From beginner to expert, photographers need certain products to take their skills to the next level. Photography is an outlet for creative expression and a way to foster connections between people. It is a pastime where individuals have grown their art alongside more technical photography developments.

Are you ready to improve your photography and showcase your most stunning photographs? There are some photography must-haves for those looking to challenge themselves, evolve their techniques and boost creativity. Cover photo by Dima Solomin.

Photography Is More Than a Hobby

If it seems more people are interested in photography than ever, you’re not wrong. Smartphones have given way to the increase in taking, using and sharing photos. In fact, over 50% of the global population uses their phone to dabble in photography and post images to social media. 

There are many psychological reasons why people love photography. For one thing, photography documents happy memories, be it a gathering with friends or a quiet moment in nature. A photo can induce powerful emotions and reactions in people, too.

While some pursue photography as a career, others turn to it for relaxation or to channel their creative energy and thoughts. Photography can be a meditative experience and fosters a deep appreciation of the world around you. For this reason, it can be particularly beneficial for those with poor mental health.

8 Photography Products to Boost Creativity

Adding the right photography products to your collection can make or break your ability to generate eye-catching photos. Of course, skill also plays a vital role in enhancing your originality as a photographer. Let’s look at eight items to take your photography to the next level. 

1. Camera Tripod

One can imagine how busy portrait photographers became following the COVID-19 pandemic. After two years of putting major life celebrations and milestones on hold, couples started scheduling engagement, wedding and pregnancy photo sessions again. 

According to a 2022 survey on the current state of the photography industry, 19.3% and 11.4% of photographers specialize in portrait and landscape photography, respectively. 

A camera tripod might seem like a prominent photography accessory — and you may already own one. However, for portrait shots, images in low light and slow shutter speeds, it is essential to hold the camera as steady as possible. 

2. Photography Backgrounds

Do you remember in elementary school when your yearbook portrait was against a single-color, textured backdrop? Although you probably stole the show with your smile, the background was somewhat dull.

Photographers can enhance their photos with the perfect background, whether a canvas, muslin material or a natural setting.

Consider what sort of photographs you are taking. An infant portrait may look best with a plain canvas background, while a family photography session might occur outside at a park or beach. An advertisement for fall or winter clothing might also come out best in actual foliage. 

Backgrounds are some of the least expensive photography products and are easily purchasable online through various e-commerce sites.

3. Photo Editing Software

Installing today’s best photo-editing software delivers plenty of options for enhancing your creativity. Adjust the brightness, contrast, highlights and saturation of your photos, add filters, remove imperfections and crop them to hone in on a specific person or object.

Although photography software is opportunistic for professional photographers and hobbyists alike, it could consume a lot of memory on your computer. Check your laptop’s hard disk. If only 2 GB or less space is left, it could be time to do a clean sweep of the memory storage. 

Anything over can slow your computer down and negatively impact its performance. Refer to your computer’s instructions to determine how to find and repair your computer’s hard drive. 

4. Gobos

Have you ever seen a photograph with shadows cast across it? Maybe it’s a white background with a shadow of a window pane on the floor. These darker shades derive from gobos — flat panels between the light, lens and photographic subject.

A photographer might use gobos to emphasize something in the photograph, create visual interest with a pattern or manage where light hits in the image. For instance, suppose you’re doing still photography of tropical fruit. You might use a gobo to cast a shadow of a palm frond on a bright green background. 

5. Lens Filters

Thanks to the many photo-editing applications available, it has become increasingly common to apply filters to images on your smartphone. However, photographers have an old-school method of using filters for photos. 

Lens filters can add contrast to images, reduce glares and reflections and make colors more vibrant. Essentially, lens filters save you time during photo editing by removing imperfections when you take the photograph.

Photographers will find lens filters highly effective in outdoor photography — for example, limiting the glare from the sun or photographing highly reflective surfaces like water.

6. Quality Laptop

The most essential photography product in the digital era is a high-quality laptop with superior display, storage and processing capabilities. 

Creative people particularly like the MacBook Pro 16-inch laptop — the best for high pixel resolution and color support. It also boasts 1,600-nit brightness for outdoor editing and a whopping 20-hour battery life.

Other things to consider when choosing a laptop for your photography include how lightweight and portable the device is, whether there are enough USB ports and SD card slots, high-definition display and color accuracy.

7. External Flash

If you’ve ever photographed a subject in low light, you might notice its exposure doesn’t come out right. Night photography and other low-light environments require an external flash for the highest-quality image.

Conversely, you might use an external flash to make people or objects stand out against a lighter background. For instance, a person’s face may be difficult to see when photographed against bright natural light.

It is best to test external flash and shutter speeds to determine the correct image exposure. Each environment calls for different settings for optimal photos.

8. Gels

Photographers use gels — colorful, transparent plastic sheets — over light sources to create artistic effects in photographs. You can choose between corrective and non-corrective gels to enhance creativity in your images.

For instance, purple or silver gels make an image feel more futuristic, while blues and greens are somewhat mystical. Red gels also create a sense of romance or power in a photograph. 

Of course, you still want to choose complementary colors when selecting gels. Refer to traditional color theory for guidance on which combinations blend nicely. Two colors are more likely to muddle together if they are next to each other on the color wheel.

Tap Into Your Creativity With Photography Products

Photography is one of the most exciting art forms for creative individuals. It’s a practice you can perfect and hone your skills over time as new technologies arise. If you want to enhance your creativity and generate the most stunning images, these photography products can help.

Read next: New Versus Used: Is New Equipment Always Better?

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