How Would You Spend $1000 to Improve Your Photography?

Buying Food Photography Camera

A student asked this question at our discussion,

I have a budget of $1000, how should I spend it to improve my photography?

This student already has a camera with kit lens and a 55-300 lens.

It’s a good question. It’s about priorities and understanding what area of your photography would you like to grow?

The answer to this question is different for everyone and only you can find out the answer.

So, if you had $1000 to spend, how would you spend it?

Would you buy a camera? Or a lens? Or a tripod? Or a software? Or Books?

Here’s what I would do

I would probably buy a good tripod.

And a TLR.

That is all the gear I would buy.

And remainder? Read on.

So let’s do the numbers.

Manfrotto Tripod Legs – $254
A good TLR – $50-$100. Unfortunately I have not been able to find one that I would really like (original Yashica or Rolleiflex) so this would be a compromise. If you don’t know what TLR camera are, take a look here.

That would leave me about $600. With the remaining budget, would book a week long trip somewhere close to Bangalore (which is where I am right now, incase you would like to meet, share your email here.)

What about you?

Now how would you spend your $1000? What would you do?

In the comments below, tell us how would you spend $1000 on improving your photography. What would you buy?

Photo Credit: 55Laney69
  • Rob Stathem

    I would purchase new lighting equipment with a number of accessories to go with the lights. As far as what make/model of lights, I have no idea. I would first rent and try out the lights that got me the best results and then I’d purchase my favorite lights.

  • Buy a very nice, professional prime lens. A good lens will last longer than the camera body and you can use it to do what will always improve your photos no matter what gear you own: practice!!!! Good luck!!

  • Mike

    I would take as many photography/art classes as $1000 would pay for. Taking classes to keep up to date would be the best use of the money for me.

  • For that amount , I’ll buy a Canon 100mm macro 😀

  • I would purchase:
    50mm f/1.8 lens ($150 ish)
    Tripod (Manfrotto has good mid-range products can find something around $350)
    Adobe Lightroom 5 ($150)
    Andrew Scrivani’s CreativeLive Food Photography course ($150)
    5-in-1 light modifier, 36″ or larger ($50)
    Use the rest to go shopping at flea markets, garage sales, 2nd hand shops, etc. for vintage props, and go to a home improvement store to purchase wooden boards and paint to make backgrounds, etc.

    • Olga

      Oh, Jenn,
      The first things I thought about were Andrew´s courses on CreativeLive on food photography and Lighting Techniques.
      Manfrotto tripode would be lovely.
      And I was thinking of 50mm/1.4 lens
      I´m lucky to have Lightroom, paying monthly to Adobe around 6$/12 month.

  • I would buy Manfrotto 550 ProB with ball head for overhead shots.
    Then spend some money on a good course for lighting.
    Some basic props, putting together a portfolio and spend the remaining (if any) as and when I need.

  • I’ll buy a Canon 100mm macro 😀

  • Now this is food for thought…
    I would buy a good tripod {with a ball head for those overhead shots}, a camera remote, a telephoto lens, photo editing software, a manual photography interactive course, yet another external hard drive … and yes, book a trip if anything remained.

  • Fernando

    I’ll spend the whole budget in photography workshops and classes. Learning by doing is great, but you need solid instruction first!

  • Filip

    -Yongnuo YN560 II Flash and wireless triggers
    -Sigma 30mm 1.4 ART
    -cheap LED light