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Old Oct 4, 2010, 4:29 AM   #1
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Default What Equipment for the Beginner Fashion/Beauty Photographer?

A Very Short but Effective Primer

I have been asked on several occasions "what gear would I need to get started in fashion/beauty photography?"

That is really dependent on what kind of stuff you want to shoot, but what I will try to do here is give you a pretty good base that will allow you to attack most challenges.

Camera:

An entry or intermediate level DSLR with at least 8 megapixels. Must have a hot shoe to allow for attaching either a sync module or dedicated flash (which I do not recommend) Some DSLR's will have a dedicated sync port which is preferable.

Lenses:

I suggest the following. A reasonably good medium wide angle to medium telephoto lens i.e. 18-55, 17-50, 17-40, 16-50 type that will allow you to work in relatively tight spaces. A fixed focal length 50mm lens with an aperture of f1.8 or faster i.e. f1.4, 1.2. This will allow you to shoot in lower light conditions and makes a great all round fashion and beauty lens in the APSC format of DSLR's. I would also recommend a reasonable macro lens for the occasional macro beauty shoots. Finally and this is for those who like shooting telephoto fashion, a 50-200, 70-300 or a variation of this type of medium telephoto to telephoto zoom lens.

Flash & Light Meter:

A reasonably good flash/light meter like Seconic for example.

Strobes:

Two or three mono bloc studio flash units. Most will do the job. Most strobe kits come with strobe trigger devices that attach to the hotshot of the camera.

Continuous Light:

A couple of 500 watt halogen lights with barn door modifiers.

Accessories:

A couple of umbrella’s, a light box or two, a few 7″ bowls with honeycomb grid modifiers and a couple of snoots. If in a studio type space, a few Styrofoam 4′ x 8′ panels, seamless paper support stands and a few colors like white, gray, black and what ever else pleases your fancy.

Oh and a reasonably recent laptop with Photoshop or similar program for doing post prod work at least on a cursory level to commence with.

With this gear, you will have enough to do pretty much anything that your imagination can throw at you. What will be the biggest challenge of all? Not being afraid of the possibilities.

Have a Ball

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Old Oct 4, 2010, 10:39 AM   #2
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great primer Benji. this is the kind of straightforward information many people are looking for, so going to stick this so they can find it.
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Old Dec 22, 2010, 10:49 AM   #3
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equipment is a matter of cash or credit.

Get educated in the subject comes first.

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Old Mar 22, 2011, 8:26 PM   #4
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Get it going and learn by doing. All the research in the world will only make one's head spin and put it into vapor lock.
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Old Jun 1, 2011, 1:15 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vIZnquest View Post
Get it going and learn by doing. All the research in the world will only make one's head spin and put it into vapor lock.
I totally agree!!! I have started like this as well...
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Old May 1, 2012, 2:22 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vIZnquest View Post
Get it going and learn by doing. All the research in the world will only make one's head spin and put it into vapor lock.
I totally agree!
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Old Apr 19, 2013, 6:17 AM   #7
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i like your confidence
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Old Apr 19, 2013, 6:18 AM   #8
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and also i am agreed with you thanks for this
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Old Jun 26, 2013, 7:22 AM   #9
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Heh very true - its easy to make what you think is the right choice when you've little to no actual hands on experience of the tools. Then a month or two down the line you start to find the little problems with the "ideal" gear and suddenly something (generally more expensive though not always) comes up that solves all those problems.

In the end I think one who is very keen will end up with a range of various setups and devices - each with their own niche of use for that person. How far they take things will determine how many niches they'll end up with. A weekend macro shooter might end up with one flash setup - whilst a crazed maniac might end up with a whole range of different setups (heck they might even risk natural light stuff too!

Last edited by ibecamewe; Jun 26, 2013 at 7:34 AM.
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Old Jun 30, 2013, 6:48 AM   #10
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I suggest as an exercise, you take just one lens and use it for the whole shoot. A hint, should be applicable for close ups as well as full silhouettes.

Last edited by benjikan; Jun 30, 2013 at 6:52 AM.
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