Updated March 18, 2018
If there’s one thing I love (aside from makeup, obviously!), it’s tech gear. Throughout the years, I have made it a point to learn photography and videography to the best of my ability and budget. I want the experience on my blog and social media to be as professional as possible. I am really into getting the best gear for the price. I research the heck out of everything before I purchase!
Keep in mind, I am not a professional photographer. I am a blogger who relies heavily on my gear for photography and videography. This is what works best for me! One other thing I should note – to save money on the more expensive items like cameras and lenses, I buy used on Amazon! I’ve always had great experiences on there and have never received anything faulty.
Anyway, let’s get to the gear! If you’re interested in learning more specific vlogging tips and tricks, I recommend you check out this post from last year.
My favorite photo and video gear for blogging and YouTube:
Canon 60D // This is the DSLR camera that I use. It is a step above an entry level DSLR, but a step below the professional ones. What I like most about this camera is that it has a swivel screen, which makes it especially great for videos. The only thing I do not care for is that it does not have continual autofocus while in video. It’s not a complete deal breaker, because I don’t really need it. If you feel like you do, I would suggest a Canon 70D or Canon 80D, which are the newer models of my camera. Any of the Canon Rebels are a fantastic camera to start out on!
Tamron 28-75mm Lens // This is my new favorite lens! It is a great zoom lens that has the ability to do so much. I love how I can get a wide angle if I need it, or to zoom in and get a blurry background. The F stop goes all the way down to 2.0, which is awesome! A lot of people compare this to the coveted Canon 24-70 lens, but I am not a professional photographer, so I can’t justify that price tag. I honestly think it’s worth getting this lens over the kit lens, if you are buying your first DSLR.
Canon 35mm f/2 Lens // I adore this wide angle prime lens! I really like it for filming and portraits. It has more of a “human eye” type of feel to it.
Canon 50mm f/1.8 Lens // If you get a DSLR, don’t even bother with the kit lens. Just buy the body and then grab a nifty fifty (or the Tamron I mentioned above if you have a little extra more to spend). It’s a great price and will help you with portraits and product photography. It’s not my favorite for videos, because I prefer a wider angle, but I do love this lens.
FlashAir Wireless SD Card // Fun fact – over 80% of my Instagram photos are from my DSLR. I have been using this wireless SD card for over 2 years now, and it makes getting photos from my camera to my phone a breeze. There’s an iPhone app you can open up and download the photos straight from the camera to your phone. It’s a total game changer!
Wireless Camera Remote // This makes videos and self portraits so much easier. I have two because I always seem to be looking for one! Haha!
Photography Reflector // This is such a help when shooting product photography indoors. Some say you should get a white board to reflect light onto the subject, but this performs a million times better. My close friend Anne got me this (she and her husband are photographers) and it is a well used gift!
Camera Microphone // I don’t know why I waited so long to purchase a microphone to plug into my camera! I did a ton of research before buying, and some compared this microphone to the popular Rode ones that are over $100. Such a small investment that has improved my audio quality for my videos immensely!
USB Microphone // Another purchase that has improved the audio quality of my videos! I use this for voice overs for video and it sounds a kajillion times better than the crappy built in microphone on my MacBook. And it’s easy to use – plug it into the USB port and go! I also did a lot of research on this one, and made sure it was comparable to its more expensive alternatives.
Ring Light // Boy, was it a headache to get a ring light that actually worked. I went through about 3-4 others from another brand, and finally settled on this one. It’s great for filming videos, but not that great for photography.
Umbrella Lights // These are great lights if you are on a budget and need some help! I will say, though, that they don’t provide the strongest light. I love using them for fill light or to light the sides of the video frame. I use them occasionally for photography.
Soft Boxes // If I were to do it again, I probably would just go with a couple of soft boxes. They’re bigger and they take up a lot of space, but the quality of the lighting is amazing. I actually think I may buy some anyway because I am a gear-o-holic!
And some things I rely on for some good photo styling:
Marble Cutting Board // This is a great investment I made for product photography. It’s real marble (and heavy, too!), and I love that it photographs so well. Contact paper with a marble print is also totally fine, but I also use this thing as decor when it’s not in use for a photo. I also do love that it photographs a little reflective, like real marble does.
Fluffy White Rug // Great neutral background for product photography, and it provides good texture. I use this thing all the dang time! I love it!
Colored Foam Boards // I picked these bad boys up at Hobby Lobby near the custom framing area. They are a great size for styling photos. Just check out my Instagram – it’s full of photos styled with these!
Large Photography Mats // I think this is what they’re called? I headed to my local art supply store (Texas Art Supply) and picked a few of these babies up. They were at the back of the store near the framing supplies. I also have seen a few at Hobby Lobby. Shout out to Michelle for telling me about these! They are huge! They come in various colors, and I absolutely love to use them as my filming backgrounds. I mean, just check out my YouTube channel…. pretty all of my recent videos are shot with me sitting in front of this! I prop it up on top of a step stool and sit on the floor to film. I’m real high tech. Oh, and that headshot in my sidebar? Totally used one of those as the background! Just look how big they are… I had a toddler sit in front of one for size reference! Haha.
I think that about covers it! For my next purchase, I think I am going to go for a mirrorless camera. I’m leaning towards the Sony a5100 or the Samsung NX500. I can’t get over what great photos and videos they take! I know, I am ridiculous, but I love my tech gear. Be sure to check out more Blogging Tips before you go.