As with any business, there’s a lot of research and personal decisions that you’ll need to make over the years, but here are some basic resources to get you started:
I highly recommend joining Professional Photographers of America. Membership supports a non-profit that is constantly working to better the profession, offer educational resources, equipment insurance, copyright advocacy, advice, etc. I’ve been a member since 2007! Join here.
If you have a local camera shop, buy your equipment through them. I used to buy all of my cameras from our local shop in Tampa where I really appreciated the advice. Unfortunately, most people were buying online, and they went out of business. Now I purchase my equipment through Adorama and B&H Photo.
The debate used to be Canon vs. Nikon. Now it’s film vs. DSLR vs. mirrorless. I shot film when I first started. Then I switched to digital and kept adding to my stable of Canon lenses. I’ve added a Fuji mirrorless for underwater work. Someday I hope to switch to all mirrorless simply to reduce weight, but right now I’m very happy with my Canon 5D Mark III and IV. Choose a system to shoot with, invest in lenses, and then stick with the system. Switching systems won’t make you a better photographer, but good lenses will make you a happy photographer.
Photography is a very physical sport! Keep your body healthy. Practice to yoga and Pilates. Stretch. Swim. Lift weights.
Get the weight off your shoulders! I love my belt system by Spider Holster. It’s worth it. I’ve recently added a second holster and pad, which is really necessary for weddings.
I asked for some advice from the trainers at my gym. See what they told me here: