It’s so exciting, yet so frustrating at the same time. And, when it comes to the blogging world it can make or break your brand.
When I first started blogging I knew nothing (really, nothing) about DSLR cameras, which lenses to use, ISO or Aperature. I spent soooo much time researching what I should purchase and how to use it and honestly, I was overwhelmed. Every blog I read seemed to have better photos than mine and every Instagram feed looked flawless. Yes, I was playing the comparison game hard core, and frankly, I wasn’t cutting myself a break.
Finally, I stepped back a little bit and did some research, and now i’m finally in a place where I feel great about my blog photography. Is every picture perfect? Not even close. But, I get DMs and Emails all the time asking what camera I use, how I edit my photos and more. So, today I figured i’d finally sit down and answer a few of your questions about the equipment I use. Keep in mind, I’m not a photographer. But, this process and this equipment works for me, and I think it will work for you too!
Let’s start by getting the number one question out of the way….
Do you need a DSLR?
To keep it simple….yes. Are there bloggers who just use an IPhone? Yes. Do they typically have strong websites? No. So, if you’re just focusing on Instagram I think you can start with an IPhone. But, Instagram is fickle. A blog is nothing without high-quality photography.
Is it expensive? Yes. But, how much have you invested in your site, your clothing, your brand. Odds are it’s roughly the same amount if not more. It’s all about ROI, and I have a hunch the DSLR will pay you back tenfold. With me? Then lets talk about different types.
Nikon or Cannon?
I read a ton of articles before I decided on Cannon. But, to be honest I don’t think you can really go wrong with either. Both are incredible systems, and it really comes down to what you’re most comfortable with. I went to a few different stores and help both types in my hand, and strongly suggest you do the same.
Because I shoot with Cannon, that’s what i’ll be talking about here. But, i’ll be sure to link a similar Nikon body style/lens where I can.
Which Camera Body is Right For Me?
If we’re giving an award for the best starter camera for bloggers it would undoubtedly be the any of the Cannon Rebel bodies. I started out with the Cannon T5I and can’t recommend it enough. It’s really a great little camera, and helped to teach me the basics of photography. There are tons of different models [T5I, T6I etc.], so i’d suggest doing your research to determine what you need based on your skill level.
Admittedly, I skipped the mid-level cannon camera and opted to upgrade fully when I swapped out my Cannon Rebel. But, this Crop sensor is quite the camera. If you have the money, i’d suggest starting with this instead of the Rebel. Basically, it gives you a wifi enabled camera and a higher ISO which will enable you to shoot in darker locations.
I made the shift to to a Cannon 6D about a month ago, and it’s truly like night and day. Really, I keep telling J how much of a difference I see and I think he may be getting tired of it (hah!). Essentially, these are professional grade cameras that are also full frame. This means that the camera itself can take in more space in a given photo. This is especially good for me, because I showcase a lot of home decor content on the blog. And, have a full frame helps me capture an entire room.
If you’re a blogger, save yourself some money and go with the 6D over the 5D Mark III. Yes, there are differences. But, they aren’t very substantial unless your looking to become a professional photographer. It’s definitely worth a google if you’re conflicted.
My advice? Go with the best camera you can afford and then start studying up. If you take a look at my posts, you’ll see a huge shift in photography quality from the posts of old to today. And, most of that shift can be attributed to learning more about ISO, Aperture and Shutter Speed.
Let’s Talk Lenses
First things first: Don’t ever use a kit lens. A kit lens is a lens that comes with a body, and, well, it isn’t great for bloggers. I’d suggest buying the bodies on their own and then selecting one or two lenses from the list i’ve put together below. I do have all of these in my camera bag, and can swear by each and every one.
This was the first lens I purchased, and I adore it. It’s great for showcasing outfit details or photographing food. It also gives that blurry background look that all the bloggers love, while still being relatively simple to use. That being said, there’s no zoom on this lens, meaning you’ll have to walk closer to and further from your “subject”
I added this lens to my kit when I purchased my new Cannon 6D, and it’s been pretty life changing. It’s a wide-angle lens which I adore for my full body shots as it makes me look leaner and taller. It’s also been AMAZING for my home photos, because it enables me to capture an entire room in one photo. GAME CHANGER.
I also purchased a zoom lens for travel, but haven’t really used it for blogging. I will say, this comes at a really reasonable price and allows me to capture some awesome content on our vacations!
My camera bag has certainly grown throughout the years, but it boils down to this: Invest in good equipment, and then invest in teaching yourself how to use it. I promise, it’s worth it!
More photography/editing tips to come 🙂
Have a question? Shoot me an email or write me a comment below!