What We're Shooting & Editing With
We're not about to waste your time explaining how important quality photos are if you're trying to run a blog, or an Instagram, or really ... like... anything. Great photos are clearly v important, and one of the things we first invested in when we started this blog was high quality equipment and editing software. Unfortunately, it still took us a solid two years to be less awkward on camera, so maybe include some tequila on your shopping list if you're about to start your own blog or lifestyle Instagram account.
It's been four years since we first purchased everything, and though we're likely due for an upgrade, we haven't bought anything new at all. So, while all the purchases below may seem pricey (and they ARE, hunny) - starting with high quality equipment hopefully means less expenses in the future. And look, we're not oblivious here, if the items below are way out of your means or budget - that 100% does NOT mean you won't be able to create fantastic work. This little article is a great resource for taking incredible photos on your iPhone - which has an amazing camera and is much more affordable then the DSLR camera listed below. There are also iPhone tripods you can use to take self portraits, etc. Options, people - options!
Everything below is something we have and love, unless otherwise noted. We did a good bit of research before making these purchases, and we'll let you know anything we've learned from using the products for the last four years!
THE CAMERA + LENS
We shoot with the Canon 5d mark iii with a 24 - 105 mm lens ($3,450). This camera and it's newer model are basically the industry standard when it comes to professionally shot photos for websites, magazines, etc. The new model, the Canon 5d mark iv with a 24-105 mm lens ($4,000 with Amazon Prime), is pretty similar with one big difference - it's got WiFi, meaning you can take photos using your phone, see what the camera sees on your phone in real time, and send yourself photos immediately. It's a fantastic upgrade, but in our opinion not one worth spending another $3-4k at this time. The links provided give you the option to purchase the body only, or the body + a lens, depending on your needs.
APPLE LIGHTNING TO SD CARD CAMERA READER (LIFE SAVER!!!)
This SD Card Reader for iPhone ($28) saved our lives when taking photos to post immediately while on the road and without a WiFi enabled camera. You just slip in your SD card, pop the thingy into your iPhone, and boom your photos are imported. Instagram = post. Photos = liked. Death = dropped. Life = saved.
For times when we can't force a friend to take photos of us, or can't locate a photographer (especially hard when traveling), we use a good ole' tripod and self timer combo. We couldn't find our exact ProMaster tripod online, so they must've stopped making, it but we use a model similar to the ProMaster Specialist Series Tripod ($300) and have really loved it. It's pretty heavy duty and stable. It's not the *easiest* to travel with cause it's kind of bulky, so in retrospect we likely would've bought the Manfrotto BeFree Compact Aluminum Travel Tripod ($165). It's a bit less heavy duty, but a little less expensive and it's size is more compatible with travel. That being said, if you don't need to take your tripod with you while traveling, the original tripod listed is probably your best bet quality wise.
Don't carry your camera around your neck or in your hand, it's just not a good idea. Maybe this isn't news to you. If you want to go the fashion forward route, as we did, check out the Leather Bowery Bag in Antique Cognac ($249). It's gorgeous and can literally be used as part of an outfit. The one downside is that it's not the most practical when carrying around more than one camera + lens as it's rather small and there's not really any size-able storage compartments. If you're looking for something more heavy duty and for a cheaper price, this Kattee Vintage Camera Bag ($40) looks awesome. First, it's got style without being expensive, and second it's got storage for multiple lenses and side pouches for any accessories. It looks like it comes in quite a few colors for those of you not digging the army green! Note: we have not used the Kattee bag and therefore cannot vouch for it's quality.
ADOBE CREATIVE CLOUD
The Adobe Creative Cloud ($600 annually, we pay $50 monthly) is our biggest asset when it comes to photo editing. To be honest we mostly only use Lightroom to edit photos, but occasionally will use Photoshop for something more graphic-oriented. There's an photography package option that gives access to Photoshop and Lightroom only, but for just a small bit more monthly, you can have access to the entire suite (including Premier, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, Audition, Spark, all their mobile apps, and a ton more that we haven't even explored yet), which we found very useful once we started producing more video content.
And that's really all the gadgets and equipment we use for the website and Instagram! It's just a handful of quality stuff that has made our lives and work much easier. We hope this helps!
xoxo Matt & Beau