Please note, this article is written to show the Photography set I personally use, and any suggestion can lead to an Amazon link on a specific product or affiliate links; your eventual purchase from Amazon will give me a small percentage from the price: this will not increase the money amount you will spend, but Amazon grants me a slice of it. This money helps me maintain this blog and my passion. Read my Disclosure about it!
And here I am with the annoying usual post on how-to-buy for being good photographers… aha, no! Just kidding! Here I am to tell you that the must-have dog photography set is also affordable to beginners and cheapy pockets…
Must-have Dog Photography Set: also for empty pockets!
And NO, this is not a joke! I built my set with a small amount of money (well, to be honest, not so small but have to say not that much).
And I can take decent pictures if not the top ones, but I’m not willing to be National Geographic’s featured photographer of the year…
Don’t think that to grow a passion will cost you billions but take in account to invest a little on almost two good basical things:
- a decent camera and a good lens
- a course for you to learn a bit photography basics before starting selling your services and photos
This is actually not that much according to the potential earnings coming trhough your photography…
If you want to learn how to start in pet photography read here some tips from an expert pet photographer.
I started my trip into pet photography 5 years ago, and I did not know a single thing about pet photography and camera settings to obtain quality pictures to show to my public.
So, I went randomly posting some shots; some were good but some other weren’t at all, but I wasn’t aknowledged that much to know the difference between a decent pic and a top class one…
This is a mistake beginners make very often!
How to Properly Start in Dog Photography
Having a camera, with its’ kit lens, is not that much to start… you will need:
- to know what type of camera you have (APS-C or full frame)
- to know what lens is needed for the shots you’ve in mind to take
- to know how to manually set your camera (I don’t recommend auto settings, it’s not professional at all, it’s for dummies…)
- to know when exactly to shoot during the day
- to know what you’re going to shoot at… pets in this case…
simply having a camera, a lens and a pet is not enough!
Starting a profitable pet photography business is not a joke, if you don’t want to lose time and money.
My first positive suggestion is to start from a good photography masterclass, to learn a bit the basics before embracing the job.
Apart from learning, you will also need a Software to fasten your at-home work of post-producing your RAW files. And here we come to a super Cloud of Creative Apps… The Adobe Creative Cloud platform… they’re super cheap and affordable plans allow anyone to access a wide range of Applications (from Lightroom CC for your laptop and smartphone to Photoshop CC)…
You will not use any other software after having tried the Adobe Suite, believe me!
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Master your Photography Set-Up
When I started taking photos, I had a starter bridge camera. This camera was really simple, and gave me good pictures despite her bigger problem: in a bridge camera you don’t have the possibility to change lens, so you’re terribly fixed to the built-in one… a big problem!
I don’t recommend starting from a Bridge camera, although it can bring you very nice pictures. But the impossibility to change lens is not that professional and mostly is totally unuseful in pet photography!
I surely don’t want to push you buying neither the much expensive last release from the market, but definitely NOT a bridge! Your smartphone has many more advantages than a bridge camera.
The following is my typical suggested “starter proof” setup for taking unique pet pictures to sell and earn from:
1. A good entry-level camera body and lens
- A DSLR that’s as easy to use as a point-and-shoot camera paired with the power of Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom 12-month subscription
- Compact, comfortable design that’s great for travel and special events
- Image sensor that’s 15x larger than those used in typical smartphones for sharper, clearer pictures
- Works with Nikon Snap Bridge app for sharing photos with a compatible smartphone or tablet
- 1080P Full HD videos with monaural sound at the touch of a button
- Transform your photos with Photoshops advance editing and compositing features paired with Lightroom to organize, store and share full-resolution photos anywhere
- Canon EOS Rebel T6 DSLR Camera with 18-55mm IS II + 75-300mm III Double Zoom Lenses
- Equipped with an 18.0 Megapixel CMOS image sensor and the DIGIC 4+ Image Processor for highly detailed, vibrant photos and videos even in low light.
- INCLUDED IN THE BOX: Canon EOS Rebel T6 Camera Body | EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II Lens | EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III Lens | EOS Shoulder Bag 100ES (Black) | LP-E10 Lithium-Ion Battery Pack | LC-E10 Battery Charger for EOS Rebel T6 | Eyecup Ef for Digital Rebel Cameras | RF-3 Body Cap for Canon EOS Cameras | EW-400D Neck Strap | Battery Cover | IFC-130U Interface Cable | Canon USA 1-Year Warranty
- BUNDLE INCLUDES: Canon EOS Rebel T6 Camera | EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II Lens | EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III Lens | 58mm Wide Angle & Telephoto Lenses | 2x Replacement Batteries | 2x Sandisk Ultra SDHC 16GB UHS Class 10 Memory Cards | Compact Bounce Zoom Slave Flash | 8mm UV, CPL & ND8 Filter Kit | LCD/Lens Cleaning Pen | Dust Remover | 12″ Red Tripod | 58mm Tulip Lens Hood | 58″ Pro Tripod | Paintshop Pro X9 Digital Download | Wired Shutter Release Remote and More!
Please note that options I mentioned here up are the best on the market, due they have bundled the 70-300mm (Nikon) and the 75-300mm (Canon) lenses, that are a must for pet photographers.
💡 PRO-TIP: for beginners, a lens with f4-5.6 aperture is cheaper, and a good one to start from. This is for mastering. The more you master, the more you can switch to a level-up setup.
2. A pro lens and a semi-pro body for mastered photographers
I started with the Nikon option depicted in step 1. Stayed with that setup for almost one year and had the chance to shoot a lot of very good pictures, then I decided it was time to upgrade and this part of the article is dedicated to the intermediate photographer.
Once you’ve mastered a little with the entry-level DSLR cameras, you may want to switch to a better setup.
And, to switch from these I mentioned to a better camera body, here below I’ll show you the perfect bodies and the upgraded lenses to buy if you’re starting as a mastered photographer.
Semi-pro camera bodies
- Class-leading image quality, ISO range, image processing and metering equivalent to the award-winning D500
- Large 3.2” 922K dot, tilting LCD screen with touch functionality. Temperature: 0 °C to 40 °C (+32 °F to 104 °F) Humidity: 85 percentage or less (no condensation)
- 51 point AF system with 15 cross-type sensors and group area AF paired with up to 8 fps continuous shooting capability
- 4K Ultra HD and 1080p Full HD video with stereo sound, power aperture control, auto ISO, 4K UHD Time-Lapse and more
- Built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for easy connectivity through the Nikon SnapBridge App
- 26.2 Megapixel Full-frame CMOS Sensor
- Optical Viewfinder with a 45 point All Cross-type AF System. Compatible Lenses: Canon EF lenses (excluding EF S and EF M lenses)
- Dual Pixel CMOS AF with Phase-detection & Full HD 60p
- DIGIC 7 Image Processor, ISO 100 40000. GPS, Wi-Fi, NFC, and Bluetooth low energy
- Vary angle Touch Screen, 3.0 inch LCD
- Standard Power Supply: Battery Pack LP E6N / LP E6
Let’s talk about light into your lens, simply the wonderful “thing that makes the difference” between a beginner and an intermediate photographer…
As long as you mastered your skills, you should know that the wider is the f/ value of your lens, the more light enters your lens and so the better are the light effects in your photos.
And here is why I suggested to upgrade with “only body” solutions up here; just because the same did I: bought a new body selling the previous one on E-bay (saving a little money to invest to the new body – that I personally suggest buying confidently on Amazon.com, due they’re reputable and trustable as you may already know) and then I started trying it.
At first, I continued using my previous lenses (make sure you upgrade between the same brand, i.e. if you started Nikon stay Nikon, or you will have the issue of lenses being unusable). Then I made the same thing as per body: sold my used lenses and saved the money for the upgraded ones.
Go for this lens if you’re upgrading! I sold my previous 4-5,6 for buying this model one that fits my new body.
It’s super sharp and very very sensible to light. It gives me a fabulous sharp shoot ending in super quality dog pictures.
A dream lens.
For years, Nikon’s 70-200 f/2.8 lens has been the benchmark for fast telephoto zoom lenses, unrivaled for low-light, sports, wildlife, concerts, weddings, portraits and everyday shooting. This new version takes that legendary performance to the next level with the same jaw-dropping image quality that has made it a prized lens of pros and serious hobbyists alike. Whether you’re shooting a DX DSLR like the D500 or an FX powerhouse like the D5, the AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8E FL ED VR will take you to thrilling new heights.
I personally use it on my new Nikon D7500 that is the APS-C version of D500 (a full-frame model). I will give you links to buy the “super-expert camera bodies” from Nikon brand here below…
The Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L is II USM is the same level lens of Nikon I showed up here. It fits Canon camera bodies and has the same advantages as the Nikon version.
This link leads to a refurbished version that is cheaper than the new* (read more below).
The EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens from Canon improves upon its predecessor, one of the most acclaimed lenses in the Canon EF line, with superior performance, increased speed and optical quality. This lens construction consists of one fluorite and five ultra-low dispersion optical elements that help deliver the sharpness and reduced aberrations. The IS II Optical Image Stabilizer provides up to 4 stops of correction at all focal lengths and features two modes for stabilization of still objects and while panning to follow moving subjects. An ultrasonic focusing motor provides fast, smooth and silent autofocus action.
* Amazon Renewed is your trusted destination for pre-owned and refurbished products that are inspected and tested to work and look like new. A Renewed supplier who is Amazon-qualified and performance managed, performs a full diagnostic test, replaces any defective parts, and thoroughly cleans the product. The products will have minimal to no signs of wear, no visible cosmetic imperfections when held 12 inches away, and may arrive in a brown or white box with relevant accessories that may be generic. This product is backed by the Amazon Renewed Guarantee Your product is eligible for a replacement or refund within 90 days of receipt if it does not work as expected. Get quick support for claims and free troubleshooting via a single point of contact at Amazon. The guarantee is in conjunction with Amazon’s standard return policy.
Professional camera bodies
If you’re looking to upgrade to the full quality, you have to switch to one of these camera bodies (in my opinion the best ones for Pet Photography):
Nikon D7500 DSLR Camera with 18-55mm VR Lens + 32GB Card, Tripod, Flash, and More (20pc Bundle)
- This Al’s Variety Camera Bundle Includes 55mm Wide Angle And Telephoto Auxiliary lenses , 55mm 3pc Filter Kit (UV , CPL , FLD) , Wireless Shutter Remote , 55mm Tulip Threaded Lens Hood , Camera wrist Grip , Deluxe Camera Gadget Bag , 50 inch Professional Tripod , Digital Slave Flash , Lens Pen , Lens Blower + Nikon Original Battery, Charger , Eye Cup , Neck Strap , Lens & Body Caps + 1 Year Seller Supplied Warranty :
- Nikon D7500 DSLR Camera Body (Import Model)- 20.9MP DX-Format CMOS Sensor , EXPEED 5 Image Processor , 3.2″ 922k-Dot Tilting Touchscreen LCD , 4K UHD Video Recording at 30 fps ,Multi-CAM 3500FX II 51-Point AF System , Native ISO 51200, Expanded ISO 1,640,000 , 8 fps Shooting for Up to 100 Frames , Multi-CAM 3500FX II 51-Point AF System , SnapBridge Bluetooth and Wi-Fi , 180k-Pixel RGB Sensor and Group Area AF
- Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR Lens – F-Mount Lens/DX Format ,27-82.5mm (35mm Equivalent) , Aperture Range: f/3.5 to f/38 , Two Aspherical Elements , Super Integrated Coating , Pulse Stepping Motor AF System ,VR Image Stabilization , Access Lens Settings in Camera Menu , Rounded 7-Blade Diaphragm , Two aspherical elements , AF-P pulse motor , retractable lens barrel
- SanDisk 32GB Ultra UHS-I SDHC Memory Card (Class 10) – 32GB Storage Capacity , Class 10 / UHS-I , Max. Read Speed: 48 MB/s , Min. Write Speed: 10 MB/s , Water/Temperature/X-Ray/Shockproof ,Built-In Write Protect Switch + USB 2.0 Memory Card Reader
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Full Frame Digital SLR Camera with EF 24-105mm f/4L is II USM Lens Kit, Sandisk 64GB, Polaroid 160 LED Video Light, Microphone, Backpack and Accessory Bundle
- Canon EOS 5D Mark IV with 24-105mm Lens With all Canon Accessories + Full USA Warranties PREMIUM RITZ CAMERA BUNDLE INCLUDING
- Canon EOS 5D Mark IV DSLR Camera 24-105mm Kit, Ritz Gear Cleaning Kit, Ritz Dual SD Card Reader,
- Ritz Gear Large Camera Backpack, Polaroid Pro Camcorder Microphone, Polaroid 160 LED Video Light,
- XIT 72″ Full-Size Pro Monopod, Lexar 64GB 1000x SDXC UHS-II, Memory Card Wallet and Polaroid 3 Piece 77mm Filter Kit (UV, CPL, Warming)
And finally… the best lens ever for taking your photography to the next level!
The Sigma ART 135mm f1.8
Here the bundles available for Nikon and Canon:
The Sigma 135mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art Lens for Nikon F is a medium-range telephoto prime lens designed for modern high megapixel DSLRs. A new large hypersonic motor (HSM) delivers ample torque to the focusing group for outstanding speed, ensuring exceptionally stable performance even at lower speeds. This state-of-the-art prime lens touts a dust and splash-proof mount for guaranteed performance in any condition and its large 1.8 aperture allows for more creative control over imagery. A stunning compression effect makes the Sigma 135mm F1.8 art the ideal portrait lens while its large aperture help with event photography and much more. Like Each and every global Vision lens, The Sigma 135mm F1.8 DG HSM Art is handcrafted at our single factory in Aizu, Japan and undergoes individual evaluation before leaving Sigma facility. Boasting outstanding sharpness and great IQ from edge to edge, The 135mm F1.8 art Lens enters the market as Sigma new Premiere mid-range telephoto prime lens. Ideal for events such as concerts, indoor sports, conferences and press events, The 1.8 F-stop delivers greater “shallow depth of field” And the isolation of subjects. The outstanding compression effect makes it equally as powerful for up-close and full-length portraits. Its new large hypersonic motor (HSM) provides ample torque to the focus group for optimal speed while the acceleration sensor detects the position of the lens for compensation focus groups for factors including gravity, producing faster and more responsive AF. Equipped with a focus limiter, the 135mm F1.8 art can be easily optimized for a variety of distances and situations. Boasting outstanding sharpness and great IQ from edge to edge, The 135mm F1.8 art Lens enters the market as Sigma new Premiere mid-range telephoto prime lens. Ideal for events such as concerts, indoor sports, conferences and press events, The 1.8 F-stop delivers greater “shallow depth of field” and isolation of subjects.
I hope this article was useful and appreciate your comments here below for improving and suggestions. They’re always very welcome!