So you want to start blogging eh? Well, you have come to the right place! In this post, we will cover the 10 Best Photography Essentials for Better Blog Photos. Some essentials are cheap while others are not. Your core items like your camera and lenses will be worth the investment and last for years. You have to spend money to make money, right?!
10 Best Photography Essentials for Better Blog Photos
At Just Darlin’ Y’all, we have plenty of resources to help you along the way. Blog topics like 10 Everyday Items To Use As Photo Props and 10 Tips To Help You Style Your Social Media Photos. We also have a gorgeous stock library if you don’t have time to take your own pictures or you don’t own the proper equipment. Let us take some stress off your shoulders! Check out our stock membership here Just Darlin’ Y’all Membership Plans.
1 | Camera
Of course, we need to start off with the obvious. Owning a camera. There are tons cameras on the market to choose from. Before you start window shopping, research and read about crop sensor (APS-C sized sensor) vs. a full frame camera. You need to be aware of the differences between them.
Everyone wants to know what to look for when buying a camera. It really depends on what you are going to be doing with your camera.
- Are you going to be using it just for blog photos?
- Do you think you will want to use it for portraits?
- Travel photography?
- Your kid’s sporting events?
Whenever I purchase a camera, it’s for everything. I don’t want to be limited. Therefore, I am not going to go with an entry level camera. However, an entry-level camera may be perfect for your needs.
- The Canon EOS Rebel Series and the Nikon D7200 are good beginner cameras that have an APS-C sized sensor.
- If you want to get a little fancier, the Canon 5D and 6D series, Nikon D610, and Nikon D750 are full frame cameras.
Qualities that I look for in a camera are:
- high ISO
- low noise at high ISO
- two wheels to operate aperture and shutter
- lots of focusing points
- high frames per second
- large LCD screen
- Kelvin adjustment
- high megapixels
In order to know what is right for you, you need to do the research. There are no shortage of blog topics and forums out there that will review the camera that you are interested in. If a fancy camera is not in your budget, you can always start off low and upgrade a couple of years down the line. Take baby steps. As your business grows, then you can start reinvesting money back into your business with better equipment.
2 | Lenses
If someone recommends you a 50mm focal length lens on a full frame camera, it is a true 50mm. On an APS-C sized sensor, a 50mm will equal a 75mm-80mm focal length. If you have a long focal length, it will be hard for you to hold your camera and take flat lays. You would have to stand on a stool to get a good viewpoint.
- A go-to-lens for photographing flat lays with a full frame camera is the 50mm f1.4 lens.
- If you are using an APS-C sized sensor, you can choose a Sigma 30mm F1.4 (it will equal between a 45mm-48mm) or a Canon 35mm F2.0/Nikon 35mm F1.8 (it will equal between 52mm-56mm).
- If you have an APS-C sensor, then you will want to plug in the ‘mm’ focal length into a converter to tell you what the true focal length will be on your camera. My go-to online millimeter converter is Digified.
These lenses are great for allowing a lot of light to come in and they are good quality lenses. They provide a good angle that is not too wide and not too long. Perfect for standing up and bending over to take a flat lay.
Before purchasing any lens, make sure that the lens works on your camera body. A lot of lenses on the market are for APS-C cameras and not full frame.
3 | Reflectors and Clamps
Reflectors are must when photographing blog photos. Quite often you will get dark shadows on one or more sides of your objects. You will want to bounce light with the reflector to help fill those shadows in and make them softer.
- When purchasing a reflector, it isn’t necessary to spend a ton of money. Going with a lesser known brand will be just fine.
- As far as sizing goes, I always say the bigger the better. The bigger the reflector the more like you can reflect!
- I own the Fotodiox Pro 42″ 5-in-1 Collapsible Reflector. It comes with black to block out light, gold to reflect warm light, silver to reflect cool light, white to bounce light, and translucent to diffuse light.
Purchasing clamps from the hardware store will save you drama if you need to keep your reflector from falling over. You can simply clamp it onto an object to help stabilize it. Hand clamps are also good for securing your foam board to an object to provide a backdrop. To find super cheap clamps, go to Northern Tool or Harbor Freight.
4 | Diffusers
Diffusers are great if your light source is really harsh and bright. A translucent diffuser will soften that harsh light like magic!
- Just like with reflectors, you do not need to go with a highly known brand.
- Amazon has a great selection for inexpensive diffusers that come in a 5-in-1 reflector set.
- Amazon sells Neewer 43″ 5-in-1 Collapsible Reflector for $19.99.
Since 5-in-1 reflectors are relatively inexpensive, I suggest purchasing two. That way you can have 2 options to help with your lighting. Maybe you need two white bouncers, or a reflector and a diffuser, or….you get the picture!
5 | Tripod
Sure, you can get away with not purchasing a tripod. If you want to save yourself a lot of back pain, then get a tripod. I suggest splurging and getting a tripod that comes with a boom arm or purchase a boom arm separately. That way you can take straight on shots and shots from above.
I have only used Manfrotto tripods so they are the only brand that I can vouch for. They are expensive, but you get amazing quality with the price. Manfrotto tripods are super sturdy. I have been having my tripod for over 11 years with no issue whatsoever. It’s a tank!
If you do not have the cash for a Manfrotto, your next best option will be finding a budget friendly tripod on Amazon. As always, please read all of the reviews before purchasing to ensure that the tripod will be good quality and do what you want it to do. I suggest going to BhPhotovideo and Adorama to look at a wide range of tripods with expert reviews.
6 | Trigger
If you are using a tripod with a boom arm, you will want to purchase a trigger. Using a trigger will eliminate having to step on top of your flat lay to press the shutter button. It will also to help eliminate any camera shake.
If you are using a slow shutter speed and press the shutter button with your hand, you may slightly move the camera which will slightly blur your photo. Amazon sells a SUPER inexpensive trigger, Amazon Basics Wireless Remote. I have not personally used this trigger so please read all reviews to ensure this trigger is right for you and that it works with your camera.
7 | Photoshop
If you really want to become a master blog photographer, then you need to use what the pros use. Photoshop! If you subscribe to Adobe Photoshop, you will also get Adobe Lightroom. Both have the capability to edit photos. Photoshop is the larger program out of the two.
You could design a website in Photoshop if you wanted to! Having an appropriate editing program will allow you to tweak your photos to perfection. You can remove unwanted objects, make your photos brighter, saturate colors, etc.
8 | Foamboard
White foam board is cheap and easy to find. You can use the foam board as the background for your flat lay or you can use it as a backdrop for shooting straight on. You can also use a white foam board to bounce light! Grab the biggest piece you can find. If you are shopping at Hobby Lobby or Michaels, don’t forget to use your 40% off coupon.
9 | Natural Light
In order to take good pictures, you need good light. If you are shooting indoors, go to your natural light. Natural light will more than likely be your windows or a door. If you need more natural light, think about stepping outside. Find a shaded area (but not too shaded). Don’t forget about your reflectors and diffusers. You will need help bouncing your natural light to fill in harsh shadows.
10 | Props
Of course, you need something to photograph right?! Make sure to plan ahead for your flat lays. Get a good game plan by jotting down notes and ideas. Make sure to read our blog post 10 Tips To Help You Style Your Social Media Photos to help guide you in the right direction for know how to find good props.
We hope these tips will help you to have a better photography experience!