My photography kit isn’t huge, as I firmly believe that it’s not what you’ve got, it’s where you point it It’s easy to feel that you’d be that much better a photographer if only you had one more piece of kit, but if you can’t get great pictures with what you’ve got, upgrading won’t help. I’d recommend starting with little or nothing, & mastering each new piece before buying anything else. Believe me, it never ends once you do start spending, no matter how expensive & shiny your kit is, there’ll always be *something* else you have your eye on.
I’ve always been a Canon boy, so the 5DMkII is the body of choice. I doubt I’ll see a reason to upgrade till someone lets me have a play with a Mark III & I suddenly decide I can’t live without it.
50mm f1.4 Most of my work is shot with natural light indoors, so I need a lens that will let in a lot of light. With the 50mm 1.2L costing £1700, this does me just fine, & I find the pictures as sharp as with an L series lens. If you’re on a tight budget, the 50mm f1.8 at under £90 is a must-have. The next thing I buy will be an 85mm prime.
Canon EF 24-105mm f4 L IS USM This is what I use for my studio work, & anything out doors where a flash is needed. I have a fairly small studio, so it’s never been worth splashing out for a 200m lens, but it’ll happen at some point.
That’s really it. I own other lenses, but I haven’t put them on the camera for years.
I have two lighting kits, 2 Bowens 500W & 3 Lumen 400s. As all my published work until a year ago was natural light, I’ve only recently started spending more time in the studio, & as yet haven’t felt the need for anything more powerful. It’s amazing how quickly you can find a use for five different lights in one shot though!
I’ve never managed to get a decent quality of light from an umbrella, so gridded softboxes & a beauty dish cover most of my needs. When there’s enough space for it, I have a 6-foot soft box which gives fantastic light, but does tend to take up most of any room you put it in. I also have a couple of ring flash attachments, one which goes over my speed light, which is great for portability & a steal at £150.
I changed to Apple three years ago & would strongly recommend you do the same. For any practical purposes except gaming, macs far outshine pcs, & they’re just so much easier to use. I currently work on a 27″ iMac, with a 17″ Macbook Pro for location shoots. If you don’t have a graphics tablet (mine’s a Wacome Intuos 3), put that at the top go your shopping list, it’ll make retouching incomparably easier. There’s no need for a huge one, in fact anything over A4 would be too much.