This one-stop photography gear guide contains my hand-picked gear recommendations for fellow photographers and attendees of my Adobe Lightroom Training classes. You’ll find my own personal recommendations on everything from photography kit to editing hardware and book recommendations.

Computer Hardware, Software and Accessories for Photographers

Computer Monitors

One place photographers absolutely can’t afford skimp on is their computer screen(s). Your monitor is your window to your digital photography. My recommendation for the best price/performance balance is Dell’s aptly named UltraSharp range with IPS panel technology.

My top picks depending on the best size and budget fit are the 24” Dell UltraSharp U2417H-2, the 25” Dell UltraSharp U2518D and the 27” Dell UltraSharp U2719D.

Monitor Calibration Device

Once you’ve invested in a great screen, especially if you regularly plan to print your work, it’s important to calibrate your screen to an industry-standard using a colourimeter. My recommendation is the Datacolor SpyderX Pro.

Photo Editing Software

It’s no surprise that as an Adobe Lightroom trainer I am a strong advocate of the Adobe Photography bundle, which includes both Photoshop and Lightroom for around £10 per month. Adobe continuously supports both tools and add new features. I also love that I can continue to edit my photos on the go via my tablet and phone with the same subscription.

Loupedeck+ Editing Console

Designed from the ground up to be the perfect editing partner for Adobe Lightroom, LoupeDeck+ is the ultimate editing tool. The dials and wheels all correspond to sliders within Adobe Lightroom and the tactile feel makes editing feel more natural and precise. A necessity for any professional photographer or serious amateur.

Graphics Tablet

I use a Wacom Intuos S with Bluetooth connectivity. It’s a great addition for doing detailed work in Photoshop and Lightroom and comes in at well under £100!

Storage & Back-up

Digital photography is very demanding on digital storage space, especially if you shoot in your camera’s native raw file format (which I highly recommend).

What’s more, your photo collection is extremely precious; just imagine losing all those years of memories and work! If you value you and/or your clients’ photos at all, it’s vital to have two types of back-up: local and online (also known as off-site).

Local Storage & Back-up

Local storage and back-up solutions come in the form of a simple external drive or, if you want a more complete solution, a NAS (Network-Attached Storage).

External drives are the most simple solution: just connect the drive and use software (many external drives come with back-up software) to back up your files on a daily/weekly schedule.

External drives typically come in two flavours – ‘Portable’ and ‘Desktop’ – and I personally recommend Western Digital drives. Portable drives are small and usually self-powered from your computer or laptop’s USB port. Desktop drives are physically larger and usually have an external power adaptor which requires additional power via an adaptor plugged into a wall outlet. Desktop drives can be faster and a little cheaper, however, the tidiness and convenience of their portable counterparts make them a better choice for most photographers.

If you’d like advice on selecting a NAS solution, I’d point you in the direction of a Synology DS218J with 2x 4TB Western Digital Red drives. However, if you’d like more advice please get in touch.

Online Back-up

Local back-ups are fast, inexpensive and convenient; however, they don’t protect against fire, electrical faults, flooding and theft. For this reason, if you want to ensure complete protection of photos, you also require an additional off-site (online) back-up solution to be completely protected.

The good news is that online back-up solutions are usually very affordable. I strongly recommend iDrive as an easy-to-use, trusted and reliable backup provider. They are the company I personally use. The Personal plan is (USD) $70/year for 2TB storage and $99.50 for 5TB. 25% discount available via my referral link

Camera Storage

Most modern cameras utilise SD cards as their primary storage, and my preferred brand is SanDisk. Their Ultra range of SD cards offers fantastic value for money, while their Extreme Pro range offers uncompromising performance (faster read and write times).

Please check your camera uses SD cards, as old DSLRs do not and some newer high-end DSLRs and mirrorless models also support (currently very expensive) XQD formats.

Warning: there are many counterfeit SD memory cards on the market. I strongly recommend you never buy SD cards from eBay, and if buying from Amazon ensure it’s Amazon directly (below the Buy Now button you’ll see ‘Dispatched and sold by Amazon’) and not a partner. If you are unsure, please contact me.

If your computer or laptop doesn’t have a built-in SD card reader, for the quest possible download of your images use a USB 3 SD card reader.  

Personal Recommendations for recent customers and Lightroom students

For Frank:

Microsoft Office 2019 Home & Business

For Kerry:

SSD and enclosure

For Neil:

Samsung Evo Plus Micro SD

I’ll let you choose the size according to how much you want to spend. The 128GB, 256Gb and 512GB or all good value. 

For Heather:

Hub for MacBook Pro

This will allow you to attach your charging cable and several USB devices (external drives) at once, as well as having a built-in SD card reader!

USB-C Cables

These will allow you to connect your drives to standard USB ports on the hub above. Get two packs if you need it.

SD Card Reader

If you want to leave the hub at home with your drives still connected when you travel, this is a little portable SD card reader that connects directly to the ports on your MacBook.

Promoting your Photography Business

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