“I don’t think about what camera I should use that much. I just pick up the one that looks nicest on the day”— William Eggleston
You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on equipment to make boudoir photographs. You might consider purchasing a used camera. Only about one-third to one half of the camera bodies in my Canon and mirrorless systems were purchased new. The rest fall into the general category of “used” cameras and buying used equipment is a great source of bargains. When a new digital SLR comes out, lots of photographers who want to be the “first kid on their block” with the newest camera trade their old cameras in for the latest model. This is the best time to buy the previously latest model and let the other person take the big hit on depreciation.
There are subsets of used cameras called “demo” and “factory refurbs.” My EOS 1D Mark II N was a demo unit that was used to show the camera to prospective buyers. It was never sold before and so has the warranty card but it has been handled, the box has been opened, and somebody—maybe lots of somebodies—played with the camera. Camera stores offer demo gear from time to time so it pays to work with a sales person on a regular basis to keep you informed of these bargains. Refurbs are similar but somebody may have previously owned it and there may or may not be a camera warranty in the package.
Used cameras are available from many sources. For more than twenty-five years, I purchased used equipment from KEH Camera Brokers and they both a trusted source of used gear for me. Many local camera stores, such as Englewood Camera in Denver, have a selection of used digital SLR and some camera clubs or organizations sponsor camera shows at local hotels where you can actually see, hold, and feel used gear that’s available at favorable prices. Lastly don’t forget that your friends are a good source of used cameras to purchase.
And lest we forget, there’s eBay. I’ve bought and sold many cameras and lenses on eBay even from camera stores in Japan and have been happy with the purchases. (Tip: look for sellers with a 100% rating.) While the bargains that abounded in eBay’s early years have pretty much disappeared, it remains a great place to locate hard-to-find items.
The final point is that I don’t care if the cameras are used; I’m going to use them anyway. It’s like getting a door ding in a new car, the first one is painful but you get over it. With used equipment—cars or cameras—I don’t mind if maybe they even come with that “first dent,” now I can just use it happily shooting and making photographs.
My book Joe Farace’s Glamour Photography is full of tips, tools and techniques for glamour and boudoir photography is available from your friendly neighborhood book or camera store as well as at Amazon.