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5 Places to Get Photography Supplies for Your Business

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Photography is one of the best career paths if you’re looking for something that lets you explore your creativity. With so many types of photography paths available, there is a lot of room to explore and find your niche. However, photography does require a fair bit of equipment, and it’s often challenging to find the best sources for photography supplies. This guide has been put together to help you figure out what supplies to get and the best places to source photography supplies.

 

READ MORE: 25 Things You Need to Start a Photography Business

The Photography Industry in 2022

The photography industry has seen significant growth, with many amateur photographers entering the field to start their own businesses. It’s a sign of the popularity of the area and the increasing demand for talented photographers. Many types of photography have gained popularity, such as weddings, business, and commercial photography, as well as portraits and events.

 

READ MORE: Make Money from a Hobby with a Photography Business Course

Top Places for Photography Supply for Your Business

There are many places where amateur photographers can explore new products and find information about photography equipment. Some of the top places for photography supplies include:

1. Amazon

Amazon is one of the top choices for photography supplies because of the sheer amount of choices available. Photographers can find everything they need, including lighting equipment, tripods, backdrops, and more.

2. Etsy

Another popular choice for supplies includes marketplaces such as Etsy. Etsy is useful if you’re looking for photography props, vintage cameras, Lightroom presets for lighting effects, and other types of unique supplies.

3. Lensbaby

Lensbaby has photography tools such as lenses that can be more cost-effective for photographers without sacrificing creativity. With Lensbaby, photographers get to explore new angles and creative effects using their supplies, including tilt-shift and off-center focused photos.

4. B&H Photo and Video

If you’re looking for a one-stop shop for photography equipment, B&H Photo and Video is the perfect marketplace for photographers looking for the best products.

B&H offers all kinds of products for photographers, including lighting products, professional lenses, light modifiers, drones, and aerial cameras, and much more. They also provide information and news about photography that could be useful for amateur photographers and professionals.

5. Adorama

Adorama is one of the leading stores for photography equipment and includes comprehensive information about the products to help photographers choose the right equipment for them. It also features high-tech products that are newer to the market to cater to both amateur and seasoned photographers.

Adorama offers products such as cameras, lenses, lighting equipment, tripods, and other staple photography equipment. It also carries a wide range of products for astronomy photography and other niche areas.

 

READ MORE: How to Make Money with Photography

Essential Photography Supplies

If you’re looking for more information on what kind of photography supplies and equipment you’ll need as a photographer, we’ve made a list of the essential supplies every photographer needs to have.

DSLR (Digital Single-Lens Reflex) Cameras

DSLRs use a mirror mechanism to reflect light from the lens up into an optical viewfinder. What sets them apart is their versatility and the vast selection of interchangeable lenses available. They are favored for their optical viewfinder, which provides a clear and immediate view of the scene without any digital lag. They also tend to have longer battery life and robust build quality. Popular brands include Canon and Nikon.

Mirrorless Cameras

Mirrorless cameras, as the name suggests, lack the mirror mechanism of DSLRs, allowing for a more compact design. They have electronic viewfinders (EVF) or use the main display for composing shots. Their advantage lies in their lighter weight, smaller size, and usually faster shooting speeds. They’re also known for having more advanced video features compared to DSLRs. Sony and Fujifilm are well-known manufacturers of mirrorless cameras.

Medium Format Cameras

Medium format cameras have larger sensors than full-frame DSLRs or mirrorless cameras, providing superior image quality, greater dynamic range, and better low-light performance. They are particularly favored in high-end fashion, portrait, and landscape photography. However, they are significantly more expensive and larger in size. Hasselblad and Phase One are prominent brands in this category.

Large Format Cameras

Used primarily for fine art and architectural photography, large format cameras use sheet film and offer movements such as tilt, shift, and swing, allowing for precise control over focus and perspective. They’re distinct for their exceptional image quality with an unrivaled level of detail and sharpness, but they require a slow and methodical approach to photography. Brands like Linhof and Intrepid are notable in this field.

Rangefinder Cameras

Rangefinder cameras offer a different focusing system from SLRs, using a dual-image ranging method that is manual and mechanical. They are compact, discreet, and typically have high-quality lenses. They’re especially popular among street and documentary photographers for their unobtrusive nature. Leica is the most renowned manufacturer of rangefinder cameras.

Action Cameras

Designed for adventure and sports photography, action cameras are compact, rugged, and waterproof. They can be mounted on various surfaces and equipment, capturing images and videos from unique perspectives. Their standout feature is their durability and ability to withstand extreme conditions. GoPro is a leading brand in this category.

360-Degree Cameras

These cameras capture a full 360-degree view of the surroundings in either still or video format. They are unique for creating immersive experiences, particularly in virtual reality applications. They can be used for virtual tours, action sports, and creative photography. Brands like Insta360 and Ricoh are at the forefront of 360-degree camera technology.

Film Cameras

In an age dominated by digital, film cameras have a nostalgic appeal and offer a unique look due to the characteristics of film. Many professionals enjoy the tactile experience and the deliberate pace that film photography demands. There’s also a wide variety of film types and formats available, from 35mm to medium and large formats. Nikon, Canon, and Pentax still have revered film camera models sought after by professionals.

Camera TypeKey FeaturesAdvantagesPopular UsesNotable Brands

DSLR (Digital Single-Lens Reflex)Mirror mechanism, optical viewfinder, interchangeable lenses.Versatility, robust build, longer battery life.General, sports, wildlife, portrait photography.Canon, Nikon.

MirrorlessNo mirror mechanism, electronic viewfinder, compact design.Lightweight, faster shooting speeds, advanced video features.Travel, street, video production.Sony, Fujifilm.

Medium FormatLarger sensors, superior image quality.Greater dynamic range, better low-light performance.High-end fashion, portrait, landscape photography.Hasselblad, Phase One.

Large FormatSheet film, camera movements (tilt, shift, swing).Exceptional image quality, detail, and sharpness.Fine art, architectural photography.Linhof, Intrepid.

RangefinderDual-image ranging focusing system, compact design.Discreet, manual focus, high-quality lenses.Street, documentary photography.Leica.

Action CamerasCompact, rugged, waterproof, mountable.Durability, extreme condition resilience.Adventure, sports, point-of-view photography.GoPro.

360-Degree CamerasCaptures 360-degree view, still or video format.Immersive experiences, VR applications.Virtual tours, action sports, creative photography.Insta360, Ricoh.

Film CamerasUses film, various formats and types.Tactile experience, unique film characteristics.Artistic, street, portrait photography.Nikon, Canon, Pentax.

Prime Lenses

A prime lens has a fixed focal length, meaning you can’t zoom in or out. What sets them apart is their usually wider apertures, which allow more light to enter, making them ideal for low-light situations and creating a shallow depth of field for portraits. They are also known for their sharpness and lighter weight compared to zoom lenses. Examples include the 50mm f/1.8 and the 85mm f/1.4.

Zoom Lenses

Zoom lenses offer a range of focal lengths in one package, making them versatile for different shooting situations. They can range from wide-angle to telephoto, like a 24-70mm f/2.8 or a 70-200mm f/2.8. While they might not be as fast or sharp as prime lenses, their flexibility makes them a favorite for events, travel, and wildlife photography where changing lenses frequently isn’t practical.

Wide-Angle Lenses

Wide-angle lenses, such as a 16-35mm f/4, are characterized by their ability to capture a broad field of view. They are essential for landscape, architectural, and interior photography. They can also create an exaggerated perspective, making them interesting for creative and dramatic compositions.

Macro Lenses

Macro lenses are designed for extreme close-up photography, allowing the photographer to capture small subjects at life-size or greater magnifications. They typically have focal lengths ranging from 60mm to 180mm. These lenses are indispensable for detailed shots in nature photography, product photography, and scientific applications.

Tilt-Shift Lenses

Tilt-shift lenses provide movements that allow photographers to control the plane of focus and correct perspective distortions. This makes them especially useful for architectural and product photography. By tilting the lens, one can achieve selective focus; by shifting, one can straighten lines that appear curved or angled because of the camera’s position.

Telephoto Lenses

Telephoto lenses, such as a 300mm f/2.8 or a 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6, have long focal lengths that bring distant subjects closer. They are indispensable for wildlife, sports, and action photography. The longer focal lengths can also compress and blur the background, creating a pleasing effect for portraits.

Tripods

A tripod is essential for stabilizing the camera in low-light conditions, long exposures, or when using telephoto lenses. They vary in material, size, and stability, with carbon fiber options being lightweight and sturdy, albeit more expensive.

Camera Bags and Cases

Professional photographers need reliable camera bags and cases to protect and organize their gear. Options range from backpacks and shoulder bags to hard cases. Weather-sealed and padded options offer extra protection for valuable equipment.

External Flashes 

External flashes, studio lights, softboxes, and reflectors are used to control lighting conditions. These are crucial for portrait, product, and studio photography, where the quality of light can make a significant difference.

Filters

Filters attach to the front of a lens for various effects. UV filters protect the lens, polarizing filters reduce glare and enhance colors, and neutral density filters allow for longer exposures in bright light. These can be critical for achieving specific photographic effects.

Memory Cards and Storage

Reliable, high-capacity memory cards are essential for storing images and videos, especially when shooting in high resolution or RAW format. Additionally, professionals often use external hard drives or cloud services for backup and archiving.

Calibration Tools

Tools like monitor calibrators and color checkers ensure accurate color reproduction in the shooting and editing process, which is vital for professional work where color accuracy is paramount.

EquipmentPurposeKey FeaturesBest Used For

Prime LensesCapturing images with a fixed focal length.Wider apertures, sharpness, lightweight.Low-light situations, portraits, where shallow depth of field is desired.

Zoom LensesOffering a range of focal lengths.Versatile; covers wide-angle to telephoto.Events, travel, wildlife where lens changes are impractical.

Wide-Angle LensesCapturing a broad field of view.Can create exaggerated perspectives.Landscape, architectural, interior photography.

Macro LensesExtreme close-up photography.Allows life-size or greater magnifications.Nature, product photography, scientific applications.

Tilt-Shift LensesControlling plane of focus and correcting perspective distortions.Tilt for selective focus; shift for straightening lines.Architectural, product photography.

Telephoto LensesBringing distant subjects closer.Long focal lengths; can compress and blur the background.Wildlife, sports, action photography, portraits.

TripodsStabilizing the camera.Vary in material, size, stability; carbon fiber options available.Low-light conditions, long exposures, telephoto lens use.

Camera Bags and CasesProtecting and organizing gear.Options include backpacks, shoulder bags, hard cases.Transporting gear, especially in rugged or variable conditions.

External FlashesControlling lighting conditions.Used in conjunction with studio lights, softboxes, reflectors.Portrait, product, and studio photography.

FiltersAttaching to the front of a lens for various effects.UV, polarizing, and neutral density filters available.Protecting lens, reducing glare, enhancing colors, longer exposures.

Memory Cards and StorageStoring images and videos.High-capacity, reliable for high resolution or RAW format.All types of photography, especially professional work with high data needs.

Calibration ToolsEnsuring accurate color reproduction.Monitor calibrators, color checkers.Professional work where color accuracy is paramount.

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Photography Equipment for Business

There are many products out there, including photography equipment such as lighting tools, lenses, and tripods, that help your photography be more effective. There are also tools and equipment that could help you run your photography business with ease, some of which include:

Softboxes

Softboxes are attached to studio lights or external flashes to diffuse the light, creating a soft and even illumination that is flattering for portraits and product photography. They come in various shapes and sizes, each creating a different quality and direction of light. The larger the softbox, the softer the light.

Umbrellas

Umbrellas are one of the simplest and most affordable lighting modifiers. They can either reflect light (bounce umbrella) or diffuse it (shoot-through umbrella). They spread light over a wider area and are less directional than softboxes, which can be advantageous for a softer, more natural look.

Beauty Dishes

Beauty dishes are a type of light modifier that creates a soft, yet contrasty light. They are often used in fashion and beauty photography because they produce a natural, flattering light that accentuates facial features and skin tones.

Ring Lights

Ring lights provide even, radial illumination that helps reduce shadows and is especially popular for beauty shots, macro photography, and vlogging. The unique catchlights in the subject’s eyes produced by ring lights are also a desirable effect.

Light Stands

Light stands are essential for positioning lights at various heights and angles. They range from lightweight and portable to heavy-duty stands that can hold larger, heavier lights and modifiers.

Backdrops

Backdrops come in various materials, such as muslin, canvas, paper, or vinyl, and can be plain or patterned. They set the scene for the photograph and can be easily switched to match the mood or theme of the shoot. Seamless paper backdrops provide a smooth, uncluttered background that is particularly popular for fashion and portrait photography.

Backdrop Support Systems

Backdrop support systems hold up the backdrops and are adjustable in height and width. They are essential for studio photography, allowing for quick changes between different backdrop materials.

Reflectors

Reflectors are used to bounce light onto a subject, filling in shadows and balancing the light. They come in different colors for various effects: white for neutral fill, silver for cooler tones, gold for a warm glow, and black to absorb light and deepen shadows.

Props

Props can be anything from furniture to clothing, accessories, or thematic objects that help tell a story, convey a mood, or add context to a photograph. The right prop can make a significant difference in the narrative of the image.

Flags and Gobos

Flags are used to block or shape light, preventing it from hitting certain areas of the scene. Gobos (go-betweens) can be placed in front of lights to cast patterns or shapes, adding texture and interest to the background or subject.

Diffusion Panels

Diffusion panels soften and scatter light, reducing harsh shadows and contrast. They can be used both indoors and outdoors to modify natural or artificial light.

Clamps and Grips

Clamps and grips are essential for securing lights, modifiers, backdrops, and other equipment in place. They come in various sizes and strengths for different applications.

Sandbags

Sandbags are used to stabilize light stands and backdrop supports, ensuring they don’t tip over under the weight of heavy equipment or in windy conditions.

Boom Arms

Boom arms allow for overhead lighting and are particularly useful for hair lights in portrait photography or for achieving specific lighting angles that regular stands can’t provide.

Photo editing software

Good photo editing software such as Adobe Photoshop is crucial for photography businesses. Photoshop is helpful for post-shooting editing and touch-ups to create high-quality photographs. It can also be used with software such as Lightroom, with presets to add creative lighting effects if needed.

EquipmentPurposeKey FeaturesBest Used For

SoftboxesDiffusing light to create even illumination.Comes in various shapes and sizes; attached to studio lights or flashes.Portraits, product photography, situations where soft, flattering light is desired.

UmbrellasSpreading light over a wider area; can reflect or diffuse light.Simple and affordable; available as bounce or shoot-through.Softer, more natural light for portraits, group shots, or when mobility is needed.

Beauty DishesCreating soft, yet contrasty light.Produces natural, flattering light; accentuates facial features.Fashion and beauty photography, close-up portraits.

Ring LightsProviding even, radial illumination; reducing shadows.Unique catchlights in the eyes; popular for beauty shots and vlogging.Beauty shots, macro photography, video content creation.

Light StandsPositioning lights at various heights and angles.Ranges from lightweight to heavy-duty; portable.Essential for any studio setup to hold lights and modifiers.

BackdropsSetting the scene for the photograph.Various materials and patterns; can change the mood or theme of the shoot.Fashion, portrait photography, any scenario requiring a controlled background.

Backdrop Support SystemsHolding up backdrops; adjustable in height and width.Essential for quick changes between different backdrop materials.Studio photography where versatility in backgrounds is needed.

ReflectorsBouncing light onto a subject to fill in shadows.Comes in different colors for various effects.Outdoor shoots, studio photography to balance light and add fill.

PropsAdding context or narrative to a photograph.Can range from furniture to thematic objects.Thematic shoots, portraits, product photography to enhance storytelling.

Flags and GobosBlocking or shaping light; casting patterns or shapes.Adds texture and interest to the background or subject.Creative lighting setups, adding drama or texture to a scene.

Diffusion PanelsSoftening and scattering light.Reduces harsh shadows and contrast.Indoor and outdoor shoots where soft, diffused light is needed.

Clamps and GripsSecuring lights, modifiers, and equipment in place.Various sizes and strengths for different applications.Essential for ensuring all equipment is safely secured.

SandbagsStabilizing light stands and backdrop supports.Prevents equipment from tipping over.Any setup with heavy equipment or in windy conditions.

Boom ArmsAllowing for overhead lighting and specific angles.Useful for hair lights in portraits or unique lighting angles.Portrait photography, situations requiring light from above.

Photo Editing SoftwarePost-shooting editing and touch-ups.Adobe Photoshop for detailed edits; Lightroom for workflow and presets.Essential for all types of photography for final image polishing and creative effects.

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What Brands Are Most Popular with Professional Photographers?

There are many brands that photographers can explore for equipment and supplies. Some of the most popular brands for photography products include Nikon, Canon, and Sony. These are respected brands with a well-established history of creating high-quality cameras and accessories that are used by photographers worldwide.

What Do You Need for Studio Photography?

To set up a professional studio for photography, you would need various types of equipment and tools to handle different shooting scenarios and lighting conditions. Here’s an expanded list of what you might need:

Camera and Lenses

A high-resolution DSLR or mirrorless camera.
A variety of lenses, including prime, zoom, macro, and tilt-shift lenses.

Lighting Equipment

Studio strobes or continuous lights.
Softboxes, umbrellas, and beauty dishes for light diffusion.
Reflectors and diffusion panels to manipulate light.
Ring lights for even, direct illumination.
Light stands and boom arms to position and angle your lights.
Gels to color and modify the light.

Backgrounds and Backdrop System

Seamless paper rolls in various colors.
Muslin or canvas backdrops for different textures.
A portable or fixed backdrop support system.
Clamps and tapes to secure backdrops.

Props and Furniture

Chairs, stools, or couches for posing.
Various thematic props for different shoot concepts.
Tables or surfaces for product photography.

Grip and Rigging

C-Stands and light stands to hold and position equipment.
Sandbags to secure stands and prevent tipping.
Clamps, arms, and hooks for additional support.

Modifiers and Control Tools

Flags, cutters, and gobos to block or shape light.
Snoots and grids for directional light.
Scrims to diffuse light.

Tethering Equipment

A computer or laptop for tethered shooting.
Tethering cables and software.

Power Solutions

Extension cords and power strips.
Portable battery packs for on-location shooting.

Miscellaneous Tools

Gaffer tape for securing cables and props.
A toolkit with screwdrivers, pliers, and other essentials.
A step ladder for high-angle shots.

Post-Processing Setup

A computer with high processing power.
Calibration tools for monitor accuracy.
Photo editing software like Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom.
External hard drives for backup storage.

Cleaning Equipment

Lens cleaning kits.
Air blowers and microfiber cloths.

Storage Solutions

Shelving and cabinets to organize equipment.
Padded cases for delicate gear.

Safety Equipment

First aid kit for emergencies.
Fire extinguisher for fire safety.

Having the right equipment and tools is essential in setting up a professional photography studio. It ensures that you are prepared for various shooting scenarios and can achieve the desired lighting and effects for your photographs.

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Image: Envato Elements

This article, “5 Places to Get Photography Supplies for Your Business” was first published on Small Business Trends

If you run a photography business, here are the best places to get photography supplies so you can run an even more profitable business.Read MoreHandmade Business, Small Business EssentialsSmall Business Trends

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