The One with Photography Gear

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Hi friends, do I have your permission to geek out for a little bit here? Awesome, thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

My photography love affair began years ago – probably with the instant camera that printed out teeny little sticker photos? I had an adorable pink point-and-shoot throughout college, but I upgraded to a nicer (still point-and-shoot) Nikon when I started traveling. That Nikon got me some seriously crisp shots during my travels, and I am super thankful for going with a higher quality lens back then. One of my all-time favorite photos was taken with that nifty Nikon, and is so clean.

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The little Nikon (current equivalent here) got me tack sharp images and stunning landscapes, but soon I wanted something with even more capabilities. I dreamed of creamy bokeh, and took the plunge with my first DSLR a little over a year ago. The Canon SL1 is the model I chose, based on my budget and desire for travel. I was initially torn between Nikon (known for sharp images) and Canon (more of a softer feel), but I ended up going with Canon because my main mentor also shot with Canon and I knew I’d be asking her thousands of questions, and because I wanted that soft bokeh that Canon naturally lends itself to. I have absolutely zero regrets choosing Canon. The model I chose is at a really accessible price point (which made it a lovely gift from my father), and is designed as the lightest SLR on the market. This was important to me, largely because I envisioned my main photography outlet being lifestyle – capturing images of my life and loved ones and travel. This camera is absolutely perfect for that purpose, and I love how light and handy it is. It has also performed well in a professional setting, but does leave some to be desired when compared to the big guns. I’ve got my eye on the Canon 6D as my next upgrade if I begin taking more professional gigs.

As far as lenses go, I learned how to use my camera with my kit lens, which was a long process with a steep learning curve. I can’t tell you how many times I would psych myself up to take photos, only to hate every single one. It was frustrating knowing what I wanted my images to look like and not being able to achieve it. After a lot of research, practice upon practice, and time with my photography mentor goddess, I began getting the hang of things and never looked back. After a few months of learning with the kit lens, I upgraded to the 35mm f/2 lens.ย This lens is my biggest crush, and is so versatile, especially on a cropped-body camera where it performs like a 50 mm lens would on a full-frame camera. This lens is a great go-to, and I would recommend it to anyone. Recently, a friend was selling her gently used 50 mm f/1.8 lens, so I snatched that up to have more options in my bag, and because it’s so light and great for travel. This lens is a little noisy, and almost feels too light to be taken seriously, but actually achieves really great shots and can hold its own. This lens is at a great price point, and would be a nice addition to any gear. Because most of my work is focused on portraits, I find that prime lenses are the best investments for me currently. The next lens I’ll add will likely be aย 100 mm lens to nail those detail shots and add more versatility since my two lenses could mostly perform the same purpose.

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As far as editing goes, as soon as I accepted my first paid gig I downloaded and learned Lightroom 6. It’s a pretty intuitive program, and the results are natural and nice (I don’t alter my images to any extreme – the goal is actually to edit as little as possible out of camera). There are a lot of great tutorials out there for the program as well.

And because I’m a total bag lady and am picky about my leather goods (I want it real or not at all), I have the ONA Bowery Camera Bag and the ONA Capri Camera Tote. I use both of these bags for carrying my gear and on a regular basis as my purse sans camera. They’re beautiful and it’s totally excessive to have two camera bags but I love them. The Bowery is great for all day travel, because it’s nice and small and fits my camera plus the essentials – there’s no overloading this bag. The Capri is excellent for toting all of my gear for longer days, can fit extra lenses, a water bottle, and my laptop as well. I use this neoprene wrist strap on my camera, as it encourages me to keep a grip on my camera and ย doesn’t get in the way like neck straps sometimes do.

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That’s all for my camera gear! I love finding out what other photogs have in their bag, and I’d love to hear what’s in yours! All links above are through B&H – I’ve purchased almost all of my products through them and have been so pleased with the service every time (free expedited shipping is my love language).

 

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