While Jenny and I have considered ourselves "amateur photographers", we've truly grown to love and enjoy capturing moments and memories with our cameras. Ever since we started blogging it's been something we've had to learn and grow in. Lucky for us, we were able to take a really good digital photography class together in college which helped us feel so much more comfortable handling a DSLR. Over the years we've experimenting with various lenses, lighting, editing tools and photo styles and it's been so fun to hone in on our photography skills.
At this point in our business and in our personal endeavors it's become something we do on almost a daily basis! From instagram photos, to blog posts, to filming or just taking pictures for ourselves. Learning basic skills in photography is such an incredible and important skill to have, especially for those in the blog/hand-maker/small business/youtube/social media world. -- Today we are sharing with you our favorite gear for taking beautiful photos. These are things we use regularly and LOVE...a lot! They've helped us improve our skills as photographers as well as improve the quality of the photos we take on a regular basis!
1. CANON 70D + CANON REBEL - I started out using a Canon Rebel t3i and LOVED that camera! I used it almost daily for a handful of years and we used it to take all of our blog photos and I shot all of my YouTube videos on this camera. It was so good to me! Recently, Jenny and I decided to upgrade our cameras and purchased the 70D. What a beautiful camera! We love that is has WIFI capabilities and we can connect our phones to the camera to pull of photos we've taken. I personally love that it has an automatic zoom feature during video mode so the subject always stays in focus. The rebel camera series are perfect for beginners. It's truly a wonderful camera. If you're looking in the more intermediate/advance range and don't want to spend a couple K's on a Canon "Mark" we have loved our 70D's so far. They are sturdy cameras, have flip screens and both take beautiful photos.
2. 50mm + 28mm + 35mm + 18-125mm LENSES - It's my opinion that the lens makes the camera. You can have a stellar camera and a not-so-stellar lens and still get "ugh" photos. It's important to invest in a good lens that will suit your needs! Right now Jenny and I used 4 different lenses between the two of us. Some have similar features, some have better prices and some are great for video! I've done a little comparison below of our top recommended lenses.
* 50mm f/1.8 - (Above photos taken with a 50mm lens) Almost everyone would recommend picking up the "nifty-fifty" this is a must-have lens at a great price point. If you are looking for one lens to start off with, get this lens! It takes beautiful photos and can shoot beautiful video too. At $125.00 it's an AMAZING price! This lens is also great in low-light settings and has a beautiful depth of field making the background soft and blurry and the focus sharp an in focus.
* 28mm f/1.8 - (Above photos taken with a 28mm lens) This is the lens I currently keep on my camera at all times. I use it to shoot all of my thumbnail images for my videos and I often use it to shoot my b-roll for my videos. It takes great outfit photos and home photo too. An all-around GREAT lens. It also does well in lower-lighting settings and is just lovely. One of my very favorites.
* 35mm f/2 - (Above photos taken with a 35mm lens) Jenny just purchased this lens with her 70D upon the girls at A Beautiful Mess's recommendation. Similar to the 28mm, it's a great everyday lens that you can use for so many different occasions. It's also going to be great for products, food, outfits and home photos. The main difference between the two is that the 28mm is going to offer you a slightly wider angle on your photos that the 35mm but they are both great and have a similar price point.
* 18-125mm Lens - I ended up getting this as the kit lens with my 70D. I wasn't sure at first but now that I've had some time to play around with it, I'm loving it! While it's not my favorite for shooting photos (I would definitely pick the 28mm or the 35mm), it is a great lens for shoot video. I love that it offers a silent auto-focus so you can't hear the focusing during video shoots. It also picks up great on the lighting and I'm still able to achieve a pretty blurred background. (If you buy this lens with the 70D you can save some money!)
3. RAD LAB - (Screenshot of Rad Lab above and all photo examples where edited using Rad Lab) As far as editing goes, Jenny and I LOVE and have been using Rad Lab for years. It's a program that works within Photoshop or Lightroom. Once you've opened your photo in Photoshop you can open it within Rad Lab to edit. What I love about this program is that you can easily toggle and play with actions. They have previews of your photo with the various actions applied to the right of the program and you can add as many as you want to your photo and make any adjustments you want. You can even save your favorite recipes to use later. It's easy to use and the actions are BEAUTIFUL. Our very favorite! I 100% recommend it! (Also be sure to check out Get Totally Rad's other products!)
4. CANON G7X - This is a bonus recommendation! If you're looking into vlogging and shooting video on the go, this is THE camera to get. It shoots amazing quality and I LOVE it. Btw, be sure to check out my "How to be a YouTuber" e-course if you're interested in learning more about video gear and running your own channel! Here is an example of a vlog shot with a G7x.
5. KELLY MOORE CAMERA BAGS - We've both been through and tried out our fair share of camera bags. A favorite has always been Kelly Moore. Her bags are multi-functional, sturdy, beautiful and LAST! I love my KM bag and I've had it for years. I currently use it as a diaper bag and it's perfect for that too! I'm thinking about getting a new one soon. ;)
6. ABM PHOTO IDEA BOOK - (Photos of Idea Book above shot with a 50mm lens) As a fun inspiration resource, check out the ABM Photo Idea Book. It's beautiful and it has so many great thoughts on shooting pictures, challenging yourself and getting creative.
7. AFTERLIGHT APP - (Photos above edited using the Afterlight app) And finally, a phone app! Jenny and I take a lot of picture with our phones (we both own the iPhone 6 plus), and so it's important for us to have a good editing app that we can use for our social media outlets. 97% of the time we are using the Afterlight app to edit our photos. We'll either use photos from our DSLRs or directly from our phone and edit them in this app before posting on Instagram. It's an incredible app and can do so much! Check out our Instagram accounts here: Jenny | Savannah
That wraps up our top photo gear recommendations!! If you have any recommendations to add, please feel free to leave your suggestions in the comment section below! Thanks so much for reading friends and happy snapping!! xox