Need help figuring out which photography tools you need?  

When you’re first starting out in photography, it’s easy to get “shiny-object” syndrome with all the tools, lenses and software vying for your attention. So here's a list of the photography gear, tools, accessories and resources that I use and recommend! 

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Grey Card - Pocket sized grey card for setting white balance and exposure.  A must and only $10 

Expodisc - Also for setting white balance and exposure - this is quicker and easier to use than the grey card since you don't have to prop it up anywhere.

Reflector - Used for shaping light for portraits both indoors and out.  Not essential, but really does help with getting "good" light on your subject. 

CF Cards - Good quality cards with high write speeds - this is important so that you don't have to wait for your camera to catch up when shooting fast action.  

SD Memory Cards -  Although I mainly use CF cards, I still have some of these too - again, these have good write speeds.  If your camera does not take CF cards, get a good SD card instead! 

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Photography Plan from Adobe The ONLY photography software you will ever need (and a steal at just $10 a month) so it’s the only one I recommend.

Replichrome Presets -  Although I mainly use my own presets that I have created, these are the only other presets I use! 

External Hard Drive - Essential for backing up your photos.  I have two - one for my main photo storage (so they are not taking up space on my computer hard drive) and a second one for my photo back ups. 

X-Rite Color Munki - for calibrating your monitor so that what you see on screen matches your prints!


Sigma 35mm F1.4 - Great lens for indoor shooting - incredibly sharp even at F1.4 so superb for shooting in low light. This version is for Canon cameras, but you get one for Nikon too.  

Canon 50mm F1.4 - A camera bag staple. A 50mm is just a great all round focal length. 

Canon 85mm F1.8 - Truly stunning portrait lens - tack sharp and quick to focus.  So impressive for the price - highly recommend. 

Canon 100mm Macro - Macro lens that is also great for portraits. 

Canon 135mm F2.0 - Longer length lens that gives yummy bokeh. 

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Wordpress - The bloggers staple - most sites are probably hosted on Wordpress!

Bluehost - If you use Wordpress you will need to host it somewhere - Bluehost is a firm favourite. You then choose a “theme” to customise your website - Elegant Theme

SmugMug - Great option for photographers as you can use this as a website, and as a gallery as a way to allow clients to view and purchase their images

Pixieset - Another option for galleries


Canon Speedlite 430ex- This sits on top of your camera and allows you to add extra light to the scene but keep it looking really natural as you can "bounce" the light due to the swivel head. 

Thunder Grey Seamless Backdrop Paper This is a roll of strong sturdy paper, which you can also use for flooring if need be.  If you have the room, get the wider paper roll as it is more flexible. I also have the same paper but in white. (White, Grey and Taupe are the most flexible colours)

Photography Backdrop Stand Cheap and cheerful option for holding up your backdrop paper roll.  It's not the most sturdy, but it is wallet friendly for beginners / hobbyists. 

Clamps You'll need these to keep the paper roll from falling down.   You can also use these to clamp on a bit of baseboard to the bottom of the paper to give you a "bottom" of the roll.

If you want to use the Speedlight as an OFF camera flash unit, then you will also need at least an Umbrella and Umbrella Bracket, along with a light stand. You’ll also need a remote trigger to fire the flash. You can get waaaaaay more expensive studio equipment, this is for those just starting out!