rlynphoto wrote in post #17601278
Where I need help:
* I would like to know what is recommended for a Canon lens, reflector and flash for general portrait photography.
* What is a decent Canon to upgrade to that I can take good quality portraits with? I am willing to spend in the $500 range.
* I know it is different for everyone, but what do you feel is considered a decent amount of time and practice one should have under their belt before they should think of charging?
I am new to this site. Any help is appreciated. Thank you for any feedback.
Heya,IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/sdH8AD IMG_8939
First, you don't need a new camera even. Even that lens is fine. Portrait photography is a lot of things. What style you want to do is more the factor that will determine what equipment you will want in the future.
For now, I'll suggest you not purchase a camera & lens for portrait. You already have that. What you do NOT have is lighting, and lighting with good composition technique will produce far better portraits than a newer camera, or better newer lens. Learn lighting before you worry about the camera & lens. It will take you way farther in this.
So if you have money to spend, go to the Flash & Lighting forum and start there. Lots of good stickies and people with info. Put that $500 towards a handful of good entry strobes, or a fleet of good speedlites and a few modifiers. Get ready for off camera flash/lighting. You can go far with $500 actually. And you'll get way more out of it than you will from a new camera & lens regarding portrait.
As for turning it into a business, it's totally dependent on your location, area and demand. Everyone has a few facebook photographers in their area code, so you have to see what's already local and see what people are actually buying. This will be the greatest challenge, to turn this into an actual profitable business. And it will be much more profitable if you don't get caught up in needing expensive equipment, and focus rather on how to simply make good portraits with anything you have.
That said, here's a quick purchase list of where I'd go with this:
Keep your XT for now. It's good enough! Shoot it at ISO 100 and ISO 200 for print quality.
Yongnuo 50mm F1.8 for Canon, $55 on Ebay shipped. This is your outdoor portrait lens. You can use it indoor too, but it may be long there.
Keep your 18-55 for indoor portraits, shoot it at F8 or so. You will use it with lighting. Also good for groups at wider angle (18mm~35mm or so).
Lighting stands (comes with 2), $25
S-bracket (with bowen's mount) speedlite mount (holds umbrellas too) (get TWO), $20 each
Yongnuo 560TX (controller) + TWO Yongnuo 560 III's (wireless manual flashes), whole combo set for $178
Westscott 45" umbrella with black cover (get TWO), $30 each
Yongnuo 50mm F1.8 lens, $53
Rechargeable batteries (8 x AA's), $20
Rechargeable batteries (4 x AA's), $12
Battery charger station, $10
Note, this is 100% portable and wireless and can be toted folded down in a bag!
Why I'm saying keep your XT, here's a very similar camera, the XSi at ISO 400 with a cheap $150 lens (and no fancy lightroom/photoshop editing):
by Martin Wise
, on Flickr
Plenty good enough quality for print. You don't need expensive stuff for fun, simple outdoor portrait that people gobble up with their kids and stuff.
But, regardless of the equipment, lighting can take a normal moment, a common capture, and transform it into something really dynamic and striking and interesting. Here's a single speedlite off camera, to the left of the camera, at close range with a big modifier (umbrella/softbox) late in the evening (on inexpensive gear) (Note, this is pretty much straight out of camera, no fancy editing):IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/t7DZas IMG_3929
by Martin Wise
, on Flickr
Learn light and practice. And don't spend a ton of money on fancy glass, it's not necessary!
Note: I'm not a professional, I'm just an amateur/hobbyist.