I originally began my business as a family photographer. At the time, my gear was relatively simple. In fact, I photographed all of 2015 with a Canon Rebel T3i and a 50mm lens. That's it. Of course, my gear has expanded, though I certainly don't have the illness that some photographers fall victim to: GAS, or Gear Acquisition Syndrome.
While I'd love to buy every lens or light modifier or accessory that excites me, I just can't. (I want my family to be able to eat and to stay in our lovely home in Columbus.) I buy something when I'm certain my company needs it. The great benefit to not buying gear too often is that I really get to know what I have. I learn the in's-and-out's, the intricacies, the pitfalls, every little detail of each lens or flash or tripod. Do I own things I'd like to replace? Of course. But I can make my business work with what I have.
That's my biggest piece of advice to any photographer learning the craft and perhaps starting a business: be successful with what you have. You can make a business work with minimal gear. You will thank yourself later because you will learn how to use your current gear, and you will understand why it works for you (or doesn't!). Sticking with what you have forces you to be creative and to solve problems in unique ways. The solution is (almost) never a new piece of gear; it's learning how to create photos with what you have.
My current gear is the result of a two-and-a-half year evolution from weekend warrior family photographer to the still-mostly-weekend warrior family, event, headshot, product, wedding (sometimes) photographer who also writes about and teaches photography to others.
I recently published a detailed gear list on the Photographers' Cooperative. I list everything I use for photography and give you a quick paragraph or so about each piece of equipment. I'm pretty honest--if I don't like a piece of gear, I say it. And if I love it, I say that, too. Check it out here.
If you have questions about gear or just want to know my opinion about something you're thinking of purchasing, reach out to me. You can find me on Facebook or email me firstname.lastname@example.org.