You’re only as good as your tools.
Wether your a newbie or an experienced blogger or just curious to see what I use for my blog from photography to my website then this is the post for you.
Also to note that you don’t need these things to be a successful blogger, for a very long time I was taking photo’s off my iPhone and writing on a netbook but last year I wanted to invest as I really enjoy what I do and wanted to make better content and the iPhone camera just wasn’t cutting the creative juices for me anymore.
So I started saving up for the things I wanted, wether it was money from teddy bear and craft sales or asking for a new lens for my birthday I managed to build up and collect the tools I have today.
( Blondie insisted on being in this shot )
For my birthday in 2016 after lots of review reading I decided to get the ultimate blogger accessory which is the Olympus epl-7. Not only is it a cute little camera but it gave me the kick I needed to take better photos. I wanted my blog to stand out more and as I create and paint things I wanted to show off my work better and the flat camera phone images just weren’t doing it.
I got my Olympus Pen off amazon and purchased it in sterling. I also got the camera which came with the kit lens. You will notice I buy a lot off amazon in sterling but I found it to be much cheaper than purchasing them in Ireland and have saved a few hundred by doing this.
The selling point for me was the wifi function and the ability to use my phone to take my outfit photos.
There is an Olympus app that you can download and I use this app to view myself on my phone and set the self timer. Nearly all of my outfit photos are taken by me, my tripod and my self timer. ( Mr Dainty is shite at taking photos! sorry! )
You need a good memory card for recording video so I use SanDisk extreme pro 32gm SDHC memory card. I highly recommend this for recording video but if you are just shooting pictures a normal memory card will do.
The kit lens that comes with your camera is good but if you want to get different effects then you might want to get some lenses to go with it. The two I have is the 17mm pancake lens and the 45mm portrait lens.
I also use my camera for making my Youtube videos.
Want that blurry blogger background?
I always wondered how they got them gorgeous portrait shots! It is all down to the 45mm lens. I absolutely love this lens! its amazing for fashion pictures but I also love it for interior shots too.
( Both above shots taking using the 45mm portrait lens)
The 17mm pancake lens is a great all rounder and as it is small it is the perfect travel companion, I have also used it to record and it gives great definition. The perfect lens for traveling and blogging on the go.
Again I got both of my lenses off amazon in sterling. I buy them as I go and Santy got me my 17mm this Christmas.
There is tons of great cameras out there under the €500 mark, I know a lot of bloggers love the Canon ones. Do your own research and pick one that suits you. Also have a look for a second hand camera if you want to get one but don’t have the money for a new one.
If there was one tip I could give to any blogger is to up your photography game. Since taking better photos I have had more interest and offers from brands. Especially if what you blog about is quite visual.
I use two tripods. One I use for filming and taking outfit pictures which is this one from amazon. I then got a Gorilla pod recently as this is perfect for travelling and when your out and about and vlogging as it is bendy you can wrap it around things to get the perfect pictures or video. I also use it when vlogging kinda as a selfie stick so the camera isn’t as close to my face.
The tripod extender.
The one downside to the Olympus pen is that when it is on a tripod you cannot flip the screen down to view yourself but this little trinket solves that problem. The only one thing to be warned about this is the screw is too long so add a washer to it when screwing to your camera to stop it from wobbling.
( Every outfit shot you see on the blog unless stated is taken by me and my trusty tripod and self timer)
It took me ages to save up for my MacBook pro but thanks to Brexit and the sterling dropping to my advantage I took the plunge back in October and when in London I hopped to the apple shop and skipped out with my MacBook.
Performance over prettiness!
The reason I got the pro was because I wanted the performance as I wanted it for making Youtube. It also has the fancy retina display which is amazing for seeing your photos and videos.
There was the fancy pretty thin MacBooks in all the rose gold colours but when it came down to it they didn’t have the performance that the Pro had.
I had gotten a lend of a MacBook air and although good when it came to video editing the Pro was better. Really quick at processing your iMovies and it isn’t slow.
I got mine in the Apple store on Regents St but keep and eye out as I know some of the Irish retailers do offers on them.
If you want a MacBook but can’t afford one check out apple’s website as they sell on refurbished products.
Another bonus about the laptop is that I can easily share my photos to my phone using airdrop. So I can edit a photo and then quickly share it to my phone and upload it to Instagram.
For Youtube I use the iMovie programme. For me this is the easiest to use and I got the hang of using it really quickly.
For photo editing I use the editing function available on the MacBook. In the future I think I am going to get lightroom. When I edit my photos I generally just bump up the brightness and exposure.
I get the music for my videos off the Youtube creator studio.
At the moment I cannot afford a fancy custom built website. I am also really really simple when it comes to coding and all of the tech stuff so the platform I use for my blog is blogger.com and I use a template that I bought off pipdig.com
I then customised this template and changed the colours and fonts and added a header that I made on Canva.
I bought my .com domain off godaddy.com.
You can easily spend thousands on a website and at the moment I just don’t have that to invest but for now I focus on having it looking really clean, easy to navigate, find posts and mobile friendly.
I hope you found this post useful.
Remember that you don’t need these items to have a successful blog but if you are thinking of investing in something then these are all of the tools I use I use on a daily basis.
A little tip is to re invest any money you make from blogging back into it and get something on your list. I treated myself to the 45mm lens when I got paid from a campaign I done.
Also sell your old stuff lying around to raise some cash to buy something you need.
Thanks so much for reading and please share any of your tools that you use that you think I might find useful.
Brilliant Thank you for all that information helpful and definitely going to look more into your tips. Xxx
Thanks so much for reading and I'm glad you found it helpful! Keep up the fab work x
Great post Catherine currently thinking of upgrading camera so this was so helpful. Also Blondie is sooo cute xx
Thanks so much for reading Sophia! The camera and lenses are my favourite and the best thing I have invested in so far with the blog x Keep up the fab work on your blog!
Wow this was a brilliant read! I recently got the Olympus EPL-8 for Christmas and am loving learning how to navigate it, however I am still longing for the blurry background, so is the 45mm lens the way to go?
Hiya! Yep definitely the 45mm is the one for the blur, now I was able to get blur on shots with the kit lens but I definitely recommend investing in the 45mm for them portrait shots. How are you finding the epl8 I seen it on Lydia millens YouTube and it looks fab x
Hi Catherine, thank you for sharing this! I am looking to get the gorillapod you suggested but how do you solve the issue of being able to see yourself on the screen when vlogging when it only flips down please? Thank you!
Hiya, I use this extender with the Gorilla pod to make it easier to see. http://amzn.to/2wJUWFf