I decided to start the Creator Chronicle series with photography for one reason; photography is, in my opinion, the single most important aspect to help you land paid campaigns. Without proper photography skills, it’s going to be much more difficult, especially if you don’t have a large social following. Even if you DO have a large social following, improving your photography skills can only increase your earning potential.

The next part of the series will be photography tips and tricks, but for now, you’ll want to make sure you have some of the basic equipment to get started.

CAMERA:

Well yeah, you need a camera to take pictures. But do you need a super expensive professional camera? No. Will it help? Yes. Look, I’m not saying go and invest in pricey photography equipment, because you absolutely do not have to. Phones these days can do amazing things when it comes to photography and if that’s all you can afford at the moment, then so be it, you can make it work! With that said, there are quite a few campaigns that, either require, or give priority to content shot with a DSLR camera.

So what do I shoot with? I do use my iPhone every now and then but most of the time I use my Canon Mark iii. I absolutely do not recommend this camera if you have no DSLR experience as it’s pricey and quite advanced. Not to say that you can’t learn it- but I always recommend starting with an intro DSLR then working your way up once you are actually making money. 

I personally started with a Canon Rebel Ti series (the most current is the T7i) and this is what I would recommend for anyone without prior experience shooting with a DSLR or shooting in manual. The price tag is a lot more affordable than the Mark iii and such a great intro camera! You might notice there is a Rebel t7 as well but I 100% think that if you want to invest in a DSLR go with the i version- even if it’s an older model like the T6i.

If you already know how to use a DSLR in manual and are ready for a full body camera but not quite ready to spend $3000, Ive heard incredible things about the Canon EOS 6D. It’s almost half the price and still takes amazing photos.

LENS:

This is my number 1 DSLR photography equipment tip: Skip the factory lens. No matter what camera you buy; just don’t get the lens that it comes with. It’s never a great lens and there is absolutely no need for it. My absolutely favorite starter lens is the Canon 50mm f/1.8. It’s much more affordable than most high quality lenses but it still gives you awesome photos. I actually still use my 50mm every now and then since it’s also much lighter than the lens I normally use. With that said, I mostly use the Sigma Art 35mm and I truly love this baby. I will say that it can have some focus issues every now and then so I try to readjust the focus every few months with their USB dock and then it’s perfection!

I’m sure I scared some of you with these camera and lens prices, but essentially this is your business and there are always investments that should be made. If you’re not ready to take the plunge and buy DSLR equipment, that’s totally ok. You can absolutely take great photos using your phone and I’ll show you how in the next post.

ACESSORIES:

There are an endless number of accessories you can get for photography but I’m just going to list some of the most essential ones for content creating. These are the items I use ALL. THE. TIME.

Tripod: Ok so I’m not a magician and can’t magically appear in pictures and take them at the same time. As a content creator / influencer, you’ll most likely need to be in the pictures every now and then. This baby is awesome and truly a lifesaver when hubby isn’t around to capture photos of me in them. Or if you want family photos without a photographer.

Tripod arm: Ever see those cool overhead shots with the subject’s hands in the photo? Well you need either a friend/ husband to take those… OR one of these. I actually take a bunch of these types of pictures for product campaigns, so it’s definitely a must have for me. It’s silly that this little gadget is more expensive than the tripod but I truly think it’s because there are very limited choices for these while tripods are super common. But rest assured, this one is really high quality!

Wireless Remote for DSLR: This is the best thing ever. It syncs to your DSLR camera and eliminates the need to turn on a timer. It has truly saved me so much time and allows me to take pictures with me in them so easily. Also, it’s crazy cheap so there’s that!

Phone attachment for tripod AND wireless remote: I believe the tripod above already comes with one, but if not, this little guy is super cheap and good to have extras of. If you’re anything like me, these things tend to disappear. This set also comes with a wireless remote for your phone (as opposed to the DSLR remote above) which is an absolute MUST HAVE.

Selfie Ring with tripod: So I actually JUST ordered this because a big part of my job is taking various forms of video. This particular one is really highly rated so I’ll give it a go and let you know what I think. It comes with a small tripod, phone holder, and wireless remote but I still highly recommend the larger tripod as well since it’s bigger and also works with a DSLR. This will be extremely useful for instagram stories as well as testimonial videos, both of which I do really often for campaigns!

COMPUTER SOFTWARE: 

You can definitely edit your photos on your phone, but to be completely honest, it’s a lot easier on the computer. I do both, and generally for my Instagram feed, phone edits are just fine. But for campaigns, I find it much better to use my laptop. You can really get in there and work on the little details. 
 
I really only use one program, Adobe Lightroom. I used to have the software you buy and then have forever, BUT I recently switched to their monthly service and have absolutely loved it. They also have a photography bundle that comes with Lightroom and photoshop, but it’s more expensive so I opted out of that for now- it might be something I upgrade to in the future. I’ll talk about editing and Lightroom in more detail later, but it’s by far the best editing software/ app I’ve ever tried and couldn’t recommend it more. 

OK, so hopefully this helps answer some basic equipment questions. 
Stay tuned for Photography tips and tricks- including favorite presets, apps, etc! And as always, feel free to shoot me any questions you might have, I’d be glad to answer them! 

 

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