As a photographer, it’s tempting to sink every dime into your camera, editing software, and portfolio, but then you neglect all of the “lesser knowns” like your equipment, protective gear, and even your own wardrobe. If you’re trying to be a professional photographer, know up front that it isn’t always a cheap proposition. It’s also not a good idea to spend every dime on that camera and refuse to invest in the things that go along with it. One cannot exist without the other, they are yin to the other’s yang and all that. So before you start crying over how expensive everything is, keep these investments in mind.
Camera Bags and Luggage
Aside from your actual camera and the lenses you buy, this is probably the most expensive part of your setup. Do not cheap out here! It’s important to get a nice bag that 1: matches your style 2: protects your camera 3: is easy to carry around. You’re going to be toting a pretty heavy collection of things with you, so make sure you’re not just carrying your camera around your neck or on one arm for eternity. Get one that feels great, is light, and fits everything you need without being a monstrosity. Expect to drop $150 or more on a decent bag. You won’t ever have to replace it, unless you’re a total jerk to the bag, and it will protect your other investments well.
Editing and sharing software can cost you an arm and a leg, so just be prepared up front. While most programs have monthly, online subscriptions, you might also download a program that can cost a pretty penny. Do your research and find what works best for your editing style, and just be prepared to drop a chunk of money. You can invest in smaller programs at first to test things out, but know that soon you’ll have to fork over some cash for something you like. You’ll earn this back, as your photography business grows because your edits are so great, but it’s a hard pill to swallow at first.
If you’re not getting paid for that National Geographic cover shoot yet, you’re going to have to front your own travel funds so that you can sell some amazing pictures of some obscure place nobody has ever seen on Pinterest. This is also a great investment in yourself, but you can’t pull it off if you throw $3,000 into your camera and nothing else. Save up, spend wisely, and make it worth your while. You can’t take pictures if you can’t afford to go anywhere to take said pictures!
It’s incredibly important that you spend well and wisely when you’re starting your photography business. Remember to budget and be aware of these expenses, so you don’t overspend in other areas. Remember that you don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket and you don’t want to keep your eggs in a basket with holes in the bottom!