I Should have Bought These 5 Things Sooner rather than Later

You've got the photography bug. You can't help yourself and end up taking hundreds of pictures each day. And then you begin thinking to yourself, I could do this for a living. All I need to do is get myself a camera, some lenses and some lights and I'm golden.  While there's some truth to this, it's not the whole truth. I agree that to get started in photography, the barest minimum equipment you would need would be a camera, a lens, a light source and a computer to edit your pictures, there are some other purchases that you would probably make over the course of your career that no one ever tells you about. So here are five equipment purchases that I wish I had bought sooner rather than later in my photography career

1. An External Monitor

Most of us already have a computer. And that computer is most likely a laptop. While I don't think you need to have the most powerful computer for your editing needs, I do think you would benefit from the additional real estate an external monitor provides. Buying an external monitor improved my workflow so much. I could now have numerous windows open side by side, I could cull my photos much faster, not to mention that having a much bigger canvas to work on made retouching so much easier. If you are buying an external monitor, two suggestions I would make would be to buy an IPS monitor and make sure it is a Full HD monitor at the minimum. You also don't have to spend an arm and a leg to get a good quality monitor. I bought mine from LG (LG 22EA53)and it covers 98% of the SRGB colour spectrum

2. An Office Desk and Chair

If you're going to make photography your business, you might want to invest in a good office desk and chair. I used to edit my photos on my laptop sitting on my bed. Suffice to say after a few hours, I would get tired so fast and my neck would hurt so bad. Good posture is not some myth. You can take my word that it is real and it would come back to bite you in the butt if you do not pay attention to it. Invest in a good desk and a good office chair with adjustable arms, back and height. Not only would you be able to work much faster and work longer, but your back and joints would thank you for it and you'll save yourself some future medical bills

3. External Hard Drives

You went for a shoot and you filled up your 32GB memory card (which is possible if you're shooting RAW; and you should be shooting RAW but that's a whole other discussion) and you copy these pictures onto your laptop's hard drive. After a while these add up and next thing you know you're running out of disk space. You're going to want to invest in an external hard drive. In fact I recommend getting two, especially if you are a working professional and shooting for people. I wouldn't want to find myself in a situation where my laptop drive would crash and I had no backups of a client's wedding for instance. In fact my backup routine consists of copying the entire session's images unto two hard drives, the using Adobe's DNG Converter to convert the RAW files into compressed smaller DNGs which I now burn onto a DVD and store at an offsite location.
 an external hard drive. Better yet get two[/caption]

4. A Wacom Tablet

If there is one piece of equipment that has really been beneficial to my editing workflow, I would have to say it's my Wacom Tablet. After using it and getting used to it (because as with all new equipment there is a learning curve) I asked myself how I could have gone on for so long without having one. The reason why a tablet is so invaluable is that it gives you a form of control that you are so used to; Pen and Paper. Editing with a mouse is kind of like trying to draw with a bar of soap. It might be good but it can never be as good as what you can  achieve with a pen/pencil

5. Internet

Let's face it. Becoming a photographer means you're going to be spending a lot of time on the internet. From sharing your images on social media, watching tutorial videos on YouTube to updating your website. I spend not less than 20GB of data on the internet each month. My business is so dependent on the internet that I cannot afford to skip on my internet bill each month. If you're thinking of becoming a professional photographer, you might want to start checking out the local Internet Service Providers to find a suitable plan


There are so many other purchases I have made over the course of my career, but these 5 stand out to me as significant. What about your experiences? Are there any equipments you felt you should have bought sooner rather than later?