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Basic Photography Tools and Equipment

Hey friends! As you probably already know (or you wouldn’t be reading this) photography is a critical component to growing a successful blog or online business. The majority of blog traffic is driven by social media, and social media is driven by beautiful images. When people are captured by a photo you took, they are more likely to follow you, more likely to click through (and page views = money), and more likely to make or buy whatever you are suggesting. Thankfully, the cameras on smart phones have come a long way, and you can get away with using those images until you have money saved up to buy a DSLR camera. That being said, I would highly recommend buying one as soon as you can. Most magazines and major brands will not share or publish photos that are iPhone quality, and that exposure can do great things for your growth. Not to mention, the picture quality is infinitely better. The good news is, DSLR cameras have also come along way, and you can now get a great deal on a starter package that includes everything you need (see below).
1) Canon EOS Rebel T5 DSLR Digital Camera Package Screen Shot 2016-07-20 at 5.02.51 PMAt $419 this package is a screaming deal. With the camera, the EF-S 18-55mm lens, the 2x telephoto lens, the 58mm wide angle lens, the flash, the 59 inch tripod, the UV filter kit, the 24 GB SDHC Card, the waterproof camera case, and camera cleaning kit this bundle literally has everything you will need to get started. If you wanted to go the next step up when it comes to the camera body, the Canon EOS Rebel T6i is also a great option.
2) Adobe Photoshop Elements Screen Shot 2016-07-20 at 5.14.15 PM While there are free online photo editing options and several apps that are cheap, nothing comes close to Photoshop Elements. Take it from someone who is not at all tech savvy, photoshop elements is easy to learn and opens up worlds you never dreamed were possible! Haha. For this busy mama who sometimes shoots when its a little too dark and forgets that a dirty sock is in the picture and certainly doesn’t have time to re-shoot, photoshop elements has saved my butt more times than I can count and I will sing it’s praises forever! Obviously pro editors are going to use the regular photoshop, but even after 4.5 years of blogging and significant improvement in skill I still use photoshop elements every day and it can do everything I need and more.
3) White Poster Board Screen Shot 2016-07-20 at 5.27.33 PMWhen you are just starting out nothing beats the tri-fold white poster board as a backdrop. It reflects light shockingly well and gives you a clean blank canvas to work with. I like using the three fold because you are able to shoot bigger crafts or projects as well as food or small objects. A must have basic supply. I like to keep a couple of black foam boards around for the same reason. Keep in mind that the foam boards will work better than regular poster boards, because they are easier to stand up or prop up without rippling, tearing, etc. Even though the foam boards cost a little more you can typically re-use them a bunch of times before you need new ones so it evens out!
4) Lighting Kit Screen Shot 2016-07-20 at 5.46.21 PM I prefer to shoot in natural lighting, and so I rarely use a lighting kit. That being said, if you live in a place where it gets dark super early in the winter or you are going to be working a lot of nights, or your house/studio doesn’t get very good natural light, this lighting kit is phenomenal. It’s a great deal for the price, folds up small so it’s easy to store, and is super effective. Pam has been using it for years and loves it.
5) Remote Control Screen Shot 2016-07-20 at 5.52.42 PM Sometimes you have to be the subject of a photo and you don’t have a pro photographer around to photograph you! Let me tell you, this little baby has saved my life! For only $7.99 this universal remote control is a no brainer, and it works with basically any DSLR camera! Taking photos of yourself just became so much easier.
6) Photo Backdrop Clamps Screen Shot 2016-07-20 at 6.07.22 PM Okay these clamps are seriously the best kept secret. When you pair them with one of the thick foam boards I mentioned earlier and any kind of fabric, or wrapping paper or whatever, you literally have an endless supply of photo backgrounds in minutes, for dirt cheap. For those of you who want to take the clamps to the next level, this Adjustable Background Support Stand is a great deal as well. Annnnd just because we are bffs now and I like pretty things, how good is this camera case?!! And it’s only $39.99 too! Or this super cute camera strap! Screen Shot 2016-07-20 at 6.33.47 PMDon’t forget if you bought the first camera package that comes with a case though! Happy shooting friends! xo, Jessica Great resource for beginners who don't know where to start with their first DSLR purchase. Really smart and affordable prop ideas too that I never would have thought of!

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Comments (2)

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    Tiffaynee

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    These are such great options! Thank you so much!

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    • Avatar

      Pam Dana

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      You’re so welcome! Thanks so much for the comment, glad you like them!

      Reply

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