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First of all let me begin by saying none of my equipment is 100% essential to be a digital content creator. Imagination, creative flair and working hard will pay off far more than a fancy camera, but as I get asked a lot about camera’s I thought I would share my camera history and a few pieces of advice on when it comes to making an investment in to your photography.
So I had so many little compact camera’s before I invested. I used a Fujifilm, really basic, battery eating compacts and it wasn’t until I went to Sixthform where I studied photography that I had used a DSLR.
In Sixthform the school had 2 Nikon D200 cameras that we could use. This is where my love affair with Nikon started. I loved how simple it felt to use and I was so impressed with the quality of the photographs. Back then I wanted to be a fashion photographer. The next Rankin or Bailey. I loved how I could hook the camera up to the professional lights and shoot away. I loved every second of it.
I dropped out of sixthform after my first year, my Dad has passed away and I wanted a fresh start, somewhere where I wouldn’t have to deal with peoples sympathy. I went to college and studied a Foundation course in Art & Design. It was nothing like what I wanted to do and I didn’t show up for lessons because it wasn’t my passion. It was a lot of drawing people naked!!! However during this time. I started working and saving up money towards a camera. I wanted the same one I had used at Sixthform. It wasn’t the latest camera by any means but I knew how it worked. I found one on eBay with a standard kit lens (18-55mm) and fell in love. I used to take a lot of self portraits and began shooting families and weddings. Previously I had photographed weddings on a point and shoot. The guests had better cameras than I did haha!
Eventually I purchased a Nikon AF-S NIKKOR f/1.8G Lens – 50 mm it helped my photography progress and created a beautiful depth of field. My photography got better. Although I was still shooting in Auto (eeeek!).
I then dabbled into the world of Canon. In 2016 I bought a Canon E0S 600D from fellow blogger Rosie. I wanted to be able to shoot videos and this offered that function. I used this camera with a Canon EF 50mm 1.8 Lens. It took great photos and I loved that you saw a preview on your screen after shooting. I shot weddings on it too. It was small but mighty. It’s a great little camera. By now I had learnt about shooting in Manual (after my two years of uni, before dropping out, sense a theme here?hahah). It was great but I had officially turned self employed and I wanted to up my game for weddings. Most venues had awful low light and I knew I need a full framed DSLR to get the best for my photography.
In November 2016 I made the biggest purchase of my life (and still is to date) A Nikon D750. Oh my goodness. She’s a beauty. Deals with low light fantastically!! And I love her haha! I also splashed out on an Art lens. A Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM Lens for Nikon. An eyewatering amount. But it was for my business and oh boy was it a game changer. And I haven’t thought about upgrading since. I’m super happy with my camera and lens right now and they serve me well!
As for the rest of my equipment. I use my phone as a remote shutter, using my cameras wifi. I use the most basic tripod you can think of! It’s similar to this one here (apart from mine is 10 years old!)
My advice for anyone who wants to learn how to use a camera properly and learn the art of photography? By second hand. Get yourself one of the cameras I have mentioned. Get yourself off Auto. Learn how to control your camera before you jump in and make a huge purchase. There is no point having the worlds best camera if you can’t work it to it’s true potential.
Like I said it’s not entirely necessary to have great equipment if you use Instagram for fun or small campaigns. But if you want to be shooting for brands exclusively, most require super high quality images which you will need a DSLR for. I’m always happy to talk camera’s if you need some advice. Drop me a DM. But my biggest piece of advice and always will be what my Sixthform photography teacher said:
“Artists have sketch books full of skies, learning, practising. As photographers we need to do the same. Take endless photographs, learn how to use things, keep practising. It’s an art.”