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Old Jan 28, 2014, 5:59 AM   #1
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Default Baby photographer to be - but what camera+lens are the best for me?


Im just about to start my own business in newborn photography but Im a bit lost Im not professional but that is my goal! Many years ago I had a Nikon D80 with 18-135mm lens but I don't know what to buy now.

1. I don't wanna spend more money than it is needed to have a really good kit (not a beginner, not too pro but to be able to make really good quality photos)

2. Don't know if it is enough to have a simple body or have to go for one of the latest models?

3. If not the latest camera than should focus on the lens but how many and which one? I don't know if I really have to have 3 different ones like a fix 50mm + 24-70mm + 70-200mm. Can it be just the 50mm and 1 zoom lens?

4. I've been advised one kit which is a Canon but I feel like I'd like to have Nikon again. But I can be convinced about the Canon as well.

Canon EOS 70D + EF 1/4 50mm , 24-70 USM, 70-200 IS USM f/4

What do you think do I really need something like this?

And what is the alternative for a Nikon kit? (Nikon D7000 probably but what about D3200 or D5100 are they good enough to take photos with natural light and indoor as well with same good result?)

These Canon lens are the L series for pro photos but if I want Nikon lens then which ones should I buy?

5. Im interested in buying flash as well. What is your recommendation Canon+Nikon?

Huh, hope was not asking too much but really don't wanna waste money if I can get something for less but nearly with the same knowledge.

I am so excited to get useful advices from you!!
Thank you very much in advance!

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Old Jan 28, 2014, 9:26 AM   #2
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Actually, if you still have the D80 and the 18-135, that would probably do fine. (Keep the aperture at f/11 to avoid unwanted vignetting.) Your biggest expense will probably be studio equipment (Lighting, backdrops, props, etc.)
  • The lens is the thing.
  • 'Full Frame' is the new 'Medium Format'.
  • "One good test is worth a thousand expert opinions." - Tex Johnston, Boeing 707 test pilot.
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Old Jan 28, 2014, 9:48 AM   #3
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Thanks for your advice!
I don't have any camera at the moment but would be great to have one which will make my life easier (eg. less Photoshop).
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Old Jan 28, 2014, 10:46 AM   #4
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There is a HUGE difference between taking photos as a hobby and having a profitable business doing it. You'll find that when people have to pay, there's a different attitude. The same people that told you: "wow your photos are great" suddenly won't think they're "great enough" to pay for them.

When you're talking about newborn photography you'll find that your studio setup is much more important than camera/lens. You're often not doing shallow DOF photography. Now you're into photography with backdrops, props and a decent lighting setup (strobes, soft boxes, etc). You then either need your own studio setup or a portable setup. So, strobes, softboxes, backdrops, props, tripod are all more important than the camera/lens you use.

Sorry, but having a "nice camera" isn't going to get you dependable income for that type of photography.
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Old Jan 28, 2014, 11:30 AM   #5
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i'd suggest figuring out what would work best for YOUR style. if you have a baby in the family you can practice on, work with a camera with a zoom lens to figure out the distances you'd usually be shooting at. otherwise perhaps you could use a life sized, realistic baby doll. it's easy recommend that you get the 50mm, but what if you discover you're better off shooting with an 85mm or 35mm?

maybe it would be worth renting some cameras and lenses to find the combination that creates the results you want.

JohnG has major points. when we were doing video shoots - bodybuilders, not babies - we built a portable kit in 2 large suitcases with light stands and lamps, extra bulbs, umbrellas, backdrops and stands, clips and clamps, reflectors and weighted socks (we used pennies in the socks, btw) and a variety of other things including some weights and resistance tubes for the guys to work out with. we started with what we thought we'd need, but discovered our needs grew when we started doing the shoots.
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Old Jan 28, 2014, 3:43 PM   #6
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G'day Anita

John is on-the-button here

I suggest you follow his suggestions

Has Lumix mirrorless & superzoom cameras and loves their amazing capabilities
Spends 8-9 months each year travelling Australia
Recent images at http://www.flickr.com/photos/ozzie_traveller/sets/
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Old Jan 28, 2014, 3:52 PM   #7
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Equipment is a fairly minor consideration. Presumably, you have the photography skills to make a go of it, but do you also have the marketing skills, and business skills? You should start with a business plan, even if you are planning on transitioning from a hobby to a business.

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Old Jan 28, 2014, 5:08 PM   #8
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Transitioning is difficult as John has laid out and deciding to enter into the field professionally takes a lot of time and money. Newborn photography is all about the set up and lighting. People like the Anne Geddes look so having props as John pointed out are vital to putting yourself above the competition. And, having a good business plan, website (which cost money) and equipment are key. I have the 60D so I'm sure the 70D is quite good(as I love mine) and the Nikon counterparts are equally excellent. But, in my humble opinion, doing work professionally having a FF camera/lens is best. For my professional work I have the 5D3 and use a 50mm 1.2, 24-70 2.8 and 100mm macro 2.8 (great lens for babies as you can sit back and take the shot without them reaching for the camera) as well as the sigma 35mm 1.4 Art. For flash I use 2 600 flashes as they have wireless built into them....but I try to use natural light as much as possible. These work for me but you could find other focal lengths work better for you.....So, know your style first before investing in lenses but when you do, get a good quality lens.

Having a 1.4 - 2.8 lens is key for indoor photography to grab the light needed. The kit lenses (18-55 on a Canon) are not going to cut it for professional work you are selling to clients. Also, you will need good editing software to enhance your photo and remove unwanted items.

My best advice before diving in and buying things you don't need. Rent Lenses,Camera bodies as much as possible to get a feel for it and research situations/styles, etc online through courses to help you figure out what direction you want to go with.

There's lots of people that can take nice photographs who thing they're "Professional Photographers" so the competition can be fierce and providing something to clients apart from that competition is vital to developing your business. Also, never offer your services for free or charge peanuts for your work. It undercuts other photographers in the area but it also (and more importantly) will undervalue your work. On the flip side, don't expect to charge the same as someone whose work is in magazines, etc. Research the photographers in your area and price accordingly.

I work professionally part time. I take things as I want too and thus have less stress. Working Full-Time as a photographer as your main source of income means you MUST network....hence having a business plan in place.

Hope that helps.
Olympus E-PL5 45mm 1.8, 60mm macro and Panny 25mm 1.4

Canon 5D III
50mm 1.2 L l 24-70 F2.8 L l 70-200 F4 L l 40mm 2.8 l 100mmL 2.8 macro


Last edited by Shutterbug74; Jan 28, 2014 at 5:17 PM.
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