With hundreds of different camera bodies and lenses to choose from, in addition to a limitless number of accessories, it’s tough to know where to draw the line when it comes to kit; there’s a fine balance between having what you really need and buying equipment that you’ll use only once.
If you plan to offer studio shoots, then clearly you’ll need to buy more gear than if you were to specialise in natural light photography. Some accessories can be improvised, such as using scrunched up and flattened tin foil instead of buying a reflector, but you may find the effectiveness, usability and professionalism of a purpose-made product outweighs any cost savings.
The following pages tell what you to look for when selecting a camera and lens, and briefly cover some of the accessories on offer. We suggest that you spend some time at a specialist store, handling and testing the different options, trying out different accessories and only buying the things that you are sure you’ll make use of.
After all, if you’re looking to earn money from portraiture, the cost of any equipment needs to be balanced by the likely income you can earn by using it. And besides, owning expensive kit won’t make you more competent; knowing how to use it and putting in many hours of practice is the only way to become a master of portrait photography.