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The holidays are quickly approaching, along with one of the most commonly asked questions: What do you want this year?

Let’s be honest, now that you have decided to leap into a photography business, the answer should be easy. So, what should be on your holiday wish list as a new photographer? Like the list from the song “The 12 Days of Christmas”, allow us to make some recommendations. A partridge in a pear tree is optional. 

#1Lenses


A bunch of camera lenses

In photography, a lens is more important than the camera. All recent cameras produce decent image quality, while some provide extra features for professional shooting, they all do the same thing. They simply capture the image.

On the other hand, lenses change the way we photograph the world around us. Every lens has different characteristics, features, and fields of view. There are zoom lenses, prime lenses, super-telephoto lenses, even VR lenses. Which one to choose? Ultimately, it depends on the type of photography you are focusing on.

Here is our overview of camera lenses to help you decide.

  • Wide-angle lenses: These are the lenses most landscape and astrophotographers use. They provide a very wide field of view to capture big landscapes, mountains, stars, and the Milky Way. 
  • Standard-zoom lenses: You can capture wide-angle shots and bring your subject closer to you with standard zoom lenses. These are perfect for travel, events, family, and even professional shooting (weddings, fashion, etc.).
  • Telephoto lenses: These lenses are primarily used by landscape and travel photographers. They are also very useful to shoot sports, as they can bring their subject really close and capture the emotion (dancing events).
  • Macro lenses: Beauty is in the details, and a macro lens can enlarge those details and produce incredible macro shots of tiny subjects, insects, and other organisms. A macro lens is also suitable for shooting beautiful portraits.
  • Prime vs zoom lenses: Some photographers prefer to shoot with prime lenses. In some cases, these lenses are better optically, yet they have only one focal length/field of view (you have to use your feet to zoom in or out).
  • Variable vs constant aperture zoom lenses: Less expensive zoom lenses tend to have a variable aperture ring (i.e. f/3.5-5.6) while others have a constant aperture ring (i.e. f/4 or f/2.8). Those with the constant aperture ring can maintain the same aperture throughout the zoom range and produce better corner-to-corner sharpness.

#2Cameras


A bunch of camera bodies and phones

Another item that should be on your wish list is a new camera. Those of you who already own an older DSLR camera might consider upgrading to a mirrorless camera with new advanced technologies and features.

Mirrorless cameras are the future of photography. The newest models from Canon, Sony, Nikon, and other camera brands provide new technologies, electronic view finders, silent shooting, blazing-fast autofocus systems with AI subject tracking, and many more features.

Which one is best for you? We have categorized them based on the price and sensor size, so you know which one fits your photography needs and budget.

  • Micro 4/3 Interchangeable Cameras: These cameras have a x2 crop factor. This means that the image sensor is half of that of a full frame camera. That allows the camera body and lenses to be smaller, more compact, and lightweight, perfect for city, street, and travel photography. The Olympus and Panasonic Lumix series are very popular.
  • APS-C Interchangeable Cameras: APS-C cameras have a x1.5 crop factor. They sit between the Micro 4/3 and the full frame cameras. They are also compact, lightweight, and produce great image quality. FujiFilm, Sony, Canon, and Nikon are popular.
  • Full Frame Interchangeable Cameras: With a standard 35mm sensor size, full frame cameras have exceptional image quality, low-light performance, fast autofocus, and pro features for professional shooting. Top-of-the-line brands are Canon, Sony, Nikon, and Panasonic.
  • Medium Format Interchangeable Cameras: Larger than a full frame image sensor, medium format cameras provide different aspect ratio, higher megapixel count, and great detail, especially in low-light. The drawback is that the autofocus is still not as good as a full frame camera

#3Tripods


A kid looking through a camera on a tripod

A tripod is one of the essential tools for photographers! Choosing a good tripod is always a good investment because you will use it in many different scenarios, and it will help you take blurry-free images. So what are the main reasons to use a tripod?

  • Long exposure shots: Tripods are very useful for capturing long exposure shots and the stars at night. You can lower your shutter speed and create more artistic images when your camera is steady.
  • Increase sharpness: With the use of a tripod, you can create tack-sharp images. That’s because when your camera is mounted on a tripod, it eliminates the camera shake that sometimes is caused while you’re holding a camera.
  • Frame your shots: The process of setting up a tripod and putting your camera on will force you to think more about your composition. 

Tripods come in different sizes and they are made of aluminum, carbon fiber, or stainless steel. The most expensive are the ones made out of carbon fiber (and they last longer). So if you want to invest in a good tripod, we recommend carbon fiber.

#4Filters


Camera lens filters

Lens filters are used for multiple purposes but mostly to block sunlight from entering your camera’s sensor on a bright sunny day. A lens filter determines the type of image you want to create. Below you will find the different types of filters you can choose from:

  • Polarized: They can get rid of reflections from surfaces such as water, glass, or other surfaces.
  • CPL: Circular Polarized Filters can darken and add more contrast to a blue sky if you point your camera 45 degrees from the sun.
  • ND: Neutral Density Filters have different stops in order to eliminate light and create long exposure shots during the day.
  • VND: Variable ND filters are two rotating ND filter rings, giving great versatility in changing light. They reduce light intake without affecting color balance. Great for landscape photography and videography.

#5Camera Flash


A camera flash

A good photographer has to know the basics of how to use a camera flash to light up their space and subject when the lighting is too dark. Photographers use two types of camera flashes, on-camera flash and off-camera flash. 

The on-camera flash is a type of strobe light that connects directly with the camera - most provide unflattering lighting, so not recommended for professional photography. Off-camera flash is when the flash is positioned somewhere far away from the camera and needs a wireless flash trigger to work - speed lights are a great example. 

#6Memory Cards


A pile of memory cards

A memory card is another essential tool for photographers. They determine how fast the data is written from the camera to the card, how quickly the images are displayed in-camera, and how fast they transfer from the memory card to your computer or another digital device. 

Check your camera’s manual to identify which memory card is compatible with your specific camera model. Usually, an SDXC card is one of the fastest SD cards in the market. On the other hand, if you own a full frame camera, you might need to get the new XQD or CFExpress cards with a capacity of up to 2TB!

#7Camera Bag


A photographer's backpack

Don't miss adding a nice bag for your camera to your wish list. It is essential and the best way to protect your camera, lenses, and accessories. There are many different types of camera bags on the market. The most common are:

  • Camera pouches: Best for small cameras with a second lens or other accessories.
  • Waist belts: Best for camera accessories.
  • Mailman camera bags: Best for street photography, travel, and journalism.
  • Backpack: Most commonly used for beginner and professional photographers.
  • Rolling case: Best for multiple cameras, lenses, drones, and other professional camera accessories.

#8Photography Courses


A male with headphones writing on a notepad with a laptop next to him

Sometimes you focus on buying new camera gear and how to better your photography skills but neglect that you are running a business and need to get clients! 

Whatever the need is, asking for a course to support your business is like a gift that keeps on giving. Here are some favorite courses in this blog post

#9Picsello


A screenshot of the Picsello desktop and mobile application

There’s nothing wrong with a bit of brand self-promotion during the holidays. But seriously...adding Picsello to your business is the BEST investment you (or your gift giver) can make. Picsello is a streamlined, all-in-one, easy-to-use, and management software that will help you organize your photos, keep track of your schedule, market and grow your business, and make you feel like the professional photographer you are.

We highly recommend this for a successful new year!

No matter what you add to your holiday wish list, make sure it improves both your skills and career. You’ve made a great choice in starting your own photography business, so now it’s time to ask for the tools to help make your business a success! 

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