Budgeting for anything in life is a task of maturity, competence, and discipline, and it is perhaps never more important than for photography. Those who don’t budget are left unorganized and often run into problems. It’s like starting a race with your shoes untied.
As an artist and a photographer, in this case, budgeting suggests that you take sustainable measures to create your art. Rather than thinking of it as cheap, consider yourself exploring new ways to manifest your vision and develop your craft.
We made is easier for you by compiling a list of budget photography tips. As a photographer myself, this budget photography guide has helped me hone in on my vision, and get there in one piece.
Budget photography tips from one photographer to another
Going back to basics is that one step back that helps you take another two steps forward. You may have been used to your time working in that studio daily, or when your city was open at the public’s leisure, and you could document your city in its fullest form.
The 2020 pandemic lockdown and social distancing have lessened those experiences for many artists, especially for photographers who have to work with others more often than not.
Like the new rules for living and interacting that persist, creatives should remain in their bags with ideas for their quarantine comeback.
If you have been worried about creating your art in these times, know that as your income may have slowed down, your creativity is ready to turn up.
Reconsider selling yourself short in your current situation. You can learn processes that will make you a better photographer and creative as we progress into 2021.
Here are nine budget photography tips to get your photography skills flowing while saving your bread on production.
Utilize the sunlight around you
Using sunlight in the early morning or afternoon hours is a great time for beautiful lighting on subjects. Whether shooting buildings or a model, sunlight is the optimal way to get more photography done.
Use sunlight to your advantage. Get outside in the early hours of the day as the sun rises.
Or on the contrary, get outside in the last hours of the day as the sun sets. But as far as budget photography tips go, using sunlight to help you complete your vision is one of the best hints out there.
Use the style around you
Styling friends with their own wardrobes will keep the photo budget down when shooting fashion concepts. You have friends with fresh style? Utilize that.
That’s about one of the best budget photography tips a photographer can give.
Capture their honest style choices as a potential project you can conduct over some time. You can always ask a savvy friend to help with style also.
Craft your lens and stick to it
Stick to one lens and get nice! You can be a master of a lens, and that’s a good thing.
You’ll quickly develop a unique style and techniques to carry your work on each shoot. Sticking to one lens is an easy budget photography tip, as it enables you to master one direction, while also not spend money unnecesarily.
Explore set decoration and interior design
Explore your own space and explore set decoration and some interior design. These are little jobs you wouldn’t necessarily think you can do, but with time and conviction, it is all possible.
Set up your space and rearrange things to flex your art direction and props skills. You can also explore still-life photography with objects around your home, furthering your skillset. None of this costs money, just time and dedication. Take this budget photography tip and run with it.
Focus on one project at a time
Become project-driven. Think of your photographs as a series of receipts. Each photo is a calling card and that is something to consider in marketing yourself.
Remember that your friends each have a unique style that will create a cohesive study of people and who they are through your photographs. You can budget your photography better when you are focusing on one project at a time.
Live with the costs you make
Budget your living cost first while being grateful for your photo kit.
Resist reaching for the most unique or latest piece of photography gear. Though film photography is an interesting medium, it can become unassumingly expensive too.
Film for analog cameras can garner cost beyond the purchase of the camera body itself. Keep in mind the maintenance and cost of developing that film is part of that budget.
Keeping your kit light is a humbling experience, but making an effort to use your skills to enhance your work is most rewarding.
Essentials work best
Budget for essentials, not extras. This is the biggest budget photography tip I can give you.
You may think you need more lenses or camera bodies. You’d likely need a good camera body capable of producing the kind of content you like. Preferably in this capacity, you would want to use the camera all the time.
You also need memory cards, which are affordable and come in handy when you become low on drive space. Memory cards can act as storage for your shoots when you can’t transfer footage.
You may eventually want to have a whole office and studio dedicated to a full photo operation, but you have to start somewhere.
Utilize collaborations and online platforms
Get familiar with money-saving solutions through online platforms for collaborations.
Now we have Instagram, Clubhouse, and TikTok, great places to meet other creatives that you can potentially work with in the future.
If you have mutual admiration for another person, you two can work collectively on a project. These novel ways of networking are autonomous within our daily lives, and allow us to even work remotely.
Always plan ahead
Ok, I may have lied before. This is the biggest budgeting photography tip I can give you. Always. Plan. Ahead.
When planning shoots, estimate spending, and time. Budget for more so that you don’t surprise your bank account. Things can get expensive when planning a shoot.
Think of a larger number so that after the shoot, you can do the math on how much you spent in actuality. By then, you will see what a decent estimate for that kind of shoot will cost you.
Whether if you rent a few hours in a studio for the day, or rent a car to get outside of your city, this will be a learning process regardless.
Utilize this budget photography guide to level up
These habits will keep you in the green and out of the negative as you explore your artistry. A budget photography guide for the people, we have presented you with.
We may not all have the money for our lofty aspirations. We may not all have the resources. But we all have these budget photography tips to steer us in the right direction.