Trust me, I get it, I know how expensive being a photographer can be, and how it can destroy a budget—I feel your pain.
Let’s not even factor in cameras or lenses—which could be a legitimate article on its own—there are so many things you need to pack into this hobby. Camera bags, protectors, light kits, editing software, blah blah blah. When does the fun come in?
Well, believe it or not, there are ways to get amazing shots on a budget setup. And how do I know? Well, call me the King of Savings…or something.
Worry About Your Lighting
If there is anything that will save your photos, and make them pop on a budget—it’s your lighting. Even with high-end cameras, poor lighting will destroy a good photo.
Before anything else, make sure your lighting is exactly what you need, and get creative with it! Remember that shadows aren’t always a bad thing.
Know the Limits of Your Equipment
No matter what equipment you have, it’s going to have its limits on what it can do and handle. Obviously, with a cheaper setup, this is going to be even more limited—but that’s not a problem!
Learn the limits of your camera, equipment, and lighting, and push it to its limits. Once you know what your camera can handle, you’ll know what advantages you have, even with a smaller rig.
Take Advantage of Ideal Conditions
External conditions are a major factor in any great photo, so know what to look for and when.
The beloved “Golden Hour,” really is a real thing! Often dawn and dusk, especially in the fall, is the ideal time to take classic shots that will look good coming from any lens. But that doesn’t mean these are the only times you can shoot.
Know what to look for, such as cloud cover and time of day. And if you’re traveling to a location, research to find the best time to go, look at weather updates, and give yourself the best chance for that ideal shot—all on a budget.
Focus on Your Strengths
No matter who you are, no matter where in your career you are, we all have strengths and weaknesses. So if you’re looking for a way to maximize what you can do, learn about yourself!
Some people are great at portraits (not me…), and some are great at landscapes (yes, this is me). Others like food photography, and some capture nothing but macro. Find what YOU do best, and work your magic!
When you get into photography, especially as a designer with specific needs, you’re going to run into people who feel technology has ruined the art (it hasn’t…btw). And while sure, there is something special about working in a lightroom, you have tools and ways to take amazing shots without all of that required setup.
If you have a simple DSLR, great! With these tips and more, you’re on your way to some great work for cheap. Good job!