- Soften light with a translucent reflector
- Enhance shadows with a black reflector
- Brighten shadows and highlights with a silver reflector
- Gently soften light with a white reflector
- Warm up light with a gold reflector
So there's a lot more than four things that you'll need to get started in photography.
Sure, you need the obvious stuff like a camera and a lens or two, but it would be a mistake to focus all your attention (and money) on just getting a camera and lenses.
That being the case, I'd like to present four things that beginner photographer need, but that might be a little under-the-radar, so to speak.
By that, I mean that the photography gear I list below are things that I wish I would've had back in the day when I got my start in photography.
Make It Easier to Take Photos With a Solid Tripod
Image Credit: DieterMeyrl via iStock
I know that a tripod might not seem like an "under-the-radar" photography gadget, but it most definitely is.
In fact, I think tripods - good ones, anyway - are the most underrated photography accessories.
That's because they can do so much for the quality of your photos, yet many beginner photographers seem dead set against using them.
Aside from the obvious benefit of having something to provide your camera with stability for a sharply-focused shot, tripods can also help your compositions, too.
Think about it - when you rush through a shot, the chances of making a mistake go up.
But with a tripod, you're forced to take a little bit more time with each shot because you have to fine-tune things like the position of the legs or adjust the level of the tripod head.
Those few seconds can make all the difference in the world when you're after a top-notch shot!
Control the Light With a Reflector Pack
If you want to learn how to take top-notch portraits, one of the best photography accessories you can buy is a reflector pack.
Not only are they inexpensive (like this one from Amazon), but they're also multi-functional.
With one reflector pack you can:
The key (well, one of them, anyway) to a great portrait is good lighting, and with a simple reflector pack, you can manipulate the light in a ton of different ways.
Learn how to use a reflector in the video above by Joe Edelman.
Keep Your Images Organized in Lightroom
Lightroom wasn't a thing when I started in photography many years ago, let alone incredible plugins that make Lightroom even more functional.
But that's one of the benefits of learning photography these days - the sheer quantity and quality of photography technology is incredible!
If you're keen on keeping all the images you take nicely organized, Lightroom is a must.
It's not as robust a processing program as Photoshop, but in terms of organization, it can't be beat.
Well, that's not completely true because you can add a plugin like Excire to supercharge Lightroom's capabilities.
If you use Lightroom without Excire, you have to manually tag your photos when you upload them.
That can be a laborious task, especially if you're adding tons of images all at once.
Excire Search has 125 common keywords that are automatically applied while Excire Search Pro has more than 500 common keywords.
That means that your photos of your family dog or cat will automatically be tagged "dog" and "cat."
Better still, Excire Search and Excire Search Pro can take it a step further and identify people based on their gender and their age, as well as features like whether they're smiling or not.
On top of that, Excire will examine your photos and assign tags based on how they look. For example, if the predominant color in the shot is yellow, a "yellow" tag will be applied.
It really is a handy tool to have, and one that will keep all your images organized, help you create meaningful collections of images based on content, and make your library of images much, much easier to search, too.
Besides, starting out with a highly organized and easily searchable collection of photos will only serve you well as your skills advance and your library of images increases in size.
Watch a hands-on review of Excire in the video above by Anthony Morganti.
Protect Your Gear With a Dedicated Camera Bag
Image Credit: coldsnowstorm via iStock
When you spend hundreds - if not thousands - of dollars on camera gear, it only makes sense to spend a little more money to get a dedicated camera bag to tote it around in.
Bags made specifically for photography have padded interiors with a soft lining that won't scratch your lenses. And some bags also have adjustable interior spaces that you can customize to perfectly fit your gear.
Some photography bags have waterproof zippers and water-resistant exterior materials to keep the elements away from your gear.
There are a host of other features that are beneficial - tamper-proof zippers, big shoulder pads to distribute the weight of your gear, and moisture-wicking materials that you'll love on a hot day, among them.
The point, though, is that a good camera bag can mean the difference between your gear being in pristine condition and it getting damaged. And when there's so much money at stake, why risk it by throwing your camera in your backpack or purse?!