Photography is a very lucrative business, easy to set up and can be quite fulfilling if you have the passion for taking beautiful pictures. I know some may disagree with me on that. Lots of photographers are worried about what equipment is needed to start a photography business. However, you don’t need to acquire the most expensive photography equipment before starting your photography business.

Lots of people are drawn to this business yearly but sadly, the majority of them don’t last more than a year in the business. Well, if you are thinking of starting your own photography business and your fear is funding, well this article will allay your fear and tell you exactly what equipment is needed to start a photography business so you can better plan your budget. So, what equipment is needed to start a photography business? Find out below.

Related: Photography Business: Financial Risks

A Camera

Of course, you need a camera! You cannot be a photographer without a camera. Your choice of camera depends on what kind of photography you want to focus on and your budget. It is common knowledge that the more expensive a camera is, the better its performance and quality. However, you don’t have to break a bank or go borrowing to acquire the most expensive camera before starting your photography business.

You may have the best camera and still not sell. It takes more than that to succeed in the photography business. So, in choosing a camera, factor in the photography niche you want to go into and your budget.
Digital single lens reflex cameras or DSLRs come in a variety of prices and the pro models usually are much more expensive. The reason for this huge price difference is almost always down to the sensor, an expensive piece of technology that takes in the light from the lens.

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Professional cameras usually come with full-frame sensors while less expensive models have cropped sensors. Full-frame sensors perform better in low-light conditions, can capture more subtle variations in color than a cropped sensor and they work better with wide-angle lenses.

Mirrorless cameras also come with different types of sensors as well and are fast becoming popular with pro photographers who need to travel light such as travel photographers and wedding photographers. These camera models are thinner and lighter than the DSLR models because they don’t have a mirror. However, they still trail DSLR cameras in terms of quality.

Related: Difference Between DSLR and Mirrorless Camera


Aside from a Camera, another essential equipment you need in setting up your photography business is lenses. High-quality lenses are a must have for a pro photographer. Just like cameras, higher prices usually indicate higher quality. If your plan is to go into wildlife or sports photography, you have to invest in a good telephoto lens and monopod, which often cost more than the camera itself.

If you are just starting out as a portrait or wedding photographer, it is recommended you invest in a couple of high-quality lenses and then get additional lenses as you bring in an income and grow your business. For instance, you want to go into event photography, start with a couple of zoom lenses.

Related: How to Start A Photography Business With Little or no Money

For portraits, start your business with a zoom lens and a prime lens (the lens that does not have zoom ability). Commercial photography of products and other items in a studio, require investment in a macro lens first, which gives you close-ups of small items, such as rings and jewelry. Some lenses to consider:

  • 70–200 mm f/2.8 zoom lens
  • 24–70 mm f/2.8 zoom lens
  • 85 mm prime lens
  • 35 mm prime lens
  • 100 mm or 60 mm macro lens

I am sure you are gradually getting answers to the question, what equipment is needed to start a photography business. Read on as I continue to enlighten you on this topic.


To make your job easier as a photographer, there are some accessories that you need. Most pro photographers will agree that the most important accessory you need is a tripod. You should get a stable tripod that won’t vibrate in the wind, especially if you are taking long-exposure shots.

If you intend to work in a studio, you want at least two good lights and a few reflectors, as well as a couple stools, backdrops, and props such as toys for children to hold in their portraits. For those taking portraits outdoors, including wedding photographers, you will want a sunblock and a reflector, to reduce sunlight and to reflect sunlight on your models as needed.

For long-exposure shots, you should get a remote shutter control, either wired or wireless, so that you won’t jostle the camera by pressing the shutter button.
Also, you should consider investing in the following:

  • Durable camera bag
  • Plenty of memory cards
  • Lens cleaning kit
  • Back up camera(s)
  • Portable light kit: Useful when shooting indoor such as real estate listing photos
  • Light meter: Useful for ensuring that you have the correct exposure and aperture settings
  • A computer for editing and storing digital photos.

Photo Processing Software

To excel in the photography business, you need to invest in photo processing software. The difference between a decent photo and a spectacular photo most times comes down to what you do with it on your computer. Your phone and computer may come with free image processing software but the standard is still Adobe’s products, Lightroom and Photoshop even though there are less expensive options available on the market.

Lightroom is used for batch processing, cataloging and organizing scores of images. Photoshop lets you process images taken in RAW mode to get the best color and lighting from every single pixel. It also guarantees additional editing abilities. A lot of photographers start photo editing with less expensive software and then upgrade to Photoshop if they need additional features such as removing objects from an image.

Photo Printer

Another important equipment you can get is a quality photo printer. You need to invest in a good photo printer that will make your pictures stand out. It is important also to make use of a good quality photo printer when printing out proofs or marketing materials. This will make your photos will be of high quality.

However, if you are running on a really low budget, you can start action on getting a quality photo printer. Instead, outsource all your printing needs to a local printing shop or available online service. Your business will eventually grow. You will have extra cash to spend, investing in a good printer of your own is a wise choice.

Studio Space

Depending on the photography niche you want to go into, you might also find it necessary to rent or purchase some studio space for your photography business. Apart from what equipment is needed to start a photography business, it will be ideal to have a studio if you plan on having clients travel to you for photos. If however, your photography niche involves you traveling or shooting outdoor only, you may have no need for studio space.

Related: How to Start My Photography Studio


What equipment is needed to start a photography business is a question that runs through the mind of many photographers daily. Photography is quite a lucrative venture. There is a general perception that you need a lot of money to buy expensive equipment to start this business. This is however not true as you must have found out if you read the body of this article.

People has been led into the idea that setting up a photography business is hard. This is due to lack of proper information. It has led many people to buy into that idea. This is why this article was written to bridge the gap. You can always start your photography business with a few basic pieces of equipment. What is most important in setting up a photography business is your skill and talent. A combination of skill and talent will make it work not always some fancy camera or lens.

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Author: Arinze

A Photography enthusiastic. I work with a group of other professional photographers to provide you tips on photography

About Arinze

A Photography enthusiastic. I work with a group of other professional photographers to provide you tips on photography

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