Beginner camera equipment

Beginner camera equipment

When I first started blogging 4 1/2 years ago (Whaaaat?!) I decided I wanted to invest in my first DSLR camera. (Actually my husband, and at the time boyfriend, bought it for me!) I wanted to slowly teach myself to shoot manual and learn a little about the equipment so that by the time I had kids, I could take my own high quality, framable photos without having to pay for a photoshoot every 3 months. Yes I was thinking that far ahead!

So far we haven’t made any huge purchases as far as camera equipment goes, we’ve just made smart purchases over the years to make my photography a little bit better. We’ve had to keep it affordable, but one day I will finally upgrade my camera to one of the big boys! But for now, this is my trusty list of beginner camera equipment! So far, this is all I use! And I love what I’ve come out with while using it!

Beginner Camera Equipment:

1. Canon Rebel t3i (Although it looks like a Canon EOS Rebel T6i is the latest version)

This is a great beginner’s camera! I still use it and have just bought new lens whenever I am looking to upgrade my photography.

2. Canon 50mm f/1.8 Lens

You should almost just plan on buying this when you buy your camera! It upgrades your photography so drastically with a very affordable price! I so far have just chosen to purchase prime lens because it gives you that better photograph without the hefty price tag you would have if you bought the same quality zoom lens. This is my favorite lens if I am able to step back far enough. It’s great for portraits, for food photography, and anytime you are in low light situations.


3. Canon 35mm f/2 Wide-Angle Lens

This is the one that typically stays on my camera. It’s more zoomed out than the 50 mm lens so it’s a lot easier to get more in the frame. This makes it really nice indoors with two kids.

Beginner camera equipment

4. YONGNUO Wireless External Flash

Never, I repeat NEVER, use that flash on your camera. It gives horrible shadows and an awful unnatural light. Before I had this external flash, I always opted for a potentially blurry photo by setting my 50 mm lens to the highest aperture and a super slow shutter speed. But then my family photographer recommended this external flash and it’s been a game changer! Not only does it light up the room in a better way than that pesky camera flash by flashing off the ceiling instead of directly on the subject, but it made it so that I no longer get grainy faces when I have a backlit photo. If I have a window behind my subject (aka my kids…) I throw flash on my camera. I still have the natural light from the windows, but I can light their face up with my flash!

mom and babies baby wearing

5. Canon Wireless Remote

Now you could do a self timer, but a remote is soooooo much better! A self timer means you have to run and get into place (and when you do that I highly suggest you have it set to take at least 5 photos in a row in case someone blinks or isn’t ready!) but a remote means you can be in the moment and just press a button, or all ready for the photo and just click!

Beginner camera equipment

6. Lightweight Tripod with Bag

I bought a cheap tripod, and you know what? It works! It shrinks up nice and small, so I can grab it when we got to IU for our family photo. Plus I pull it out all the time at home when I just want it in the corner to capture a time I love with my girls.

7. Camera case

I bought a simple padded insert that I can put in any put in any purse for easy transport when I need my camera. I just hate the idea of a federal case that a camera bag makes photography.

What is your must-have camera gear?

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  • Rebecca Fraley

    Hi Morgan,thank you. Excellent post, kids are so cute. Is this camera have a generic setting to start? My daughter is very disabled, but loves taking pics with her phone when physically mentally able. I have been wondering all these years what kind of camera since she is disappointed with outcomes of colors like you say, so here is a huge thank you! Any additional tips on shopping? Thanks you’ve helped me so much with various things. Take care

    • Morgan Leigh

      I bought my camera so long ago, I forget what I was looking at when I went shopping for it. But it does have automatic, manual, and even partial manual settings! It was great to use to teach myself how to shoot manual, because I could kind of teach myself one concept at a time! I was thinking about writing a post about how I taught myself, maybe I will! I definitely suggest getting that 50mm lens with whatever camera you buy though. Gives you more to work with in the aperture range and just takes better photos all around than the one that the camera came with…

  • Brittney

    I think you should definitely write a post on how you taught your self. I think it would be super interesting and helpful. 🙂

    • Morgan Leigh

      Ok! I will start on it ASAP then! It’s going to be in layman talk lol, not professional talk, because that’s how my understanding of the camera is 😉

      • Brittney

        Thank goodness!!