameras. You don’t need the latest and greatest photography equipment to produce stunning photos. With practice and knowledge, you can take your budget-conscious equipment to produce photos many would envy. Consider buying used equipment, become proficient in the equipment you have, and get out and practice.


Buying Used Equipment to Start Your Photography Business
Photography is an expensive business. One camera and one lens can set you back thousands of dollars. If you include the top of the line or flagship camera and you could spend nearly five thousand dollars or more on just one camera and one lens. For many aspiring photographers, starting out is a challenge because you have not even built up a reputation of being a photographer or even a trusted one. People put a lot of trust in their photographer. For some customers, there is only one shot at getting it right and knowing that they can trust their photographer in an important decision-making factor. So a photographer starting out may choose to buy a Nikon D850 or you can buy a Nikon D810 which is about two thousand dollars less. Some of the DX cameras can produce some high-quality photos for the more budget-conscious photographer. The D7500 has a crop sensor and works well with many lighting systems on the market. The D7500 is a semipro crop sensor camera that can be purchased for just under eight hundred dollars. Many used or refurbished D7500s can be purchased for as little as six hundred. An ideal lens for portraits is the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 AF-S VRII is an excellent choice. This older lens can be purchased for as low as one thousand to thirteen hundred dollars. This lens allows photographers to widen up a frame to 70mm or zoom in to 200mm to completely blur out the background at f/2.8. Essentially you can start your business with a used D810 and Used 70-200mm.

Lighting Your Subject
While cameras and lenses can be expensive, so can lighting. Being able to properly use light for headshots or portraits can be instrumental in creating images that set you apart from everyone else. A Nikon SB-800 TTL AF Shoe Mount Speedlight can be used to create some amazing photos for less than one hundred dollars. How many do you need? Some photographers will say that they can use one Speedlight, but an ideal option would be using two. One as a primary and one as a rim light. You could probably use a reflector to highlight as needed.

Become Proficient at Your Craft
Using your equipment regularly makes you a better photographer. A better photographer will know how to use their equipment in most conditions. Practicing your photography only helps you position yourself and your photography. Knowing your capabilities allows you to know where you stand with other photographers.

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Type of Equipment Used by Rafal
Nikon D800



Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8E FL ED VR Lens




Elinchrom 39″ Rotalux Deep Octabox

Elinchrom 27.5” Rotalux Deep Octabox


Nikon SB700 TTL AF Shoe Mount Speedlight Flash

Rafal Wegiel







Re: Starting a Photography Business on a Budget

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Community Manager
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Thanks for sharing these great tips @GreyBugPhoto