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How I Take My Photos & Food Blogger Photography Equipment
Today I’m answering one of my most frequently asked questions–how I take my photos. This will be a quick guide to walk you through my personal shooting style and gear that I use to create content for my blog, Instagram, Tiktok and YouTube pages. You can check out my social media pages to get a sense for my photography and video style, but I generally prefer a soft, but bright and creamy feel to my work.
I’ll follow this up with additional blogposts about How I Edit My Photos and How To Curate A Cohesive Feed. Stay tuned!
Equipment I Use
First and foremost, you do not need an expensive camera to take good photo. I said what I said. You can shoot excellent photos on a smart phone, or any digital camera. Nowadays, the image quality on digital cameras and smart phones is out of this world, and it’s important to keep in mind that the behind the scenes set up + tricks are really what make the image. Two people shooting the same scene with the same camera and lens could end up with two completely different images. There is also a lot you can do to process a photo in post to really bring it to life. It’s all about working with what you have.
With that said, I personally have a few different camera models in my arsenal, primarily because I inherited one from my dad, invested in one when I took a farm photography course in college, and the rest because I’ve accumulated over the years. Now that content creation is my full time job, I’ve invested into a lot of equipment and upgraded some of my starter equipment pieces to more advanced models. I’m going to list a few options alongside what I currently use that would be best suited for someone just starting out, too!
The main camera body I’m shooting on lately is the Canon R5. It’s one of the newer Canon cameras, which is mirrorless and more compact than comparable models like the Canon Mark IV, or one of my older cameras, the Canon 80D. The Canon R5 is amazing for both photo and video, and has a flip screen that makes filming yourself very easy. One of the only downsides to using this camera is that if you’re upgrading from a Canon SLR, your lenses will not be compatible. You’ll need to purchase lenses to use with this body. The autofocus on this camera is out of this world, and it’s extremely user friendly.
The Canon 80D, which also features a flip screen, is a great place to start with something mid-tier, and the Canon Mark IV would be a wonderful model to upgrade to, if the R5 doesn’t sound like something that’s up your alley.
For beginners, the Canon T2i is a great, affordable place to start working with a DSLR camera. I would also recommend renting cameras to try them out before you commit to buying one. Camera shops will often rent out bodies for a day, or a few days and you can play around, or try before you buy!
And last but not least, I use my handy dandy iPhone! I own an iPhone 11, and nowadays, camera quality is insanely crispy. As long as you’re taking photos in good lighting and get your camera settings right, you can take a phenomenal photo on your phone. If filming, be sure to film in 4K (yes, you can do that!) and I recommend shooting from your back camera versus your front facing, selfie camera for quality.
In addition to the Canon cameras, I use a smaller Sony vlog camera for casual videos and while traveling. I use the Sony ZV1 camera, which was designed specifically for creators and is wonderful for vlogging. It’s similar to the infamous Canon G7X, a popular among vloggers, but I’ve found that my Sony camera is a little more durable. My Canon G7X wore down quickly and a few creator friends of mine have said the same.
If you’re looking for something a little more quality, I recommend the Canon EOS M6 Mark II Mirrorless Digital, which is a step up from the G7X model.
With my Canon R5, I use the Canon RF 50mm f/1.2L USM lens and the Canon RF 35mm f/1.8 IS Macro STM Lens. As of right now these are the only R5 compatible lenses I’ve purchased and they get the job done for me.
For travel content, I use my DJI Mavic Pro 2 Drone, which is amazing for aerial photos and videos, super smooth landscape video and more. It’s pricey, loud, and takes some practice to use but really adds an extra something something to videos.
I also own a GoPro Hero 8 for underwater/wet video and photo and sporty content. I haven’t used it too much, but it’s really great for POV style video (using the mouthpiece attachment and doing yoga, for example, is a really cool angle to film from). I’d recommend this for the adventurous, sporty and active ones out there! Great for skiing, surfing, skateboarding content–you get the idea.
And finally, for the mems, I love my Instax Fujifilm Mini 11 Camera. It’s great for parties, travel, creating memories you can tape up on the wall etc. Film can be pricey and adds up but it’s great for special events! Personally I like to pick up 1-2 packs of film each month to document the special moments in life.
For video and self timer photos, I use the Manfrotto Befree GT XPRO Aluminum Travel Tripod with 496 Center Ball Head. This has overhead capabilities, is pretty sturdy and can be folded to travel. It is heavier and bigger, but worth the investment. I’ve blown through several cheap tripods and always ended up breaking or replacing them.
I almost exclusively shoot using natural light. It’s my preference especially for photos but in the rare event that I need artificial lighting, I use LED panels and a diffuser to soften the light. I’ll use these LED light panels (light stands included), and clip or even tape diffusors onto the light panels. Reflectors are another amazing way to manipulate light, and are a really affordable accessory to invest in.
Quick Tips to Take Better Photos
- When shooting on a DSLR camera, shoot in manual and RAW format. This gives you much more control over the photo and allows you to edit your photo after the fact, with more preservation of quality.
- On your smart phone/iPhone, play around with the settings. Androids have amazing RAW settings, similar to a DSLR, and iPhones have several modes you can shoot in. Also, wipe your camera lens clean before shooting anything. It can make a world of difference.
- Edit the shot before you take it. In other words, get your subject set up as close to your desired image as much as possible. Play with lighting, framing etc. and try not to rely on editing in post. The more you have to edit, the more image quality you lose.
- Take a ton of photos. Seriously. Get snap happy. You want to have options to pick from, and you might as well if you’re shooting!
- Practice, practice, practice.