Blog Photography Equipment for Beginners to Advanced
As a professional photographer I prefer to take my own photographs for my blog and magazine articles. Current statics show original images make a huge difference in social shares and engagement, especially on Pinterest. So, what do you need to get started? This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience, read full disclosure policy.
3 Phases of Blog Photography Equipment
Phase 1 Beginner
At this stage of blog photography you’ll be improvising for things you don’t have. Such as creating your own backgrounds and using only a window for lighting. I recommend finding the best natural light source in your home for photographing handmade projects or baked goods.
White Foam Board
Use a white foam board in place of a reflector. Read my full tutorial here for working with a white foam board in Little Known Blog Photography Hacks.
DSLR Camera and Kit Lens
If you’re just starting out, I’d recommend a basic DSLR, such as Canon T6, to help you get the job done. Use the lowest ISO and F Stop you can to get the most detailed photos with the lowest digital noise. And always shoot in manual, learn how in the Ultimate Blog Photography Bootcamp!
Phase 2 Intermediate
By now you are more familiar with your camera and shooting in manual mode. So, it’s time to upgrade some of your blog photography equipment. Start with your lens, a real photography reflector, and begin implementing the use of a tripod when needed.
Most basic cameras come with a lens that is well matched for general use (usually an 18-55mm kit lens for Canon/Nikon). I recommend upgrading from your kit lens to a fixed 50mm lens. This lens makes it so easy to soften and blur the background while focusing on your subject, just like in the photo above. See how the lens is sharp and everything behind it is softly blurred.
Reflectors are very easy and effective for pointing and reflecting natural light. They can easily manipulate light and remove shadows. Use a reflector to point light back on your subject. If you are photographing a group of objects, play around with the reflector until it points light to the area desired. You can find a set of reflectors for twenty dollars or less like this set of 5 portable reflectors. Now, that’s an affordable investment!
A good sturdy support for your camera lets you take incredibly sharp and detailed photos. In addition to a perfectly steady video, all of which helps to bring viewers to your site and keeps them coming back. Basic tripods are a good start, but an upgrade like this one will make your life easier in the long run. With a tripod, you can use shutter times of 10 seconds or more to get perfectly sharp and detailed blog photos like the image below.
Phase 3 Advanced
Awe yes, you’ve made to the advanced level of blog photography! Now’s the time for the final upgrade of your blog photography equipment – a.k.a. finally buying the camera you’ve been dreaming of. Learning to use artificial light to reduce shadows and gain more flexibility shooting with a remote shutter are advanced techniques you’re gonna love!
Want more flexibility in your blog photo shoots? A wireless remote shutter can help with that! Place your camera on your tripod and build your scene. Frame your subject and start shooting. Do like what you see? Want to move something, but don’t want to change your camera settings? Keep your camera in place and use the remote shutter to capture your shots, while you move things around. Speaking of movement, capture it with a remote shutter. Mix your cookie dough or bath salts and capture the steps on camera with your remote shutter! The wireless remote shutter I use for my Canon camera is the photo above (you can find it here). It’s just the right size to keep in my pocket, ready to use when I need it.
Umbrella lights are priceless if you struggle with finding natural light. They are a forgiving light modifier that bounces light back on your subject. They create a soft allover light while reducing shadows and evening out the lighting. With a little practice umbrella lights can be an asset to any blog photographer. This the set of umbrella lights I use on gloomy days.
At this point, you’ll be ready to invest in an advanced camera for results you just can’t get with a standard DSLR. While a wide format camera like a 6D Mark II isn’t necessary for blog photography like it is for portrait photography. A camera that reads light better with an ISO range up to 2600 or higher can give you incredible results! A more advanced camera also comes with better image quality which equates to more clarity in your photos. I upgraded to the new 77D model from Canon this year and I am loving the results!! If you are on the cuff of investing in an advanced camera, I recommend shopping online for cameras and accessories, no matter your price range. I always look for deals at Ritz Camera and Amazon, both of which offer free shipping!
Make an investment in your blog photography and join the ranks of the Ultimate Blog Photography Bootcamp or enroll now in the 5 Day Challenge to Better Blog Photography where you’ll receive five incredible lessons to improve your blog photography in no time!
What phase of blog photography are you at? What’s your favorite blog photography equipment? Share with us in the comments below!