Top 20: #19 Gear transitions and when to make them, Paul & Cinnamon

Buying camera gear is a huge investment in your business and that's why this episode is so popular - we break down Cinnamon's lens purchases over the course of her business and are even sharing the mistakes she's made a long the way.


Learning to use your camera well

Bodies and lenses, lenses and bodies. So much gear to think about and consider when you start a photography business!! Cinnamon has had her fair share of gear throughout the past five years of being in business and have learned a lot about what you need, what you don't need. In this episode she's sharing her favorites, when you should actually be buying new gear and when its really just frivolous. 













When to make gear transitions in a photography business | What gear do I buy first as a photographer? | Focus(ed) Podcast Top 20

show notes

Getting started

Cinnamon got started with photography when her mom asked her what she wanted for her birthday one year. She went to Amazon and did some research on Canons and settled on the Rebel T3i and all the pieces that went with it. Her previous camera was a Canon that didn't have a removable lens, so that's why she stuck with a Canon over a Nikon. It come with 2 kit lenses which were pretty much all plastic and didn't create the best images. Cinnamon recommends just starting with a great body and then buying a lens separate. 

A nifty fifty (50mm) is the best first lens to get for Canons. It is about $100 and opens up to 1.8 which gives you a lot more light. Nikon may have an equivalent for this. After about 3 or 4 months she decided to get a different camera body while learning about crop sensor and full frame shots. She went with the Canon 7D which was a crop sensor but also had some setting features that the bigger cameras had. One of her favorite lenses is the Tamron 28-275, especially for family shoots. Cinnamon purchased this one to use with her Canon because the Canon version was a little out side of her price range. Once she learned more about her personal shooting style and her camera, she purchased a few more lenses to complete her kit - a 1.4 and a 7200. The 7200 lens is a bit of an impractical splurge if you're mainly shooting indoors and newborns. The reason she bought them instead of renting them was because she realized the investment in purchasing them was just better in the long run. P.S. she also bought some used from Facebook groups.


She upgraded to the Canon 6D after learning her 7D really well. The 6D had the full frame capability she was looking for and the Mark III  was just out of the her price range. The biggest difference between the two is the multiple SD card slots and the AF points. Cinnamon loves the 6D for so many reasons and it is a lot lighter than the Mark III. She used this one for almost two years. Her Tamron lens broke after a few years, and she was a little unsure of what to do, and still feels like she made a mistake with her next purchase. Because she didn't want to pay for the one she really wanted, Cinnamon purchased a Canon 24-105mm F/4 so she could use it for family sessions. Overall the lens wasn't a bad lens and she put it to good use, but it really didn't serve the purpose (family sessions) she wanted it to.

After their move to New Jersey, Cinnamon began wondering if she really did need a second camera for wedding days. She had heard people talk about memory card failure and camera body issues on wedding days and so she bought a Canon 5D Mark III with the multiple card slot. For wedding days she now had her 6D and Mark III and purchased an additional 100mm Micro lens from someone on Facebook.

Buying from Facebook Groups and where to invest your money

Cinnamon has used the Canon Equipment Buy and Sell group on Facebook to purchase some of her gear. This is where she bought her second 5D Mark III. She also got her 50mm 1.2 lens from this group. It is a pricey lens and her favorite lens from Canon, but she wanted to stop using her 1.4 lens. The key to note is that a body will eventually die out on you but your lens won't wear out the same way. Cinnamon recommends getting a great body to start and then really saving for and purchasing higher end lenses. She also loves her Sigma Art 35mm lens.

When to transition

Cinnamon grew her lens kit as her business grew and she discovered what she was looking for in lenses. You can shoot incredible weddings with 6Ds before you ever need to upgrade to something pricier. Make sure you have great SD cards (black Friday sales are the best). Do not invest in the full kit with all the pieces because you will not use most of what comes with it. Cinnamon recommends talking with your fellow photog-friends to see if you could borrow one of theirs or rent one to start, before making investments. Go as you grow! 


The entire list of ALL of Cinnamon's gear with links on where to purchase can be found in the Tool Box! Check it out HERE and get the comprehensive list of everything mentioned in this episode plus waaaaay more! 

Don't forget to join the Focus(ed) Business Owners on Facebook to discuss your thoughts on this episode!