So, I feel like one of the questions I get the most is what type of gear I use to take photos. Perhaps I should have put this post together long ago, so I could easily direct people, but today is the day! I’m sharing every piece of equipment I use to take photos, extras that make things a bit easier, what’s worth the spend, and more. So, if you have ever wondered what the photography gear behind the blogger and travel writer is, today’s post is for you!
My Photography Gear
Let me first address something really quickly — I love taking photos and capturing moments. It’s something I’ve always been really interested in, but I am not a professional. It’s something I do strictly because it brings me joy. Everything I’ve learned has been by the grace of online tutorials, amazingly talented professional friends and practice. That said, I also think that photography goes so far beyond what gear you use. It requires an eye for composition, knowledge of editing, lighting and more. I am in awe of professional photographers and the talent they bring to this world!
Okay, now that I’ve gotten my small disclaimer out of the way, let’s get started.
My Photography Gear: The Cameras I Use + Love
Nikon DSLR Camera – Most people are really shocked when they learn that I shoot on a Nikon, and on such a basic model. My theory is that – it still works! It still takes a great photos! I like it! …so why should I replace it until one of those things changes? This is the model I learned on and I actually purchased it in the same bundle offer they’re offering here. It comes with two lenses that are very straightforward and great for learning how to use it!
DJI Drone – I’ve loved aerial photography forever, but flying in helicopters isn’t my specialty. When drones started to get more popular, Dane and I invested in one, he took a class on flying, we registered it and the rest is history. We really love our drone, but traveling with it can be tricky, as more and more places are banning them. Definitely do your research if you plan to travel with one (they are easily confiscated!).
GoPro – We had a GoPro when we first moved to Hawaii way back when they required a waterproof housing. Said housing cracked, our GoPro was ruined and then the warranty didn’t cover case issues, so I was #TeamNoPro for awhile. BUT! We did eventually replace it and we’ve definitely gotten our money’s worth. Our experience diving with sharks and pilot whales probably paid for it all in itself, but we also love it for videos and other water-based adventures.
My Photography Gear: Fun Camera + Photography Extras
Underwater Dome – We bought this dome for our GoPro for a trip last year and then forget to pack it – FACE PALM! We’ve gotten to use it quite a bit here in Hawaii, though, which has been awesome! If you’ve ever wondered how to take split photos where half the photo is above the waterline and half is below…this is your answer. I will warn you that this piece of equipment definitely requires a learning curve and there is a good bit of trial and error (I’m still learning!) when it comes to taking photos worth keeping. Here is another great option on Amazon, too!
Sigma Zoom Lens – This is the big daddy of lenses and I pulled the trigger on it before our trip to Iceland. It’s great for shooting long range distances and I knew I would want to capture the sheep of Iceland and animals of Kenya, so it was a worthwhile investment for those trips alone. It’s been awesome here in Hawaii for shooting wildlife as well. Not a lens I use daily (and certainly not one I would have chunked money down for when I first starting), but I do love it for the occasional animal shots 🙂
Admittedly, this zoom lens was also awesome for capturing the Super Blood Wolf Moon a few weeks ago, too!
Nikon 50mm Lens – I would say that if I had to choose one lens I shoot on the most, it’s this one. It’s not a wide angle lens (so know that up front!), but I use it for landscapes, food, the dogs, travel — basically, multi-purpose. I have seen a big difference in how it changes the look of my food + cocktail photos (more crisp) and it achieves the bokeh look (something clear in the front, but blurry in the back) that works well for lifestyle photography.
Tripod – Real talk: I didn’t have a tripod for a long time. Then I decided to get one, but I bought a cheap one and the second time I used it, one of the legs snapped off. Woof. So, I recently invested in a sturdy, high-quality tripod and it has made all the difference. If you plan to use a telephoto or zoom lens and want clear shots, I highly recommend a good quality tripod.
GoPro Accessories Pack – When people message me to ask about a GoPro, I ALWAYS direct them toward this amazing package. It’s so affordable and has every GoPro accessory you could ever want. We have used nearly every accessory in some way and it’s well made and a fraction of the GoPro-branded price. Well worth it!
Adobe Editing Software – This is an investment over the long haul, so be sure you’re ready to go all-in when you do it. You can pay all at once or monthly, so maybe a monthly subscription would be smart if you aren’t sure yet. I use Lightroom to edit my photos, but when I was first beginning, I would edit for free on my phone using different photo editing apps. [3 Lightroom Hacks Every Amateur Photographer Should Know]
And there we have it…all the photography gear I use and love as a blogger and travel writer. Did I miss something? Feel free to leave any questions below!