The Real Cost of Photography

I am a real believer that everyone needs a hobby and that when you find the right one, you’ll see how a vague interest can turn into a passion overnight.

This is what happened to me with photography. I started photographing local scenes with a family camera before receiving my own for my 21st birthday and the urge to save and spend all my earnings on photography equipment has stayed with me ever since.

As much as I love photography and can’t imagine spending my free time doing anything else, I do sometimes resent myself for choosing such a pricey hobby but it’s fair to say, I’m in far too deep to go back now.

I thought I’d share with you the real cost of photography, in my opinion. Not as a way to put anyone off because I truly believe this is the best hobby you could have but just to give you a friendly ‘heads up’ as to what you could be getting yourself in for if you catch the photography bug!


It’s a pretty well-known fact that cameras are now better than ever before, with better picture quality and more technology, packed into smaller and lighter units, however as the abilities of cameras have risen, so have the prices.

The options are endless and choosing a camera is all down to personal preference such as what kind of subjects you photograph, what kind of style pictures you want to take and so on, but whatever you want in a camera is going to come at a price.

DSLR cameras start in the low hundreds and range to the high thousands and it isn’t too dissimilar with hand held cameras, often now used for ‘vlogging’ and blogging.


Many non-photographers assume that a lens is a lens and they all do the same job and that essentially, you only need the one, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. The lens you use plays a big part in the final photograph you achieve, so having a good range is essential if you like to experiment or photograph a lot of different kinds of subjects. Camera lenses can range from £100 to hundreds of pounds, dependent on the brand and style!


As an outdoor photographer, the cost of lighting isn’t something I have much experience of, however people who specialise in photographing people for parties and special occasions or do product photography for blogs or retailers will have to buy professional lighting to enable them to great a bright, clear and sharp shot and these industrial lights don’t come cheap. One of the most popular photography lights is a ring light and these retail for around £100.

Editing Software

Photography as a hobby or career isn’t just about taking the pictures but putting the final touches on them too which is where editing comes in. Software such as Photoshop, a common photography editing software, are paid using a yearly subscription fee, which means editing software is an ongoing cost.


Cases and Protective Equipment

When you have made a real investment in your equipment, you need to care and protect for it when you’re using it, so things like neck straps, carry bags, spare lens covers are all essentials for photographers and all come at their own costs.

SD Cards and Batteries

The days of plugging your camera into the computer to get the images off are gone as we now live in the generation of the SD card, a small and handy card that stores thousands of images and can be easily placed into a laptop to retrieve the images, however these do get full when you’re experimenting with cameras and lenses and snapping hundreds of pictures, so you often need spares. Batteries also die and its good to have fully charged back ups with you when you’re out on a photography mission!

I hope this has been a helpful insight into how much this fun little hobby can cost and maybe helped give you an idea of how much to save and some purchases to make if you’re just getting started.

I’d love to know what equipment you rely on so let me know on twitter – @yomi_rodrig!

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