What kind of camera should I buy? Can I tell you I get asked this question at LEAST once a week! Many years ago I put together a similar blog post where I shared everything in my bag! As a photographer, we should always be learning and evolving and trying new things. While some of my equipment has stayed the same, there is quite a bit that has changed. Take a peek at what is inside my camera bag NOW – in 2022!
Having a cute pupper that matches your camera bags is a bonus! 🙂 Say hello to Kipper the King Charles Cavalier. camera guard dog – or simply waiting for a lap – you decide.
First let me be very clear – capturing amazing photos is NOT about the kind of equipment you have. “You must have a really nice camera”, is probably the second most often thing I hear when it comes to talking camera gear. It’s very normal to think like that when you don’t truly understand photography, or what makes a really great photo – but I’m here to tell you it is absolutely about the knowledge you have BEHIND the camera, not the camera itself.
I always love to use the analogy of a professional chef. When you go to a restaurant and enjoy a delicious meal – would you say to the chef, “Wow – this is so good – you must have an amazing oven!”? Of course not! On oven or stove is simply a chef’s tool, just like a camera is simply a photographer’s tool. Taking great photos only happens by having the knowledge to do so!
“What kind of camera should I buy if I am just starting out?”. I always suggest getting the Canon Rebel. I’m a Canon lover so this is just my opinion. There are many different levels of the Canon Rebel, so go with whatever fits your budget best! The Canon Rebel T81 is a good example of an entry level camera. I always suggest a 50 mm lens for beginners as well.
With that said, the following is the camera gear I am currently using. Remember – it is NOT about your gear, but what you do with it that makes great photos. Your camera is simply a tool, and you MUST know how to use it properly. A fancy camera will not magically make you an amazing photographer. Education is the key to your success!
(PS. Grab a spot on my email list HERE to be the first to know all about my brand new photography education digital courses to be released in 2023 – not just for dance photographers!)
The Stella Pro Lights by Light & Motion. Y’all. These are some of my all time favorite tools when it comes to creating magical photos. THIS is what will take your photos to the next level. Photography is aaaaallllll about that light. These Stella lights are perfect for photographing dancers as they are a clean LED continuous light, not a strobe. What you see is what you get when you turn that light on! I use these for color powder shoots, splash sessions, for traditional studio lighting and even take them on location! These are the ultimate work horse, can handle crazy temperatures, color powder, rain and splashes! These lights will NOT let you down.
Prime lenses are what I choose every time! A prime lens means there is no zoom. Your feet are the zoom! They are one fixed focal length. In my opinion, you get more quality for your money with a prime lens than you would with a zoom. In years past, I vowed to never stray away from using only the Canon L series lenses (their professional line). When my trusty nifty-fifty finally needed replacement, I took a chance after reading some great reviews on the Sigma art series of lenses. WOW! I’m not sure I will ever go back to Canon with my 50 and 85. I have been completely impressed and saved many hundreds of $$ in the process!
I have an absolute love affair with these Kamrette camera bags. I have had these for many years. As you can imagine, my camera bags are constantly on the go – on the ground – mud, cement, grass – you name it – my bag has sat in it! These bags still look like they did the day I got them. They have a strap across the back that easily slips over luggage making them great for carry on bags for flights, or even strapping to a little hand cart that I have for when I’m schlepping all over city streets and don’t want to lug the heavy bags on my back. These bags fit SO much equipment! All my lenses and cameras fit into my one Lyra bag. I’m truly amazed at how well they hold up. Once loaded it probably weighs 50 lbs – and even carrying it by the handle strap on top with all that weight, they are still as fresh as the day I bought them! I have no affiliation with Kamrette –
I truly just love their bags so much!
See that little white thing in front of my cameras that looks like a lens cap? That right there is a little secret on how you can get perfect white balance every time! An expo disc! Stay tuned for a video tutorial coming up on how to use an expo disc for white balance. My other best tip for nailing perfect white balance every time is to use the Kelvin setting – something else I will be teaching on coming soon! I use Kelvin probably 90% of the time when setting white balance in camera.
If you want to get started taking better photos today, grab this free guide – great for dance photographers or ANY photographer!