What I Recommend for Photographers Starting out!

Back when I was regularly teaching photography classes, I was often (and still am) asked the question "What kind of camera should I get?" I almost always follow up their question by asking two of my own:
1. What do you plan on shooting?
2. Do you have a budget in mind?
    First off, let me say that this is my opinion, based off my experiences and what works best for me - which might not work best for you. Generally, for someone just starting out, I am going to recommend a DSLR body with at least 10 megapixels. As for a brand, these days you really can't go wrong with just about anything. I personally shoot Canon and have loved it since my first Canon Rebel XSI. But Nikon, Sony or Pentax are just a few of the many companies making quality cameras for beginners and pros alike. To help get you started, I would recommend any of the Canon Rebel cameras or even the Nikon D3200 and D3300.

My first digital camera (DSLR) a Canon Rebel XSI. With my Canon 50mm f/1.8 lens. My go to combination for a long time.

My first digital camera (DSLR) a Canon Rebel XSI. With my Canon 50mm f/1.8 lens. My go to combination for a long time.

   Now for the fun part: what lens to get? Really, that is the most important question and the reason why I ask both my questions above. Most people starting out tend to tell me that they are unsure of what they want to photograph. There are a plethora of situations and lenses I can recommend but for someone just starting out, I say go with a '50 prime' lens. Now what is a prime lens and why do I recommend one? Well, simply put, a prime lens doesn't zoom, it's fixed at that focal length. I recommend it for a couple reasons the first having a '50' works as kind of a jack-of-all-trades. It lets you dabble in most types of photography and it's the closest perspective to the human eye. Also, the most important reason, in my opinion, is that a prime lens will force you to move around. I have seen countless photographers just take out their camera and stand there like statues, never moving. Forcing movement helps encourage a new photographer to work composition which is half the battle when starting out. Lastly, a basic 50 prime like the Canon 50mm f/1.8 STM (which I have the old version myself) is a budget friendly and great value lens to get. Getting into photography is an expensive undertaking but there is no need to go buy the 3000 dollar lenses and cameras if your just starting out.
    As I said, this is a basic recommendation from me. I would recommend no matter what kind of gear your thinking about getting, do research and read reviews first. What is your favorite thing to photograph? Landscapes? Portraits? If you have any specific kind of lens or cameras you would recommend, please leave a comment below. I would love to hear from you!