When it comes to photography and blogging, we have a few essentials. Our camera gear goes the long haul and has provided for 4 years of images. It’s still going strong. We’ve been able to shoot for major companies and bring beautiful images to the world. The setup is simple and not overly complex. We’ve let natural light, crushed blacks, and brighter whites take the lead in our images rather than being overly editorial. (Don’t get me wrong, I love images that feel editorial however, for the daily tasks of blogging, I tend to have images feel approachable.)
About paying for a camera. What if I don’t have loads of cash?
When it comes to starting a blog, most will ask me what is the best camera and set up to start with. With each budget there’s a solution however, I find that with camera gear, it’s best to look at it as an investment. It’s something you’ll have for decades if you take care of it. It will pay for itself hundreds of times over. If I’m perfectly honest, there’s certain things that I willingly get into debt for. While this isn’t my norm, when there’s an offer like 18 months financing same as cash and I know I’ll be able to pay it off I go on ahead and do it. It doesn’t put me in as much of a financial bind and allows for my credit to build. Both Amazon and Apple have these offers. This is how I’ve been able to source my gear for the past 5 years. For many creatives, without the right gear it’s incredibly hard to work on your goals and begin creating, that’s why I took the jump.
Camera: I use a Canon 6D. This camera was purchased for a variety of reasons. I knew that eventually my camera would be used for vlogging as well. This meant one thing. My camera needed to be able to shoot in a full frame. The 6D is the most affordable full-frame camera in the Canon line. While this conversation also steers toward lenses, I opted for Canon over Nikon due to the color. The colors are warmer and more saturated pre-editing.
Shot on Canon 6D with 35 mm lens, low light Shot on Canon 6D with 50 mm lens, bright light
Lenses: I only use prime focal length lenses. When researching options for lenses I opted for prime focal length lenses for a variety of reasons. Rather than an zoom lens, with these lenses your feet serve as the zoom. Unless you’re doing wildlife, sports photography, or photographing a ceremony from a distance, you truly don’t need a massive zoom. With Prime lenses, they capitalize on a shallow depth of field and are great at playing with light. For lifestyle photography and food, they truly are the best. I shoot with both a 50 mm and 35 mm (wide angle) lenses. The 35 mm was a lens I picked up last year and I’ve loved using it to shoot interior spaces. My apartment is somewhat small and to make the space look larger, the 35 is perfect.
Flash: While you won’t typically use a flash unless you’re doing event photography, this one has become a necessity for shooting recently. (I recommend shooting in natural light when possible. It creates the best images and makes life much easier in post-production.) This is a great beginner flash and is quite affordable with a rechargeable battery. (No more having your flash die mid-event, like on previous models from Godex.)
Tripod: I began with this affordable tripod. It’s still the one I use today. It’s a great, portable, and light. Perfect for wherever your adventures might take you. With multiple levels, 3 adjustable heights, and a pan and tilt handle, it has the features you would expect for basic photo and video.
Backdrops: When it comes to lifestyle photography, there are loads of tips and tricks as you invest in backdrops. For product photography I choose to use simple foam core boards from the dollar store. These serve as bounces and fill cards, backdrops, and can even have fabric floated for a seamless drop. Once I chose to invest in vinyl, I opted to shop here due to the great recommendations I had received. Wow. So worth the investment. I’ve purchased the marble and concrete. They’re stunning, wipeable and roll up for small space storage.
Lightroom and presets: I use presets from Mastin Labs, A Beautiful Mess, and Jenna Kutcher. All of my edits are completed in Adobe Lightroom. I couldn’t recommend any product more for photo editing. It is truly the best. Invest in the $20 a month and pick up Lightroom.
We hope this answers any questions you might have and gets you started as you create stunning imagery for your blog. There’s always equipment you can add as time goes on, but we love the basics above and they’ve served us for almost 4 years strong!
Have any additional photography and styling questions?
We’d love to hear from you! Let us know in the comments below.