Photography Gear for Beginners: Building Your Toolkit

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Photography Gear for Beginners

Did you just get a camera? Welcome to the exciting world of photography! Whether capturing moments for fun or considering a serious hobby, having the right gear is essential.

Wondering where to start? Now, a good photographer can take amazing photos with any camera, but getting your photography gear ready helps you to be a successful photographer.

Embarking on a photography journey is exciting, and having the right gear can make all the difference in capturing stunning images.

It doesn’t matter if you just got a new camera or have been taking photos for a while; now is a great time to look at your photography bag to make sure it’s ready to go.

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

In this photography gear for beginners guide, we’ll walk you through the must-have photography equipment for beginners, helping you build a solid foundation for your creative journey.

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Photography Gear for Beginners:Building Your Toolkit

Meet the companion on your photography journey—the camera! The most essential photography gear for beginners.

Think of your camera as your passport to capturing moments, creating memories, and expressing creativity. It is the most important piece of photography gear for beginners.

If you are serious about your photography, you will want to consider DSLRs or mirrorless cameras, and I suggest buying the best camera you can for your budget.

I am a Canon fan, but most cameras are designed with user-friendliness in mind, offering a perfect blend of features and simplicity to get you started on your photography adventure.

One thing you will want to avoid is buying a “kit” of camera equipment. Most items in the kit are unnecessary, so remember, “more” isn’t always better and always have a backup battery for whichever camera you choose.

Canon Cameras

Canon EOS Rebel T7

This Canon Rebel is a great affordable entry-level camera. It is user-friendly and has a great battery life.

Canon EOS 6D Mark II

Another great Canon camera, The 6D has great IOS capabilities, numerous focal points and a great battery life.

Canon EOS R6 Mark II

This full framer mirrorless camera is a nice mid-cost mirrorless. It can handle many shots on one battery charge, all of the same options you will find with other Canons and great speed.

Nikon Cameras

Nikon D5600

If Nikon is the way you want to go, this Nikon is a great choice. This Nikon offers exceptional quality for the price and is a great low-light camera.

Nikon Z 6II

The Nikon Z 6II gives you great out of the camera shots with tack sharp focus. The price point isn’t for everyone but this is an amazing camera if your budget allows.


Number 2 of the most important bits of photography gear for beginners is a good lens.

I teach my students to think of the lens like your camera’s eyes, your lens is what controls your aperture, and if you’re going to get serious about photography, you will want to move away from your kit lens fairly quickly.

Kit lenses aren’t the best, so if you can spend a bit more money and get a good-quality lens, it will make all the difference in your photography.

One thing to remember when you are ready to ditch that kit lens and move on to the next is to do your research. Not all lenses are compatible with all cameras. There are differences between prime lenses and zoom lenses.

Some lenses can be more expensive than your camera body. If you walk away learning anything from this, let it be to do your research before buying a new camera lens! So, let’s break it down!

Start with a standard prime lens for its simplicity and excellent image quality. Picture crisp portraits and vibrant details. Add a versatile zoom lens to your kit for flexibility in various shooting scenarios, allowing you to explore your creative vision.

These lenses are great for portraits and indoor photography.

Canon EF 50mm f1.8 

Canon EF 50mm f1.4

Nikon AF 50mm f1.8

Canon EF 85mm f1.8

Nikon AF 85mm f 1.4

Lenses for Weddings, Sports, or Portraits From a Distance

Macro Lenses

Zoom Lenses

Camera Bag

Every photographer needs a stylish and functional camera bag. 

You’ve found the perfect camera, purchased the correct lens, and have all of the essential kit…now where do you put it all? Your camera bag!  

Camera bags are made specifically to hold and protect your camera equipment, so make sure that you don’t spend all of the money on great equipment to toss in your handbag or backpack. Invest in a specifically designed 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 my equipment. 

There are plenty of camera bags out there to choose from. Backpacks, bags, you name it, you can find it. 

Make sure that your bag is spacious enough to accommodate your camera, lenses, and other accessories, making it the perfect companion for your photography escapades.


My favorite photography gear for beginners is knowledge.

When you’re getting your bag together, remember, that 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 are ready to understand the settings of your camera and how to use manual mode to get amazing photos you are going to want to check out the Manual Mode Essentials eBook.

This ebook covers all you’ll want to know about Shutter Speed, Aperture and ISO and is a great inexpensive item to add to your kit.

Memory Cards

Memory cards will ensure that you are ready for endless creativity.

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.

Invest in fast and reliable SD cards to make sure that you have enough storage for your growing collection of photos. Having multiple cards is a smart move, especially when you find yourself out shooting all day.

This SanDisk Ultra 128GB is a great large card to have on hand.

Camera Strap

Say goodbye to discomfort and hello to security with a comfortable camera strap like these Fotostrap straps. 

From the Limited Edition straps, which are my favorite, to the Designer straps, they have a huge selection and something for everyone. 

And a cool thing about this company is not only do they make some rockin’ camera straps, but 10% of every purchase goes to Fotolanthropy, a charity using photography to document people’s journeys through adversity. 

Another cool strap is this strap on Amazon that you can completely customize!

Your camera will feel like an extension of you, providing the comfort you need during those long shooting sessions and ensuring your gear stays safe.

Cleaning Kit

And lastly on my list of photography gear for beginners is a cleaning kit.

Maintaining your camera, lenses, and other equipment is essential, and a cleaning kit is a great addition to your camera bag.

This Altura Photo Professional Cleaning Kit has everything you need. A microfiber cloth, cleaner bottle, lens brush and pen, air blower and cleaning sheets and cloths.

Congratulations on taking the first steps into the captivating world of photography!

Remember, building photography gear for beginners is a gradual process. Start with the basics, and as you grow, so will your kit.
And remember, just because you have more and 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 or how much of the equipment you have if you don’t know how to use it.

Enjoy your photography journey!

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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