I’ve been asked a lot about what camera I use, what lens I shoot with, how I take photos by myself, and so on.
Well, it’s time to write a post on exactly that!
At first, I used my Google Pixel to capture all the photos on my blog and Instagram when I first got started in 2017.
I still managed to capture some really shots like these two:
But my blogging career drastically changed in June 2018 when I got my DSLR.
Well, my photo quality increased significantly.
People might say that a phone is all you need to blog- but take it from someone who used their phone for the first year of their blogging career.
You want a camera instead.
Since then, I’ve invested in some pretty awesome camera gear, and it’s time to share exactly what I use with you all!
I actually started off with a Nikon d3400- and ended up selling it for way less than it’s worth when I decided to join the big leagues and make an investment in my career.
The Nikon d750 changed my work life and was one of the greatest purchases I’ve ever made.
Like I mentioned earlier, prior to this camera I mostly captured images on my phone. When I switched to my camera, it was like putting on glasses I never knew I needed!
The images are way sharper, so much information is captured in the shadows, and I shoot images in RAW (instead of JPEG) to retain as much detail as possible.
Once I shoot my photos, I edit them in Adobe Lightroom using my Lightroom presets.
Connecting to your phone
I love this camera so much- one reason why is it can connect to your phone so you can take photos of yourself, by yourself!
You simply set up your tripod with your camera, turn on the Wi-Fi setting, open your phone Nikon WMU app, and voila!
You’ll see exactly what your camera “sees” on your phone screen, and you can click the “take photo” button on your phone!
Going from auto to manual
I actually just shot on auto for the first year having the d750, and things were great!
But then I decided to learn how to shoot on manual, and I have to say, I love it so much more.
If shooting on manual freaks you out, try starting on aperture mode.
You can decide how blurry you want your background (a simplified way to look at aperture), and your camera will automatically adjust the other settings.
I have three lenses in my camera gear:
Sigma 24mm f/1.4
The Sigma 24mm lens is my go-to lens.
As long as I don’t need to zoom in and want to capture the full scene, I immediately go to this lens.
The reason why I love this so much is that it allows you to go all the way down to f/1.4.
What does that mean?
Well, you can focus on something in the foreground while getting an awesome bokeh (blurry background) effect.
For the first photo you see here of Chinatown in Singapore, I especially wanted a blurry background since the scene is so busy.
That way I’m the only thing in focus, and the rest of the busy scene is slightly blurred.
With a low aperture like this, you force your viewer’s eye to land on what you want. It’s a beautiful effect and I love it!
Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24-120mm f/4
Why zoom in?
When you zoom in, the background appears larger.
For example, if you there is a mountain in the distance behind you, you can have your photographer back up and zoom in. That way you’re the same size but the mountain appears way bigger!
Even if you won’t want to zoom in, this lens is incredibly versatile.
It has a very wide range of zoom, so no matter what you’re trying to take a photo of, whether close up or far away, this lens can pretty much do it all.
NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8
My NIKKOR 50mm lens comes last on the list just because I use it the least.
On the plus side, it is very cheap as far as lenses go (it’s under $150!!!) and is still a beautiful lens.
But here’s the reason why I don’t use it that often.
With a 50mm lens, you’re already “zoomed in” as soon as you put the lens on the camera, so you or your photographer need to be further away to capture an image.
However, I do love that it goes to an aperture of f/1.8, so you can still get that blurry background effect!
Oh, and we also love our drone, the DJI Mavic Air 2! It’s so portable and follows us everywhere!
You can get some incredible shots with a drone, like this one! I also sell some of my drone photos as photo prints here if you’re interested in some cool prints!
The other gear
Here’s the other stuff in my camera bag that I use ALL the time, followed by my completely honest review of each!
- Extra batteries
- Hard drive
- Underwater phone case
- Waterproof camera jacket
- SD cards
- SD card importer
- Micro SD cards (for the drone)
- Cell phone wide angle lens
Shop my gear
I actually started off with this cheaper tripod, just to have one.
I then learned that I needed a vertical attachment. Oh, and that it was too big to travel with. It also is super light, which isn’t ideal for heavy cameras.
So then I bought this tripod, which I LOVE.
It’s compact, sturdy, has a built in “vertical photo” mechanism, and fits in my suitcase!
So learn the lesson from me if you don’t want to waste money, and just buy quality products to save money in the long run.
I don’t swear by these because they don’t last as long as the Nikon battery that came with my camera, but extra batteries are always a must and these do the trick.
They are affordable and great to have on hand.
If I didn’t have a hard drive, I would’ve run out of space on my laptop a long, long time ago.
Fortunately this reliable hard drive has great reviews on Amazon and I have used it every week for the past year.
It still works great (knock on wood) and stores my photos and has plenty of room (I got the 4TB size! I take LOTS of photos- thousands on each trip!).
Underwater phone case
These are not the greatest underwater phone cases but they are nice to have on hand if you’re heading to the beach and hope to catch some underwater action.
They’re also super cheap.
So they’re in my travel camera case anyway because you never know when they’ll come in handy!
Waterproof camera jacket
I learned that this waterproof camera jacket is a MUST if you go chasing waterfalls in Iceland.
Yeah, that’s a pretty specific scenario, but that is when I’ve used this thing the most.
I also used it in Puerto Rico when we went into the rainforest.
When it comes down to it, it’s really handy during travels if you’re heading somewhere rainy or with waterfalls.
Or if you just like to take photos out in the rain.
Protect your gear! You’ve spent a lot of money on it, so don’t let water affect it!
You gotta have SD cards to go with your camera!
I have one big SD card and two smaller ones- not by design, it just ended up that way.
But my main SD card is this 128GB SD card.
It is reliable and has 4.8 stars on Amazon with over 4,800 reviews. That is why I chose it, and it has been awesome for over 2 years now!
SD card importer
If your laptop doesn’t have an SD card slot, you’ll want to get an SD card reader.
This one is under $10, fast, and reliable.
Micro SD card
This Micro SD card is on my list because we use it for our drone; it is not necessary if you’re just shooting on the Nikon d750.
Wide angle lens for phone
If you don’t have a wide angle camera option on your phone, like me (I have the Google Pixel 4), then I highly recommend this wide angle lens attachment.
I use it primarily to take wide angle selfie-style videos so that my face isn’t the only thing you see when I’m talking- you can see the background as well.
Shop My Gear
Click on any of the products here to shop directly through Amazon!
That’s pretty much it for my camera gear!
I hope you can see why I have all of this “stuff.”
It’s been incredibly valuable to my business and I don’t know if I’d be able to be a full time travel blogger without that initial investment in my camera!
If you have any questions, let me know in the comments below!
Safe travels and happy blogging!
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