This article was contributed by Michael Schacht.
For enthusiasts, photography is more than just a hobby. It can be a lucrative business, especially if you have the eye for taking gorgeous photographs and the talent for grabbing opportunities to take a great photo.
But before you turn your love for photography into a business, you need to practice and get set up with the goods.
Basic Photography Equipment
Before you start with photography, you need to have the right equipment to practice your skills, but you do not need to spend too much on equipment, especially if you are a beginner.
Here is the basic photography equipment you will need:
Nowadays, many cameras are available so you may find it difficult to choose only one. It is essential to pick one that you are comfortable with. You need to consider what type of photography you want to concentrate on because some camera models work better in certain situations than others. The Canon Rebel T7i with an 18-55mm kit lens is a great recommendation and is considered as one of the best cameras for those who are new to photography. See here for how to choose the right camera.
You can also practice shooting photographs with your lenses. Although most cameras include stock lenses, you may want to try and experiment with different lenses to achieve different photography styles. Lenses can be expensive; therefore, you must do your research before you purchase them. It is also important to consider the model of your camera when buying lenses. They should be compatible with your current model, so you don’t encounter problems regarding compatibility. The Nikon 50mm f/1.8D is one such lens that is ideal for taking photographs for graphic design projects because of its natural image representation features and its quality performance in every lighting condition.
Cameras have limited battery lifespan; therefore, you need to have another set of spare batteries so you can continue practicing when out and about. Having another battery also allows you to take practice shots while you are mobile. You need to decide on which type of batteries work best for your camera. Alkaline batteries have a shorter lifespan, while lithium batteries can last longer and they can withstand cold weather. When it comes to rechargeable batteries, nickel-metal-hydride batteries work best. These batteries can last longer, have more power, and are environmentally friendly.
If you are practicing your shots, you do not have enough time to delete the ones that you think are not good enough. Therefore, you need more memory space to store your photographs. Getting a large memory card for your camera is an ideal way to save time when practicing your test shots. You don’t have to stop from time to time just to delete pictures that do not pass your standards. The 128GB SD card from SanDisk memory card is recommendable.
Tripods are beneficial if you want to achieve a more steady shot. You don’t have to purchase an expensive one since you are still starting your photography career. You can try to find cheaper ones such as Amazons Basics or second-hand models online. Some tripods are cheap and are ideal for photographers with a low budget. However, these tripods could wobble, which will affect the quality of your photographs.
You need a good camera bag that can carry all your photography items. It must be big enough to fit your camera, lenses, batteries, and other equipment. Your camera bag must be durable and sturdy because you’re always on the move while you are practicing your photography skills.
Reflectors can help you manipulate light when taking pictures. It can give your subjects more lighting, thus making them clearer. The light from reflectors are softer than the light from flash units. Plus, they’re easy to use and understand. You could try the Photoflex 32” 5-in-1 reflector.
Lastly, you need good editing software to edit your photographs. If you have limited skills when it comes to editing, you can look for video tutorials online. As for software, you can try the Adobe Photography Plan (for Adobe Lightroom + Photoshop) or Phase One Capture One Pro 11, which are both compatible with a PC or a Mac.
If you’re looking to purchase basic photography equipment, you can get good advice from the Youtube channel of theslandtedlens.com. You can use the photography studio grade equipment on their list without having to shell out too much. Remember to purchase a camera, lenses, batteries, memory card, memory card reader, tripod, reflector, and editing software.
Shooting Great Photos for Graphic Design Projects
Graphic design is a form of art that communicates with an intended audience. It makes use of a variety of photographs, paintings, or illustration to create a piece that can convey a message to an audience. If you are planning on using your photos for your graphic design projects, you need to consider a few tips on how to shoot great photographs:
You need first to think of the theme of your project. What kind of mood does your client want? How will you shoot a photo based on your client’s chosen theme? You have to study the theme or mood to capture photographs that are related to the concept. You can brainstorm with your client and your team to come up with shots that can show the central concept of the project.
Who or what are you going to shoot? Is it still life photography? Portraiture? You can ask your client if he or she wants their primary product to be the subject of the shoot or if he or she prefers to add more elements to the subject. You need to consider your subject so you can determine what style of photography you’re going to use.
Who are you targeting? Who will see the project or campaign? You need to study your audience as well to know how you are going to direct your shoot. Is the project intended for the youth? Is it for a mature audience? You need to know who your client is targeting to be able to create a more compelling design or campaign. This way, your photographs can communicate well with your target audience.
Since you are shooting an official project, you need to use a camera that you are comfortable with. You need to be familiar with the camera so you can shoot the photographs with ease. Your camera should also have the right lenses for the type of shoot you are going to do. You also need to consider your camera’s memory and batteries. Bring extra sets of batteries during the shoot to avoid any problems with your batteries and storage.
Natural light is always best when it comes to photography. However, there are instances when you need to consider artificial lighting to be able to get the right shot for your campaign. If you are using natural light, it is best to work in open areas where light enters freely. It allows you to take shots that are more organic and real.
You also need to work on the proper angles of your photoshoot. If you are working with models, you need to find their correct angles and concentrate there. Angles also create a dramatic effect whenever you are shooting. Try to experiment with a variety of angles until you can shoot the right photograph for your project.
If you follow these tips, even with the most basic equipment, you’ll be able to come up with great shots that will “Wow” your audience. Remember to find the best fitting theme for your subject that your audience can easily relate to. Find your right angle and use the most natural lighting, and you can start clicking your cameras away.
Photography Points to Consider
Completing a photography project can be difficult. You need to impress your client and you need to communicate with your target audience. If you are working on your graphic design project, you can also consider these graphic design elements:
Backgrounds can make or break an entire photograph. You need to choose a background that can make your objects pop. Your background must be able to add more depth to the picture.
Before you start with a graphic design project, you need to think of your layout first. You have to create one that looks clean and polished. You also need to plot all elements into your design to check if all of them fit together.
You also need to consider the colors that you are using. Without colors, your project can look dull and simple. Experiment with different shades and hues. However, you need to use the right combination of colors so your photos can pop out and your final piece can attract the intended audience.
Shapes are also important elements of graphic design. They can help fill a space using different creative techniques. You can use shapes to support your piece’s content and to make important texts stand out.
Lastly, you need to find the right typeface to match your entire project. Different typefaces help create a simple message into a beautiful artwork. You can choose large and bold fonts to highlight important points in your project. You can also mix and match different fonts.
A great image helps create a great graphic design. If you are a currently working on a graphic design project, you should first start with shooting a great photograph. High-resolution photos require minimal editing, are easy to print out, making it easier for you to use it for any sort of graphic design project. Therefore, you must first shoot a photograph and work your way from there.
Michael Schacht is a portrait photographer and photography educator based in Chicago, Illinois. As owner/operator of 312 Elements Headshot Photography located in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood, Michael overseas the day to day operations and has had the opportunity to photograph thousands of corporate professionals over the last decade. Header image by JWW.