Essential Photography Gear for Beginners

So, you are thinking about getting into photography, but you aren’t sure where to start. There is so much dang information on the internet, how do you even know where to begin? Dude, you came to the right place and I am so freaking happy that you are here!

Essential Photography Gear for Beginners and Amature Photographers by Bessie Young Photography.jpg

First of all this entire website is about helping others navigate the photography relm, learn how to be a photographer, create a business around photography if that is your thing, and so much more!

So, today I am talking about the essential photography gear for beginners. These are the must haves. The things that you will find yourself needing along the way.

Obviously to get started in photography, the only thing you really need is a camera. So, nothing else, just make sure you get yourself a camera that can shoot manual mode and that can change lenses. Now, beyond the camera, there are a few other things that you are going to want to get your hands on.

Before we get into it, please just do yourself a favor and buy the one you want. DO NOT GO CHEAP HERE (in moderation of course). Ultimately, you are going to buy the cheap thing, and then later down the road actually buy the expensive one or the one that you actually really wanted in the first place. PLEASE learn from my mistakes. You end up spending so much more money if you go about doing it this way. I bought the cheap lens, then I ended up buying the one I actually wanted later. Yep I spent almost twice the amount of money. I did that with everything…. lenses, tripods, camera bags…. you name it, I did it. It took me a long time to realize that I was ultimately spending way more money. As the old saying goes:

Buy Once Cry Once

Make sure to check out my full gear list here.

So when looking through this list and deciding to add things to your cart, please consider purchasing the thing you really want rather than the cheap one. It will save you so much time, headache, frustration, and MONEY!

Alright, so here it is…

Essential Photography Gear for Beginners

1. Camera

So this one is my DUH. Of course you need a camera to get into photography, but I want to talk about what kind of camera you need.

You need a camera that has interchangeable lenses and that can shoot in manual mode.

Now, you have 2 choices… a full frame camera (the ones the professionals use) or a cropped sensor camera.

You really need to think long and hard about this decision.

A full frame camera is obviously better for all the reasons, but it also comes with that incredible price tag.

A cropped sensor camera has a reasonable price tag and will get you started with photography. I actually started with the Canon T2i. I typically suggest everyone begin with a cropped sensor. There are 2 cameras that I would suggest. The Sony A series and the Canon Ti series. Here they are for prices and comparison:

2. Memory Cards

Memory Cards are never the fun thing to buy, but lets face it… you have to have them. For me I love the SanDisk Extreme Pros. I typically use either the 32gb or the 64gb.

3. External Hard Drive

Yep, yet another sucky thing to have to buy. Luckily memory is getting cheaper so that is always a good thing right? :) I prefer the WD Passports for an external drive. Again, do yourself a favor and buy the big boy. Go big or go home with AT LEAST a 1 TB.

4. Camera Bag

This is one of the fun parts!!! Actually all of it is exciting, even having to buy the SD cards, but Camera bags are really your style and your think! There are so many options to think about. Do you want a backpack, a cross shoulder bag, a messenger bag?

I just purchased this Promaster camera bag and I am loving it!

5. Tripod

If you have been following along on any of my adventures you know that I have a serious love hate relationship with my tripod. I refused to use one for the longest time while I was learning photography. Ultimately it was the exact thing I needed to get those awesome star photos, so bleh….

Now, this is one of those things… do not buy a crappy one. You will hate it, you will not ever use it, and then you will end up buying a more expensive one. Just buy a good one. One that is stiff, strong, durable, and has a good smooth head.

6. Editing Software

There are two main editing software’s out there. Lightroom and Photoshop. For me, Lightroom was a huge game changer. I currently use Lightroom and Photoshop Elements.

7. Lots and Lots of Coffee

Umm, ya this is no joke. Once you start getting into photography you might just become obsessed with it. Don’t say I never warned you, because here I am…. warning you :)

You will find that photography is best during those hours where you want to be sleeping… early sunrises, late sunsets, and in the middle of the night. So expect to be staying up late, getting up early, and drinking a boat load of coffee.

On a fun side note, this is why I started making fun photography coffee mugs! Seriously… THIS IS THE REASON. Coffee is now life.

I hope you all enjoyed this blog! If you did, leave me a comment below, or even better, share it with your friends!


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Wishing you the absolute best!