March 13, 2018

Equipment for Beginner Photographers

Whether you want to pick up a camera to document you kid’s lives, you have a fun trip coming up that will have epic views your cell phone just can’t do justice, or you’re interested in diving into photography as a profession, here’s some camera equipment we recommend for all beginner photographers!

1. DSLR Camera

Before we dive in, check out my recent post about how to choose which camera companies I’d recommend: Canon or Nikon. Some people are die hard fans of one of the other, but from my perspective, both are incredible. You just need to find your personal preference. Once you find your company of choice, here’s some great DSLR starter cameras:


  • Rebel t5i (around $500) This was actually the first camera I purchased when I was just starting out in college 🙂 
  • Rebel t6i (around $600)
  • Rebel t7i (around $800)


  • Nikon 3400 (around $400)
  • Nikon 5600 (around $640)

2. Lenses

Most starter cameras come in a kit that includes a bag, 1-2 zoom lenses, and a strap.  For my first two cameras I got the kit and loved it! As my hobby grew into a business, I ended up selling those zoom lenses and bags as they didn’t perform at the level I needed them to as my skills and business grew.

My biggest recommendation for everyone (beginner or pro!) is to get a 50mm lens through either Canon or Nikon (this comes in 1.8, 1.4, and 1.2). I started out with the 1.8 (around $100) and upgraded to the 1.4 (around $300) when Drew joined my team so he could have one as well. At some point, we’d love to invest in the 1.2, but for now, we love the 1.4 and 1.8!

This little guy is a dream lens! It’s the prime lens (which means it masters one focal length and does not zoom) that captures images in a way that’s closest to the human eye. It takes really crisp images and is the perfect length to capture both distance and close up portraits. If I could only take one lens to any session or wedding, this would be my lens of choice!

My recommendation?

  • If you really like the kit (typically includes camera body, bag, strap, and 1-2 zoom lenses), purchase that AND and the 50 mm 1.8 lens in addition to the kit OR 
  • Purchase the camera body only and start with the 50 mm 1.8 lens. You can always add lenses as you go!

Now that you know what we recommend, you may wonder where to purchase or rent said equipment? Here’s our suggestions:

Where do we purchase our equipment?

B and H is our go-to site for camera gear! We always shop around for best prices, but B&H is usually always the winner or extremely comparable. They ship quickly and have fabulous customer service so Drew and I can’t recommend this company enough!

Renting equipment

If you’re not sure about what gear you want, you’d like to test something out for the fun of it, or you’re still saving up but need a certain piece of equipment, renting is also a great option!!
I hope this helps get you started! If you have any additional questions, please leave a comment below and we’ll follow up with you soon 🙂

Recommended Equipment | Monica Brown Photography |

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