Welcome to Shooting on a Budget

I have been involved in photography for about the past decade and a half. For the most part, I have always had significant budget constraints for one reason or another. Starting a family, or being a full time student while working full time at a boring 9-5 job, among many other factors and situations can really put a damper on discretionary funds for those of us who are not involved with photography as a full time job.

For the hobbyists, weekend warriors, and enthusiasts among our ranks, we sometimes have to work with different rules, work with what we’ve got, and often struggle to even get started. There are two main reasons for this website. The first, and foremost, is educational – with a little bit of motivation tossed in the mix. “It can be done, and this is how,” if you will.

As a regular contributor to a number of message boards, websites, and organizations, I often hear questions from those who want to get started, as I am sure you all have. Questions such as “What’s the best camera for $150,” or “I want to get started in photography, and can spend $200, or $300, what should I get?” are so often met with ridicule and mean-spirited teasing, yet rarely ever are there constructive comments that help. Telling a model or makeup artist who wants to give the other side of the camera a try: “Photography is for the big kids with big budgets, here’s a Hello Kitty camera, go over there and play on Instagram” is insulting, and a behavior I have always tried to combat with legitimate information.

Here’s one of my favorite images taken with a sub $400 kit, something well within the budget of many of those just starting out – Canon Xsi – 50mm 1.8 – YN460II flash – 22” pop up softbox

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Is there any reason why these people, as well as those of us without bigger budgets, should not be encouraged to get started in photography, or for those already going at it, progress further, despite our smaller budgets? Is there anything stopping all of us from getting basic gear, taking images, and most importantly LEARNING about photography?

Budget alone should not be a hindrance, and I have spent the past several years studying various topics, experimenting, testing out different gear, so that I could have an answer for any question that arises. I can’t even begin to convey how much time I have spent since 2007 playing with every flash or studio strobe I could get my hands on; and even more time with lenses and camera bodies, modifiers, scrims, stands, toys and thingamabobs, at every price-point imaginable.

It’s all fun for me though, testing my own skills, seeing how far I can push the more inexpensive gear, and how close I could get the results of such to the bigger, badder, higher-end gear. In many cases I was pleasantly surprised at how respectably many things performed in certain situations. Sure a first generation DSLR from 2002 won’t give clean images at ISO 1600, but that’s not the point sometimes. For those who are in it to get started and  learn  – a Canon 10D is a great inexpensive choice, and still produces some gorgeous images at lower ISOs.

My goal with this blog is to post something once a week to start – reviews of inexpensive gear, DIY projects, budget-friendly tips and tricks, etc. Hopefully my message gets taken to heart, and if I inspire one person to get started in photography, or help someone grow and progress, I count it as a success. I hope you all enjoy the blog!

Meg – Nikon D40X – Nikon 50mm 1.8D – Natural Light

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This article has 7 comments

  1. Mike Reply

    Thanks for starting this blog off. I can never have too many shooting on a budget ideas.

    • jayleavitt Reply

      My pleasure. I hope to eventually be a good resource for this stuff – but so long as I get through to a couple people, it’s worth it.

  2. Jay Dub Reply

    Glad I found this blog! I’m definitely I budget shooter who sometimes gets a little sad when I think about all the gear I “think” will make my pictures better, but is currently out of my reach due to price. But then I surprise myself with how well I can do with what I have!

    • Shooting on A Budget Reply

      That’s exactly why I use all the budget gear I can. I try and push it all to its limits, and showcase that much of the older, more budget friendly gear can perform quite well at times.

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