As a blogger who is out a lot playing around with my camera and meeting up with people, I’m asked frequently about my loot – what’s in MY bag? In this post I’ll share a list of what I think is some pretty great gear for bloggers that I use – and everything is quite affordable (my camera is well under $1,000 which, in DSLR terms, isn’t high end but still does a beautiful job). What works for me may not work for you but I really LOVE my Canon 600D and the 4 lens that I have (one is a kit lens, the other 3 I purchased). I also like my other goodies, like my camera strap and my cute camera bag that just arrived today.
Here is a list of my loot:
Camera: Canon 600D with the EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens by Canon that came with it. This camera is great because it not only takes amazing photos but it has full HD movie mode – my latest obsession! Camera details/price can be found here: Amazon.de/Amazon.co.uk/Amazon.com
Lens: Canon EF-S 18-200mm 1:3,5-5,6 IS (Amazon.de/Amazon.co.uk/Amazon.com), Canon EF 50mm 1:1.8 (Amazon.de/Amazon.co.uk/Amazon.com) Note: I want to upgrade this lens soon though to the Canon EF 50mm/1,4. And the latest lens I’ve picked up is the Canon EF 35mm 1:2,0 (Amazon.de/Amazon.co.uk/Amazon.com)
Tripod: I use a Manfroto #222 joystick head on top of a standard tripod that my husband bought on eBay awhile ago. If you’re in the market for a tripod, Manfrotto is a really good one to try and they are super sturdy though not so lightweight – I only use this one for shooting at home. I haven’t gotten to the point yet to where I’m bringing tripods on the road with me… Ha! Baby steps, here.
Phone/Apps: I also want to add that I frequently use my iPhone 4 to take photos (Instagram addict) and I really like the KitCam app though I find myself using the Camera+ app most of the time. I’m also taking videos frequently with the Vine app and having a lot of fun with it!
iPad: I use my iPad constantly. More than my MacBook Pro even. It’s the best thing ever and the funny thing is, it took me 6 months after I purchased it to even get into using it. One great thing you can do with an iPad that is pretty cool for photographers is that you can pop an Eye-Fi card into your camera and transfer pictures wirelessly to your iPad while you’re shooting (as in instantly!) using the ShutterSnitch app. My husband and I shot about 30 photos for my last book like this and it worked like a charm when it came to styling and really helps you to pick up the pace on shoots, too.
Camera bag: Ketti Chevron cloth camera bag. Note: Mine arrived with a dark purple lining that I really don’t like (it’s hard to see inside because it’s very dark) – the website says green lining (with photos showing it so I know I’m not crazy)- so I insist when you purchase a bag from them you make sure they get your order right. Other than the purple interior, the bag will work great for me – I love that it’s padded and has adjustable slots for the lens, the camera, etc. inside – yet it looks like a very “normal” handbag. I got so tired of running around in my ugly black (very standard, very boring) camera bag!
Camera strap: Stardust camera strap from Bloom Theory in silver.
So! That’s what I use when I’m out shooting and having fun. Hope some of these tips help you out! A few of the Amazon.com links above are affiliate links by the way, which means I earn about 6% if you buy something on the US Amazon site. All of the other links are not affiliate-related at all. No one has paid me or given me products, discounts or any freebies for mentioning any of the above items. I paid for absolutely everything at the same retail price as everyone else. :)
If you have any questions or want to share what you use, please do in the comments section below! What’s in YOUR bag?
Happy Friday everyone – loads of love to you!
(images: holly becker, thorsten becker and bloom theory)
I’m always on the look out for new ways to take a more personal approach to blogging so when I came across a font making app called iFontMaker, I had to give it a whirl. I’m sure the many graphic designers reading this will roll their eyes at my amateur first try, but I am so proud of my new font that I’m going to show you anyway.
I put together my own font in about an hour and called it Happy Holly. Making it inspired me to try doing a few more in the future. It’s a great way to pretty up a blog post, don’t you think? Especially if you create your own font and you don’t distribute it publicly – then only your blog posts will have your font. How cool!
When it comes to Happy Holly though, I’m not keeping it to myself because you may like to have it to play around with on cards, gift tags or anything else – maybe your blog post collages? You are welcome to use it but only for non-commercial use only please though I seriously doubt anyone out there would get rich using my font. But I had to say that anyway.
What do you think, care to try this at home? It’s simple! If you want to make your own font, you’ll need to download the iFontMaker app from iTunes on your iPad. You can use a pen (I suggest the Bamboo CS100W Stylus for iPad in White) made for tablets or simply, your finger – I used both for this font. Creating something very personal like this is a nice way to pretty up your blog posts with your own touch…
Note: In the “Be So Happy” graphic I combined Happy Holly with a free font called Sail.
(images: holly becker for decor8)
I’ve heard a lot of buzz about Vine all of a sudden so of course, I joined, and of course, I gave it a try. It’s a bit like the Tout app (I told you about Tout already here) but you can stop and start your video several times during recordings which gives you the added bonus to experiment with your very own stop motion video creation – which I think is fun!
I also like that the Vine format is nearly one-to-one with Instagram and though I do not like seeing sameness on one hand, yet on the other it works because now I don’t have to learn how to navigate yet another app that I use. Here is an example of what you can do on Vine below if you’re a blogger, for instance. You can share things that you love quickly and easily…
I uploaded the little clip above of some of my current favorite books (your Vine videos are saved in your camera roll) to Vimeo but you can also look at the source code of your Vine video in a browser if you don’t feel like doing it that way and simply copy the Mp4 file, paste the link of the file into a new browser window and download it, then upload to Vimeo or YouTube or where you personally like to host your video files. Easy!
Bright Side: You can use Vine to give your fans a glimpse into your day, show a very quick DIY project, share a quick book review, try stop motion animation and share other things that your readers may enjoy. It’s very easy to use which is both good and bad – as a blogger, you really need to consider that your image can be impacted in a positive or negative way by the content you are pushing out there. My advice is to avoid using it for just anything – put a little thought into it – allow it to push you in a creative sense – what could you do with it that would be fun and exciting for you and to your fans?
Dark Side: This could potentially become a playground for amateur p*rn vids or ones featuring violence, drug use, etc. The volume of obscene videos are on the rise so I’m concerned especially since some of it involves minors. Just be careful because there is no adult content filter – most of us are used to being able to have a choice as to whether or not we come across nudity (or other) on photo sharing sites – not on Vine. You most likely won’t find this stuff though unless you search for it.
Note: Vine only gives you 6 seconds of video making time and Tout gives you 15 seconds only Tout doesn’t (yet) give you the ability to stop and start video during recording, so you can get as much done in 6 seconds on Vine as you can on Tout if you record your video with a little thought. Also, Vine was purchased by Twitter so that is why you can easily tweet your videos using Vine.
Will you use Vine? How will you use it for blogging? Any ideas as to how you see it being used by bloggers? Would love your feedback. More and more I think video will blow up online but in ways we may not expect… And with the rise of these micro-video apps I think my predictions are slowly coming true.
(video: holly becker for vine)
Are you familiar with Weekday Carnival, a Finnish blog authored by Riikka Kantinkoski, a talented photographer, designer and mother? She has an amazing knack for decorating her home in fact, I blogged about her over a year ago here but since she’s done so much decorating over the past 14 months I have to share some updates from her gorgeous abode today.
I just love seeing how she lives, I find her color palette (pastels with a shot of black) so mesmerizing and I love how tidy she appears. It’s something to aspire to, for sure!
Riikka has a real eye for color and form but also a great ability to edit. Editing is the hardest job of any decorator – knowing when ENOUGH is truly ENOUGH. I think it’s the toughest for any creative actually – knowing when to quit.
I see examples of poor editing all around me when I travel often in shops because they tend to overload the counters and shelves with product – items exploding all around – and shop owners wonder why no one buys anything and customers treats the store as a museum. That’s most likely why. The Conran Shop in London does a terrific job stocking their shelves. They have a few of each item and that’s it. Same with Anthropologie – there is A LOT of product but often they don’t have 500 of the same thing. I walk into stores that often DO have 100 of the same cup on a shelf and I think WHY? This makes me feel like I have all the time in the world to buy that cup, I can come back for it in a month because they have plenty of them in stock! If they do (and some stores are more loaded than others) I often feel overwhelmed and leave empty-handed. Too many choices (think: Pinterest!) often leaves us stressed and worried that we won’t make the right choice. With limitations, we have room to think and consider and decide. Space also allows for us to be creative.
Having the eye of an editor can help a shopowner as much as it can a homeowner. Knowing when to pause and say, “You know, this wall has ENOUGH art on it” or “This sofa has ENOUGH throw pillows” is a great skill. It also allows objects in your home to breath and stand out more – you can highlight your precious possessions this way as Riikka has in her Finnish home. Riikka’s stunning home doesn’t feel overwhelming, overloaded or crammed with stuff. It feels like there is movement and flow – so it’s impossible for your decorating waters to stagnant with such movement. When a room is packed wall-to-wall it can quickly feel dated because there is no movement. You literally cannot move anything else into the space and you can barely fit in it yourself! This makes me think of shops that are so packed that you can barely move around. Stores like that make me want to leave as quickly as I’ve entered!
Please visit Weekday Carnival for inspiration, decorating ideas and loads of beautiful photos taken by mostly Riikka herself. Let the pages of her blog whisk you away but also inspire you to try a fresh approach to your own home. Maybe for 2013 we can “slim down” our spaces a wee bit so there is more movement in them, more flow, more space to breath so the creativity can flow? Hmmm. Something to consider for our resolution list, isn’t it?
(images: Riikka Kantinkoski)