We have never taken a photography class in our lives (although we really wish we had) and have never had any formal training on how to use a camera. We definitely would not call ourselves “professional photographers” but we do feel confident in saying we have really grown to LOVE using our cameras and taking photos.
Our secret tip? PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE. We have come a long way (as evidenced by some of our embarrassing old posts) and give practicing credit for any and all our improvement over the past few years.
Before the blog, the only camera we had ever used were those tiny point & shoot cameras that we took out with us in college. Looking back now, bringing a camera out & documenting those college nights wasn’t always the best decision (#holyembarrassing). But we share this fun fact to prove that if we rookies can teach ourselves how to use a DSLR camera, then we’re confident that ANYONE can! <– that means you!
And it’s never too late to start. When B’s sister had her baby this past summer, she invested in a DSLR (with a little encouragement from B) and taught herself over the course of her maternity leave how to use it. Instead of recruiting Auntie Bridget to come over and take photos, she takes all of her son’s photos herself. Four months later, she’s already gotten pretty darn good at it and will only get better and better as her son grows up.Since we get asked about our photography favs quite a bit AND think the holidays could be the perfect time to add some of these items to your wish list, we thought we would finally create a post to share all of the products we use and love.
Our Photography Equipment
1. Canon EOS 70D // 2. Nifty Fifty // 3. Wide Lens // 4. 24-70mm Zoom Lens
5. Go Pro // 6. Tripod // 7. Reflector // 8. Microphone //
9. Nautical Camera Bag // 0. Light Kit // (not pictured) Shutter Release Remote
Camera: When it comes to our actual cameras, we both have a Canon EOS 70D and couldn’t be happier. They’re very user-friendly and the price isn’t too crazy. If you’re looking for a good DSLR, we definitely recommend this one. We rarely use the lens that actually came with our camera body. Instead we use 1 of the 3 lenses below.
Tripod: A tripod is essential if you want to achieve crisp & clear photos. Unless we’re shooting outside or in a very bright setting, you can bet we are using our tripods. We don’t have a specific one that we both use & love (we picked ours up in local photography shops), but this one on Amazon has amazing reviews.
Nifty Fifty: This 50mm lens is exactly what you need for close-up photography. You can use this lens to achieve pictures where an object is in focus in the front with a blurry background. We’ll often switch to this lens when it comes time for close-ups. Plus it’s so inexpensive! A little over $100 for a lens? Craziness. This is a must-have for any photography enthusiast.
Wide Lens: This is a new lens for us both and we purchased it so we can showcase a better wide shot during room reveals. It’s crazy just how wide this lens can go (as evidenced by the picture of Bridget’s dining room above). If you go too wide, it can look a bit fish-eyed so we try to avoid that. However if you’re a home blogger like us, you should definitely consider this bad boy. This lens would also be awesome for the realtors tuning in!
24-70mm Zoom Lens: This year we splurged and got this lens. It was pricey (so we only got 1 to share), but it is now our go-to. It produces gorgeous photos and can capture both wide & tight shots. It’s not the lens we use most often, because we don’t have to swap the lens out when shooting a project. We will say that it is super heavy…so it may not be the best lens to use when traveling. However, we’ve taken it on every blog trip so far because the photos it produces are just that good!
Reflector: Reflectors are a great accessory to have because they can do 2 things. First, they can help bounce light into corners of a room where you need a little extra light. Second, you can take off the zipper cover and use it to diffuse when you have too much light. We don’t often use our reflectors when we’re shooting solo (because who the heck is going to hold it?!), but when we’re together we use it all the time.
Light Kit: Our light kits get used pretty frequently too. We mostly whip them out when shooting a space with no natural light or if it’s a very dark and cloudy day. This light kit is inexpensive and has all the basics.
Go Pro: We have this Go Pro and wish we used it more because it’s just so cool! We are going on a trip to Mexico for New Year’s, so we’ll probably bring it to capture some underwater video and photos! But a go pro is always nice to have to do a time-lapse of a big project, although we are often too wrapped up in the DIY to remember to turn it on and off. #oopsM
Microphone: Although we don’t do as many videos as we’d like, when we do record one together we will use this microphone attached to the top of our camera. It captures our audio a bit better than the camera mic, although there is certainly room for improvement!
Shutter Release Remote: A game changer when you want to take photos of yourself and don’t have a photographer. Bridget recently used this remote for her family’s holiday photo. Instead of asking someone to take it, you can set up the tripod and use the remote to release the shutter on the camera. So easy to use & an inexpensive accessory. <– Can you tell who is holding the remote in this picture?!
Answer: My brother-in-law Joe (in the maroon plaid shirt) is “secretly” holding the remote in his right hand.
Camera Bags: When you’ve got lots of equipment, it’s important to keep it organized! We each use a Jo Tote bag to keep our gear in check. Bridget has this one & this one, and Casey has this one. They’re great because you can move around the compartments so your items fit snugly and securely inside. Plus they’re super fashionable and look like a normal purse!
If you don’t know how to use a DSLR but really wish you could, we encourage you to make a commitment and give it a try… what’s there to lose?! Like we said before, if we can teach ourselves we are pretty darn confident that anyone can figure it out. And the holidays may just be the perfect time to take the plunge…
Snap, snap <— pun fully intended. #getit? 😉
Looking for more photography inspired posts? You may want to check out some of these!