Important Photography Gear To Get Started

by | Technical, Gear, Top Tips


Did you just get a camera? Are you wondering where to start? Getting your photography gear ready is key to being a successful photographer.

Now is a great time to take a look at your photography bag to make sure that it’s ready to go.

So before you get started with your photography adventures, spend a few minutes packing your back-to-business bag with must-have photography gear.

Photography Gear

Camera Body

Everyone always asks me what camera I have. I am a loyal Canon user. That’s all I’ve ever owned and all I will ever own. Currently, I am using a Canon 6D Mark II, and I LOVE it. It is a full-frame camera with incredible image quality, fast focus, and a large number of focus points. I am incredibly happy with it! But the camera I often tell my students to look at is the Canon Rebel T7. It’s a great starter DSLR. It’s affordable, easy to use, and has great image quality.

must-have photography gear camera


Okay, so you can have the best camera body, but if you are using the wrong lens for your photos, you will get frustrated. Your camera more than likely came with a kit lens. Kit lenses aren’t the best lenses to have, so if you can spend a bit more money and get a good quality lens, it will make all the difference in your photography. I have a whole blog on lenses, click here check that out!

My go-to lens is the Canon 50mm f1.8. I love this lens for portraits because it allows me to shoot wide open and achieve that gorgeous blurry background that I love. I also love that it’s so affordable. It’s the cheapest lens in my bag, but the one you will find on my camera most of the time!

must-have photography gear lenses

SD Card

I have quite a few SD cards. I usually have 5 with me. I shoot a lot of sessions and don’t always upload the photos to my computer right away, so having a lot of cards is essential. There’s nothing worse than running out of space on your card, so either buy a large one or a few to have handy. I keep mine in this little case for convenience.


Just like your child has a cool backpack, you want to have a great looking camera bag! I have the Think Tank Lily Deanne Mezzo bag, and I love it! It’s sleek, full of pockets and big enough for all of my equipment. There are plenty of camera bags out there to choose from. Backpacks, bags, you name it, you can find it.


I don’t carry my books in my bag, but I definitely have a few favorites on my reading list.  

  1.  The Photographer’s Mind by Michael Freeman. This book talks about what makes a photographer great, and I’ll give you a hint, it’s not the equipment.  
  2. The next one is another Michael Freeman book, Fifty Paths to Creative Photography. This book will push the creativity in your photography to new levels.  
  3. Moments by Hal Buell. This beautiful book is full of Pulitzer prized winning images that will inspire you on your photographic journey.  
  4. The Manual Mode Essentials Ebook by Dena Barrie. This inexpensive, easy to follow guide will get you started with manual mode today!
must-have photography gear books


Lastly, in what I guess you could call my pencil bag, I have a few little extras. I always have my LensPen. This small, easy-to-use pen is super for cleaning your camera lenses. And an Expodisc. This will help even those starting out in photography nail their white balance.

When you’re getting your bag together, remember, just because you have more, better equipment doesn’t mean that your photos will turn out how you want them. Focus on the few must-have photography gear items and understand how they work. It doesn’t matter how great the equipment is or how much of it you have if you don’t know how to use it. If you want to learn more about how to use your camera, join my FREE webinar, just click here to find out more!

Learn how to use manual mode and take control of your camera so that you can create the amazing images that you’ve always imagined with The Manual Mode Essentials Ebook. It’s a game changer for your photography!

Lifestyle Photographer & Mentor

Hi, I’m Dena, a natural light lifestyle photographer with 20+ years of experience capturing other people’s memories and teaching photographers how to understand and easily use their cameras.

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You have a great camera, but you still aren’t getting the photos you want — the photos that truly WOW you! My Photography Essentials Cheat Sheets will help you improve your photos in just minutes!



You have a great camera, but you still aren’t getting the photos you want — the photos that truly WOW you! My Photography Essentials Cheat Sheets will help you improve your photos in just minutes!