I know it can be intimidating making the jump into purchasing a nicer camera. For me, it took almost 4 years of posting pictures on Instagram using just my iphone before my daughter finally convinced me to invest in a real camera.
The big question I always had was.. what kind of camera should I get? There are SO many choices and price ranges of cameras out there and people will give you all kinds of ideas and thoughts on what they believe to be the “best” camera. I was lost whenever I thought about it if I’m being perfectly honest. I wasn’t looking for a camera to capture a cheetah running across the Savannah – no National Geographic quality needed here. ;) For me, all I wanted out of my camera was a bright, light, crisp image of my home. One that isn’t blurry… That’s not too much to ask is it?
Blogging for me consists of 3 key elements: styling, photography, and sharing. Personally, I feel that high-quality photography is extremely important because you can convey so much within a beautiful image. I cringe when I look back at some of the photos from my older blog posts now, because even though the actual styling may look great – the captured image didn’t always come across the way I intended. (and that was after hours of trying to edit my shots)
So.. what made me decide to purchase my specific camera?
I finally made a decision and purchased the Canon EOS Rebel SL2 SLR Camera which I really love. I researched a lot about this camera and found that it was easy to figure out.. even for a novice like me. My friends told me that it had high quality automatic settings that beginners can handle and pros love. It produced amazing images and the price didn’t break the bank. This was very important to me because cameras can get expensive quickly. We bought ours in a bundle which included accessories and multiple lenses. Even with all the lenses however, I find that I tend to use the main lens that came attached to the camera the most.. (EFS 18-55mm) It excels at interior images as well as those with people and cute cavaliers. :)
Something else we love about this camera is the compact size – it’s easy to travel with and it’s not heavy at all. Plus, it’s simple enough to use so if you ever need anyone to take a picture of you.. they will be able to handle it.
The settings are SO simple. I’m talking the simplest of simple. I can achieve a gorgeous light-filled photo within seconds of turning on the camera and shooting. My personal favorite is the Portrait mode with the light knocked up a bit. ( I live for light) Everything looks ethereal as a result which I love. The video capability on this camera is also high-quality enough that this camera can be used for vlogging. We’re going to attempt to do this soon! The screen can flip up and out so you can watch yourself while recording. Love this feature.
One more added benefit is that this camera has a built in wifi that allows you to transfer pictures to your phone or computer without wires. So easy and fast! I’m able to upload anywhere.. even while laying on the beach in Maui.
Other photography equipment that I have:
Camera Tripod: This is such an important piece of equipment! Even with a nicer camera with a great internal stabilizer sometimes shots can turn out shaky.. When placing a camera on a tri-pod this can be avoided. A further step would be to use the Canon App that allows your phone to act as a remote. This takes away ALL movement issues. Click here for the tripod I have.
Gimbal: This stabilizer may seem pricey but I promise that it’s not compared to other gimbals out there. This is for more of an experienced camera-person.. Emma and I haven’t mastered it yet but plan to work on it so that we will be ready when we begin vlogging and videoing. The gimbal is used to keep the camera steady and centered even while walking and shooting – it’s incredible. It’s great because it can be controlled using an app on your smart phone. It also has a 12 hour battery which is so handy! Click here for the gimbal we purchased.
If you’d like to purchase the camera or any of the equipment that I have, I have included all links below. You can click each item to shop it.
The camera even takes gorgeous photos at night!
Since we have such a great camera now I find that I really don’t need to edit very much. However, because I do blog and add my images to each post, I make sure that my name and blog post title is embedded within each image. I do this with Photoshop. I am also able to re-size my photos in Photoshop to the proper image for my blog. Very important for a blogger.
As to actual editing… For years, I spent hours trying to edit my images so that they looked beautiful, bright, and sharp. With this camera, I find that I don’t have to sharpen any images, nor do I need to spend hours editing anymore. A trick that I love to use for editing purposes that has become huge in the last year or so on Instagram and social media is Lightroom Presets. I had no idea what presets were or the difference that they could make to my already nearly perfect images until I used them. I now like to use specific presets that I’m drawn toward to reflect a specific mood or ambiance in any given photo. For example, with a sunset you may want to show more of a golden hue… presets can help with this. If you are at the beach and want the blue water to stand apart from the sky a little.. there is a preset for that. Many Instagrammers love the coral/pink tones when traveling throughout Europe. For some reason those tones amidst the ruins make everything look so romantic yet still pop.
This is the photo before lightroom editing..
This is the photo after! We used this edit for a sponsored post on IG and the brand loved it.
Some of my favorite Lightroom presets include: Greece Collection, Bright White Blogger Presets, and Jackson Groves Lightroom Presets. There are hundreds and hundreds of presets available out there for purchase, and I will definitely buy more going forward. What is a preset? It’s a combined grouping of settings that a photographer uses to create an edited photo. They then sell these popular settings to help you with your editing. It’s amazing the difference these edits bring to a photo. I love having so many different presets on hand directly on my phone (I now use the Lightroom App to edit almost exclusively!) and for Instagram this has been a time saver. I find that I can now take a picture, upload it to my phone using bluetooth, edit in Lightroom usually using one of my favorite presets, and post all within minutes – anywhere. I never did this before. I used to take my pics, edit on my camera edit app, then send to my computer then send back to my phone. Ridiculous! I was veryyyyy picky and it took so much time. Now with the use of presets I have fallen in love with taking photos again.
Hope this post has helped answer some of the questions about the kind of camera equipment I use and ways in which I edit my photos. Remember, I am by no means an expert – just sharing what works for me. I honestly can’t believe how much getting a ‘real’ camera has changed the way I look at taking photos now… I actually look forward to using my camera now. The new Lightroom Presets have also cut my editing time down to more than half of what I used to take. Both contribute to helping me want to learn more about photography as a whole.
Would love to know in the comments below – Have you struggled with taking photos? Do you use your iphone or a real camera? Any Lightroom presets that you’re obsessed with? Pass along the info!
Down the road I think I’ll have to write a separate post all about Lightroom and go into a little more into detail about when I use presets and why. Would you like to see a post like this?
If you enjoyed this post, make sure to check out my blogging & IG journey by clicking here.
This page contains affiliate links.