Jan 6, 2011 · In Photo Tips · By Allison Carenza

Sometimes my body lay awake in my bed at night, usually 4am, eyes closed, my mind a racin', but my person  trying my darnest to go to sleep.  Yes, I did indeed describe my mind as a separate entity.  If you know me AT ALL you know my mind is not always there. I'm right brained, let's just go with that excuse for now.  So I lay awake and think about everything like when to get the carpets cleaned, or new dog collars, to answering questions for my fans on my blog.  The carpets and collars can wait, today I want to answer a few questions.

Question #1

What is a good camera for a professional/advanced amateur? This is such a loaded question because it depends on the following answers.  What do you like to shoot Nikon, or Cannon?   What is your price range?  When do you want to upgrade?  What are you using it for?

Having given a disclaimer here are my recommendations for Nikon, which is what I shoot.  I think the D90 is great for an entry level camera, I think the D7000 is even better, but it's more expensive.  It has gotten great reviews.  You are looking to spend 1,00-2,000 for a serious amateur camera.

Next level would be the D700.  I'm hoping with my whole heart that Nikon comes out with a replacement camera this spring.  I wouldn't recommend buying one of these unless you get it used.  You're going to want to upgrade to a camera with high def video capabilities soon enough.  Around 2,000

Then there's my camera the D3. There is also the D3x a little cooler and a lot more costly, and the D3s which has video and I want one...bad.  But I'm waiting.  I just have a hunch, more is to come.  These cameras are around 5,000- 8,000

Here's the thing...camera's don't take pictures you do!  So you don't have to have the biggest and best.  For those of us that do it all day, everyday, it's nice to have the good stuff because it just makes like easier.  For everyone else I say save the money on the body and spend it on the lens.  AKA glass.

Lenses are so important!  Don't ever settle for the lens that comes in the package.  They are usually included  cheaper for a reason.  Unfortunately, in the lens world, more expensive does mean better.  A good lens usually costs around 800-2,000.  You can get some decent non zoom lenses for 300-500. My favorite lens is the Nikon 24-70 2.8.  It's great for portraits but would really suck for sports.  So consider the subject matter when you go shopping.   Also in my experience name brand matters.  I've heard some good things about Tamron,  I've never used one.  I have used a Sigma, let's just say I don't anymore.

Question #2

I have so many questions about starting my business.  Do you think I should enroll in an online course or something?

Everyone learns differently, and honestly if you can afford it there are are some nicely packaged programs out there that professional photogs have put their heart and soul into.  I say go for it.  However, if you have the time and not the money everything you need to know is right on the web.  Check out you tube, read blogs, and get on forums.  I spent a lot of time early on submitting photos to a photography social network .  The people on there are knowledgeable and helpful.   Just ask.  There are tons of other forums and blogs.  I would start there unless you are the type of person who can't stand searching the web.  Then I would get package.   The cool thing is that you can make your education your own and it's free.  Happy knowledge hunting.

Ok, that's long!  DANG!!!  Sorry...

I'll end with a picture that explains why I was dreaming about dog collars.  I guess the girls didn't like them after all.