Photo by evgenyatamanenko via iStock
There are plenty of obvious things you need to invest in as a photographer, like a good camera body, solid lenses, a tripod, and so forth.
But there are plenty of other items you should add to your list of things to get if you want to streamline your workflow and make the most of the images you take.
Specifically, you need a good office setup with a capable computer, a monitor that allows you to multitask without hurting your eyes, various backup storage options, and so forth.
I've been at this a long time and have tested all kinds of office gear along the way. Here are just a few of my recommendations for the best items photographers need to invest in.
A Good Computer
The brains of your operation (other than you, of course!) is your computer. As such, it needs to be as high-powered a unit as you can afford. After all, processing images and videos takes a lot of juice, and your old Chromebook simply won't cut it.
And for my tastes, a high-powered laptop is the way to go, that way you can bring your workstation with you on the road.
If you're a Mac person, I highly recommend the 16-inch Macbook Pro.
I have the 2.4GHz 8-Core Intel Core i9 version with 64GB of RAM. It also has a Radeon Pro 5500M 8GB Intel UHD video card, which is the best Apple offers at this point. It's not the greatest video card of all time, but so far, it's gotten the job done just fine.
I've been a Mac user for a long time, and this is the latest in a long line of Macbook Pros that I've had. It has proven to be the most capable of the bunch and offers me the speed, dependability, and portability that I want.
On the other hand, if you're a PC person, the Razer Blade 15 Studio is tough to beat.
This computer is designed for gaming, but I've found it to be a perfect addition to my home office to tackle hard-core video processing tasks with ease.
This particular model has a 6-core Intel i9 processor with 32GB of RAM, and 1TB of SSD storage.
But the eye-popping spec on this laptop is the NVIDIA Quadro 5000 GPU...
This graphics card is one of the best money can buy - it's like Hollywood-level stuff!
If your business includes a lot of video work, I highly recommend that you take a long, hard look at this machine.
I've been a PC skeptic for a long time because I could never find the one PC laptop that could do everything I needed it to do...until this thing!
A Boost for Your Graphics Card
If you already have a laptop that you love but that's lacking in the graphics card department, you might consider investing in the Razer Core X Chroma eGPU.
This bad boy helps put a supercharge into your laptop's video card, that way you get a true desktop-grade video experience.
It comes with plug-and-play support for a wide range of graphics cards on PCs and Macs.
Though this gadget is intended to give gaming systems a power boost, I've found it to be incredibly helpful for my video editing work.
A Better Display
When I first started in this business I had a Macbook Pro 13-inch laptop. I didn't use a Bluetooth keyboard. I didn't have a mouse. I didn't have an external monitor, either.
That plain Jane setup was all I could afford back then, but it certainly wasn't ideal for my workflow. My how a decade (and change) has improved my workspace!
For the longest time, I had HP and LG displays, and I thought they were awesome. They were awesome, but now that I'm rocking the display setup you see above, those old displays of mine seem so old and quaint.
Not only do they both offer me all the real estate I need to have split screens and multiple windows open at the same time, but they also have an incredibly sharp display with the most accurate colors I've ever seen on a monitor.
Add in a curved, immersive display, built-in speakers, and the ability to split screens, tile screens, and have multiple views open on both screens, and you have the makings of the ideal display setup for photo and video work.
Backup Storage Options
It goes without saying that you need backup storage options for all your work. And not just one option, either.
I have multiple backups that are part of my workflow, each with a slightly different role.
The big boy, if you will, is my Synology DiskStation DS918+ network attached storage (NAS). This thing has a quad-core Intel Celeron J3455 processor at 1.5GHz, four hot-swappable bays, encrypted file transmission, and is incredibly easy to set up. The Synology operating system is intuitive and easy to use as well. For my money, there is no better NAS.
I also have the G-DRIVE 10TB USB-C external hard drive on my desk.
It offers ultra-high-speed data transfers and allows for daisy-chaining for up to five additional devices.
The enterprise-class 7200 RPM hard drive is both fast and reliable, and it's Apple Time Machine compatible. The aluminum case is durable and looks pretty badass too!
A third backup storage device I use on the daily is the SanDisk 2TB SSD drive shown above.
This little guy works with my Macbook Pro and my Razer PC and is built like a tank. When I need to work on the road, this is the device I bring with me because it is small, lightweight, and easy to transport. It's a reliable backup too!
A Desk & Chair That Promote Better Health
Photographers do a lot of sitting at their desks, and I for one can't stand to sit for all that long. That's why I invested in an iMovR Lander standing desk.
This desk is beautifully made and hugely functional - it takes just seconds to move the desk from a sitting to a standing height using the onboard paddles or the accompanying smartphone app.
I spend a lot of my day standing now, and my neck, shoulders, and back are the better for it!
Plus, these desks are super durable, well-made, and stand up to the rigors of my daily grind (and having my young son in my office banging his toys around on the desktop).
When I'm seated, I sit on a Herman Miller Embody desk chair that offers tons of support and provides the ultimate in comfort.
This is actually the second Embody chair I've had over the last 10 years, and I will never go back to having a more traditional desk chair. This thing is expensive, but it is worth every penny as the hours of editing photos and videos drag on!
Apple Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro
As I explain in my video above, I always saw my iPads as more of a novelty or entertainment device than a device I could use for work.
That all changed when I picked up an Apple Magic Keyboard for my iPad Pro.
With this keyboard, my iPad is now a much more functional and useful device for getting work tasks done. It absolutely blows away all the previous iPad keyboards I've tried over the years. It has been one of my favorite additions to my office gear this year - it's that good!