What minimum equipment do you need to start in stock photography?

Suggested Starting Equipment:*

  1. DSLR camera. Having this immediately will greatly improve your chances of getting it SS & IS
  2. Best Glass you can afford. A combination of 18-55, 50  and 55-250 range will get you started.
  3. Desktop Computer with the fastest internet connection you can afford: Broadband, Cable etc.
  4. Adobe Photoshop
  5. External Computer Drives for Storage and Back-Ups. Terrabyte drives have come down to less than $135
  6. Large Monitors for your desktop. Larger the better. Be sure and calibrate them.
  7. Tripod
  8. Extra Batteries for your camera
  9. Large CF or SD memory cards for your Camera. Have at least two. Faster the better.
  10. External Flash

*If you are on a shoe-string budget it is possible to make substitutions. It is also possible to go without some of these depending on what you shoot. However, having these pieces of equipment from the start will save you many potential headaches in the long run.

Best of Luck !



4 Responses to “What minimum equipment do you need to start in stock photography?”

  1. jonvitalija Says:

    Hi Mark, I came across your blog from dt, I wanted to ask you a question : Any tips to get accepted on SS and IS? oh man! they doing my headaches. I did not fell appropiate to ask you in dt because they are a bit funny with exclusivity and they have quiet a few followers.
    Thanks for you time, and again: Beautiful blog

    • Jonathan,

      You are correct to respond about another agency in a different forum.

      My best advice to you regarding the SS application is to keep applying each month. It took me several attempts before I go in. However here is a serious tip. Create some basic illustrations if you haven’t done so already. Even if your not an illustrator, do a tutorial or two online and add some to you applications. Also downsize all photos to 4mp. IS is a different animal altogether. Submit as many people model released, isolated object, or natural landscape photos. DO NOT submit illustrations which you would use to try to get into SS. Many complex raster illustrations get rejected routinely at IS. Be very careful about your IS applications as they make you take longer to apply again after just a few attempts.

      Best of luck on your next applications !


  2. Yep, this post is right on the money (sorry for the pun.)

    I started at iStock with a 6mp point and shoot and struggled. I managed to get some images accepted and even sold a few, but a nice DSLR is really where you want to be when shooting stock images.

    Great site and wonderful work – Ben O.

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