I'm Krystal Moore, a wedding and lifestyles photographer based in Moose Jaw, SK.
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March 8, 2021
So you want to take better photographs?!
Maybe you’ve been “ooohing” and “ahhhing” over all of those gorgeous Instagram and Facebook photos flooding your feed. Or maybe you have kids and you just know they are the cutest subjects in the world who are growing so fast and want to capture those moments. Whatever your motivation for wanting to pick up a camera, I want you to just go for it! Photography is such an amazing creative outlet but more than that a way that we can push the pause button on these ever fleeting moments for generations to come to find. That being said, there are a LOT of options out there when it comes to getting started with photography. Camera bodies, lenses, gadgets and accessories all at a broad range of prices and companies! It is easy to want to quit before you ever hold a camera in your hands! I’ve been there! I know the struggles of starting and only using the auto button on my point and shoot. So I am here to help you get started! I’ve made a list of what I think are the BEST products that every new photographer should have. With the items on this list, you will have an amazing start for success and well on your way to achieving your photography goals and dreams. I can’t wait to see what you create!
In order to be a photographer you are going to need a camera. Of course, you likely have a camera with you right now! Phones these days come equipped with amazing photographic capabilities and I have seen some pretty great images come from phone photographers. However, a phone camera isn’t going to give you a lot of control over the process of creating a photograph or the quality that cameras can give. I think that when you are given the opportunity to make choices with the aperture, shutter speed, and ISO of your camera (by using manual mode) you are going to be so much happier with your results. That’s why I recommend starting your photography journey with an entry-level DSLR. These little beauties are going to give you full control over image creation while not breaking the bank.
Some examples of some beginner DSLR cameras (I shoot Canon so here are some Canon examples.)
Canon EOS Rebel T8i, Canon Rebel T6i / 750D, Canon Rebel T7 / EOS 2000D, Canon EOS Rebel T100 / EOS 4000D are all cameras that range in price and a few different specs that would all be great starter cameras. Check out the Canon website for more information.
When buying the camera, be sure to buy the camera body only. There are way better lens that will achieve a great quality photo than with the kit lens. I will talk about the best lens for starting out next!
You will find that a lot of the entry level cameras on the market come with a “kit lens.” These are often great, relatively inexpensive, versatile lenses that meet the needs of a wide range of photographers. In my experience, while these lenses are relatively versatile, they can also be somewhat limiting, especially in low light. I recommend skipping the kit lens and going straight for what photographers like to call “the nifty fifty”.
A prime lens, (which means that if you want to zoom in, you will have to move your feet) is going to nail focus way more times than the kit lens and is much faster at focusing. A f/1.8 aperture means that you will be able to get that gorgeous background blur so many of us love and will be able to shoot in lower light situations without having to sacrifice shutter speed or ISO. (I know that’s a lot of tech talk, and I will go more into this in downloads to come. For now, just trust me.) This is a good thing!
If you want more information about the Nifty Fifty, Amy and Jordan Photography have a great blog post here that will answer a lot of questions you may have about this lens. It’s a great read!
Digital cameras have memory cards that retain all of the information your camera collects when you press the shutter button. I recommend keeping a couple of these with you at all times so that you have plenty of space to store all of your photos while you shoot. Personally, I get the ScanDisk 32 GB Extreme Pro cards from Amazon.
There is so many brands of camera gear that you can go with – Canon, Nikon, Sigma, Sony, Pentax, and more that it can make your head spin. My suggestion is to research and ask your family and friends what camera equipment that they use and why they chose it. Or ask your favourite photographer what they use. In the end, you have to choose one that works in your budget.
And if you are wondering, I currently use a Canon 5D Mark IV and Canon EOS 6D and love it both cameras! (Well I love the 5D one more, but I need to save up a bit cause it’s a little more pricey but WELL worth the investment!). I will be upgrading the others to the Mark series (professional level) because my current camera bodies are getting close to the end of their life because I have taken so many photos. (haha)
As for lens, I use mostly the L series Canon lens, but I do also have a Sigma (little cheeper version) lens. Currently my fav lens is the Canon 85mm 1.4, Canon 35mm 1.4, the Sigma 50mm 1.4, or the Canon 70-200m 2.8 lens. But if you want another good higher grade lens other than the nifty fifty, the Canon 24-70mm 2.8 is a great one and I used for MANY years! I am going to make a blog post about the gear I have soon so watch for that one. 🙂
If you have any questions, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
When do you get a lens, it is so important to protect the front glass of the lens. Each lens you have, be sure to get a protective lens filter. The camera shop will know what one will be best for your lens.
I have used a double harness camera strap for the last two years and it has saved me from a lot of neck and back pain! Taking the weight of the heavy cameras from the neck region to the more evenly distributed over the back and wow, what a difference! (Haha, and I look cool too!)
The first one I had was a from a company called Hold Fast called the Camera Swagg and it was so affordable! But this year I upgraded to a leather one from Rose Anvil and it’s so awesome! (Leather ones do take some time to adjust to it but over time will fit ya just perfectly!)
(Photos below are taken from Google.)
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All images © 2021 Krystal Moore Photography