We've all been there. You get inspired to try something new with your photography and you start to follow people who are doing and you frantically consult Google to learn more about the techniques and gear to get it done. You're excited. Your mind swirls with the possibilities of the new images you'll create. Then reality sets in as you see that a common thread weaving through the research points to needing an arsenal of new gear at a prohibitive price.
But it doesn't have to be that way.
Sure, there are good reasons why the pros use what they use. You can stretch your budget and get the same setup as the high-end photographers who have been working in their genre for years, but frequently if not always, there's a more budget-friendly alternative that will get you in the game with room to grow into the full-on professional setup.
The Phoblographer has a history of publishing solid technique and gear articles about portraiture. In a recent article on ThePhoblographer.com, they look at what it takes to build a Sony mirrorless kist for portrait photography for under $1000. The article assumes you have a Sony camera already, but nothing else.
The lens they suggest came down to a choice between the 50mm f/1.8 which we've written about as one of the true sleepers in the Sony line and the new 85mm f/1.8 which was introduced alongside the 100mm f/2.8 STFG Master at the 2017 WPPI show. In the article, they came down on the side of the 50mm and it's $300 price to keep the overall package below the $1000 mark. We think that can be a good call, especially for someone with an APS-C Sony mirrorless camera like the α6000 where the 50mm acts like a 75mm with the crop factor. If you have a full-frame camera like the α7 II, you might consider spending a little more for the 85mm f/1.8 (which The Phoblographer has called a "perfect portrait lens") to take full advantage of the benefits of your full-frame sensor.
With the camera and lens question sorted, The Phoblographer proceeds to the other essentials for portrait photography. Lighting is critical for making great portraits and lighting tools, stands and triggers are all addressed with an eye on the budget.
See the full article at ThePhoblographer.com.