Most From My Bowl readers are only here for the food – but if you’re here for the photography, that’s cool too! While I have been interested in photography for practically my whole life (and purchased my first DSLR using babysitting money in high school), I definitely didn’t start my blog using only “the latest and greatest” tech. I have slowly invested in my equipment over the years, and let my work pay for my gear, rather than putting $$$ down initially and having to “earn it back”. Anyways, here’s an updated list of all the equipment that I use to create my content.
BUT FIRST, A FEW GEAR TIPS….
- Spend within your means. You don’t need a ridiculously expensive photography setup in order to create quality content. What you do need is practice, a relatable topic/subject, and something to capture your work. Don’t let “only” owning a smartphone hold you back from starting to produce quality content!
- Buy your camera body and lenses separately. Once you get to the point where you are able to purchase a DSLR or mirrorless camera, I recommend avoiding the “kits” that sell a camera body + lens together. The lenses are usually not very good quality. It’s worth it in the long run to buy the body separately, and invest a little more $ into a lens that you’ll actually want to use.
- Rent before you buy! If you are deciding between two similar products or are not 100% sold on an equipment investment, try renting it out first through sites like LensRentals (or see if there’s a local rental spot near you).
- Secondhand is always a great option if you are on a budget – search sites like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, OfferUp, or even Ebay for gently used photography equipment. I would recommend purchasing in-person vs. having an item shipped to you, just so you can test it out to ensure that it works.
PHOTOGRAPHY & VIDEOGRAPHY GEAR
- Canon EOS 5D Mark IV: I use this camera for all of my photography. This camera is a hefty investment, but the crisp image quality is worth it for me.
- Canon EOS 80D: this was my first blogging camera, and it’s a good one! It’s still not inexpensive, but it’s a little more affordable than the 5d Mark IV. I love how this camera has a flip screen that can rotate in pretty much any direction you need. I use this camera for all of my vlogs and videography. I used to use it for all of my photography until I upgraded camera bodies. Note: Canon no longer, makes this body, and the EOS 90D is considered the newer equivalent body.
*** I would highly recommend purchasing 1 extra battery per camera body. That way you can always keep one charged and never have to stop shooting when a battery runs out!
- Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L II: If you are looking for a good all-around lens for both photo and video, I’d recommend this one. I predominantly use this lens for my videography now, but use it for photos occasionally. Zoom lenses are said to have slightly less crisp focus that “still” lenses, but I personally don’t notice a huge difference.
- Canon 50mm f/1.2L: I use this lens for overhead and angled shots of the food when I want to show more of the scene and setup, not just one bowl or plate in particular.
- Canon 100mm f/2.8L Macro: This is my favorite food photography lens because it really zooms in and highlights the small details in the subject matter.
- Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L III: I use this wide-angle zoom lens only for vlogs; if you are only filming recipe content, I don’t think you need this one.
*** When you purchase a lens, I would highly recommend purchasing a lens filter as well. This is a piece of high-quality glass that screws onto the end of your lens. This way if you accidentally scratch your lens, you only need to replace an affordable piece of glass, not a thousand dollar lens.
OTHER GEAR I USE
- Memory Cards
- C-Stand (for overhead video)
- 5-Way Diffusers: regular, giant
- Grey Card for White Balance
- Photography Backgrounds: Capture by Lucy, Bessie Bakes Backdrops, Erikson Woodworks
- Shotgun Microphone (for vlogs)
- USB Microphone (for voiceovers)
- Ring Light
- Filming Lights: I actually do not recommend my filming lights; they were overpriced and I am not totally happy with their color quality. A setup like this one would be great for an entry-level investment.
SHOOTING WITH ARTIFICIAL LIGHT
Here is the gear I use to take photos with flash:
- Canon Speedlite 600EX II-RT
- Canon ST-E3-RT2 Speedlite Transmitter (I have V1, which is no longer produced)
- 55″ Godox Softbox
- Stand for Softbox
- Mount for Softbox <-> Stand
- Rechargeable AA Batteries
- Artificial Academy: Joanie of The Bite Shot created this incredibly informative course on shooting with artificial light. It’s how I learned to shoot with flash, and I highly recommend it. Don’t sleep on her Youtube Channel either, which has hundreds of free videos on food photography lessons, equipment, and more.