It's undeniable that I'm a closet photography geek, and I'm often asked about the equipment I use to take my blog photos. I've done a couple of photography posts in the past, which you can find here and here should you so wish, and I'll be turning this into a series to address the many aspects blog photography covers, but today I'm talking gadgetry - from my setup, to my favourite camera accessories, to the little must-have accessories that makes taking my photos so very much easier.
M Y S E T U P
I just wanted to give a quick nod to my setup. I generally take my photos next to a set a french doors which open out onto the conservatory, although I tend to roam around the house finding the light which could lead me to underneath the skylights, or in our bedroom for example. My white backgrounds, the backdrop to most of my flatlays, are nothing more than some foamcore laid on the ground, or the world's most inexpensive table (My food photography setup, like here, is very much different so let me know if you'd like some info on that in another post). I do use reflectors to bounce light - I think they're great if your light source comes in from one direction like mine, and this one is really versatile.
T H E C A M E R A
I get asked this question in particular so frequently so I hope this little write up helps somewhat even though unfortunately, I use a discontinued Sony SLR which I've had for several years. I am well informed however that the Canon 700d and Sony A58 are incredibly comparable alternatives. Whilst everyone automatically gravitates towards Canon and Nikon, I think Sony make some really excellent cameras that offer surpreme quality, control, functions and value - not to mention that the official lenses and accessories are often less expensive. I'd thoroughly recommend not overlooking them when making your decisions, having used their photography equipment for years I really love their stuff - and I think in due course I'd love to step up to one of their full-frame mirrorless numbers!
T H E L E N S E S
I used solely the 18-55m kit lens for the longest time, which is a great all-rounder lens - I still use it for my flatlay photography and for scenery, as it's pretty versatile when you're out and about.
I've now got a macro lens in the SAL35F18 - a gift from F, and an A mount lens that will fit the Sony A58 mentioned above. This little beauty is what I use to get super close-up shots, it focuses nicely down to f1.8 and produces photos with both clarity and smooth defocusing. Whilst I'm always adjusting the settings to suit my lighting conditions (or distinct lack of), I'll generally stay around ISO 100-300, 1/125 - 1/250 shutter speed and f2.2-2.8. It's also worth having a look at Sigma and Tamron lenses too, regardless of which body you have, as they're great quality and you can sometimes find yourself a bargain.
O T H E R C A M E R A S
For on-the-fly shoots, I rely on both my iPhone 6S (128GB was absolutely worth the extra pennies!) and Sony RX100ii compact camera, the latter of which is an exceptional little pocket rocket. Whilst not an SLR, it takes really special photographs, and it's size and weight are a huge benefit.
C A M E R A A C C E S S O R I E S
I mentioned in a previous tips post of the importance of a tripod in low lighting to stabilise your shot and prevent blur. There are a wide range available, at all price points. I've used this basic and inexpensive tripod for years and it's served me well, especially for the price, with a firm base with rubberised feet and a little podium for your camera. I'm looking to upgrade to perhaps this Manfrotto or a Benbo in the near future so do let me know if you've any tripod recommendations!
To hold my photos, I use this SD card as I save in both RAW and jpeg, which takes up a lot of space! One little 'good practise' I try and upkeep is backing up my photographs, for which I use my 128GB drive, as it's so teeny tiny and portable, although I've recently found these little flashdrives, compatible with the Apple iPhone/iPad lightning connection so you can free space on your phone and transfer quickly and easily between gadgets - a really useful little piece for when I'm taking photos on my phone. Another little accessory that I love is my SD card case - a waterproof outer with little slots to hold your cards. I've never known where to carry or store my cards before stumbling upon this so it's possibly one of the best £10 I've spent on photography yet.
If you're new to photography or on a budget, I'd really recommend checking out Neewer if you haven't already - they have a whole host of accessories and add ons and lighting bits and bobs at a really affordable price level.
S H O P T H E P O S T
I hope you found this little round up of my kit useful, and I hope my camera equivalents make up for no longer being able to buy the exact model! I'd love for you to share your kit favourites below, and let me know what aspect of how I take my snaps you'd like to see in the next segment ;)
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