I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while! I shared a few basic photography tips on my IG stories the other day and was BLOWN away by the amount of feedback and questions I received. I was originally planning on writing a post dedicated to both my photography equipment + tips/tricks but it was WAY too long, so I’ve broken them up into 2 posts. This is Part 1 which focuses on my equipment!
I’ve owned several cameras and photography tools over the years, but the ones listed below are the current products I use. In terms of where I’ve bought them, half have come from Amazon and half have come from B&H or the Adorama store in NYC. What’s great about those stores is that you can trade in your old camera(s) for $ or put them towards credit for a new one. If you’re wondering about buying used/refurbished cameras, I’ve bought several refurbished camera bodies and lenses and been very happy with all of them. It’s a great way to save hundreds – sometimes thousands of dollars on the equipment you want. Just make sure to buy anything from a trusted source like B&H or Adorama.
Canon 5D Mark III
This is the perfect camera body for both amateurs and professionals. The Canon 5D Mark IV is the latest version. It’s essentially the same, but it has wifi which is great for transferring images quickly. Do not skimp on buying a padded travel case for your camera. I have this one from Manfrotto. FYI NEVER check or store your camera in your suitcase. Always keep it secure in your carry on bag or purse – this goes for your lens as well!
Canon 50mm f1.2
This is the lens I use to take all of my blog photos with (when I’m not shooting with a professional photographer.) It takes the most gorgeous photos and I cannot recommend it enough. The Canon 50mm f1.4 is essentially the same lens for a fraction of the price BUT it broke on me twice despite being super careful with it because it’s made of plastic. It’s just not a sturdy lens in my opinion and after replacing it twice (it would have cost almost the same to repair it as to buy a new one) I should have just bought the 1.2 from the beginning. If you plan on traveling with your camera at all, invest in the 50mm f1.2. And 100% invest in a lens case to go with it. Every time I travel with my camera, I detach the lens from the camera body and store each separately in padded cases to protect them from bumps, water spills, etc. This set of 4 lens cases will fit a variety of lenses and is only $20.
Sigma 18-35 f1.8 for Canon lens
I use this lens to shoot wide angle shots like a travel landscape photo or an interior decor shot of an entire room. (The 50mm lens I mentioned before is a fixed lens so you can’t zoom OUT and capture something like an entire skyscraper.) What I love about the Sigma is that it’s relatively affordable, and can be a universal lens if you don’t want to invest in both the 50mm and this one. I’ve never found a lens that can capture both close up/beauty/fashion photos and landscape shots as well as this one can.
Sony a5100 16-50mm
This is a small handheld camera that can fit in your purse. It comes with a flip up screen so you can see yourself when you’re filming which is really helpful. If you’re interested in taking on-the-fly video content or vlogging, this is a great camera. The Canon 5D Mark III has video capabilities but it’s quite heavy and not ideal for vlogging. The pictures come out decent on this Sony camera so it’s a nice option if you don’t want to carry a big DSLR camera around.
DJI Mavic Mini
If you’re looking for a professional grade drone that’s travel friendly, you’ll want to invest in this one. The DJI Mavic Mini is such a cool device and I’m so happy Thomas got it! It folds up in the palm of your hand and can fit in any purse. It’s small enough to be legal in most places and delivers the clearest, high res video footage.
I take 99% of my Instagram pictures and videos on my iPhone now. The quality has gotten so good and it’s just so convenient!
This is the small ring light I use for my beauty videos on Instagram or Youtube. I recently got it last month and so far love it. A ton of other bloggers use it as well. It really makes a difference in terms of lighting and skin tone in both photos and video. Your iPhone seamlessly clips into the middle of the mirror.
Large Ring Light
As I was writing this post, I realized I bought this large ring light 3 years ago and have never used it – oops! It’s sitting in my storage closet untouched. It’s quite big and I’ve just been too preoccupied to figure out how to set it up! Plus I really like shooting in natural light and make sure to only shoot on sunny days. A larger ring light is great if you don’t have good lighting in your home, or if there’s a dark corner in the background that needs to be brighter. It also helps brighten/soften your skin texture in photos.
I bought a tripod for my Canon 5D Mark III in case of emergencies (if I ever needed to shoot myself at home.) I haven’t used it yet because Thomas is a great photographer, but it’s definitely nice to have as a back up. And it’s ideal for filming video, or shooting interior shots if your hand is a bit shaky!
I import any photo I want to use into Lightroom and then edit it with a few easy steps that I will share in my next post.
After I edit my photos in Lightroom I drag them into Photoshop to finish. I tweak a few things which I will share in the next post!
That’s it for my cameras and equipment! I am looking to invest in a Leica in the near future because I’ve been wanting a camera that is smaller than my Canon to travel with, but still right up there in terms of image quality. Everyone who has owned a Leica has raved about it to me, so that will be my next splurge. I hope this post was helpful!