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Photography

I have lots of conversations about photography on social media, so I thought I’d put together a resource page of my photography tools and resources! I’m learning more every day, and I’m excited to share my journey with you. If you find this useful and wish to use the affiliate links below, I would be so thankful!

Photography Resources

Here are a few of my favorite websites and channels (in no particular order) I watch to learn about photography! I’ll be sure to update this list periodically as I find new resources.

Photography Books

Photography Tools

iPhone XS Max

Many of the photos are shot on the iPhone XS Max. I’m honestly flabbergasted with the quality of this model’s camera; it’s amazing! Here’s a smattering of unedited photos taken with my iPhone.

Camera + Lenses

Camera Body

I use a beginner-friendly DSLR camera body: the Canon EOS Rebel T5i. What does that mean? It has fewer bells and whistles, it is more cost-effective in comparison to other cameras, and it has a crop sensor. A crop sensor refers to any sensor smaller than a full-frame sensor or a 35mm film frame. Crop sensor cameras tend to be cheaper than full-frame cameras. While I’d like to graduate to a full-frame sensor in the future, this camera gives me enough options at the moment. It’s the painter, not the paint, right?

The model I use is several years old now, so I would recommend getting the latest version. You can usually find the Canon EOS Rebel T7i body paired with a kit lens and a zoom lens for around $1,000. This is an investment, so I would recommend waiting for Black Friday or similar sales.

Camera Lenses

Often times when you purchase a camera body, you get lenses included as a package deal. When I purchased my camera, it came with a kit lens (EF+S 18–55mm f/3.5–5.6 IS II) and a zoom lens (Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III Lens). I used these two lenses for several years before buying additional lenses. Sticking with these two lenses allowed me to learn all the ins and outs of them. I highly recommend doing that!

I then invested in a nifty fifty (Canon EF 50 mm f/1.8 STM) and finally a macro lens (Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM); I use both frequently. Details and example photos below.

Kit Lens (EF+S 18–55mm f/3.5–5.6 IS II)

The package I linked to above includes a kit lens.

Spring Blossoms, May 11, 2015
Canon 18-55mm, f/5.6, 1/80

Zoom Lens (Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III Lens)

Similar to the kit lens, the package I linked to above includes a zoom lens.

Black and white photo of a woman smoking
Ines, May 23, 2015
Canon EF 75-30mm, f/4, 1/400

Nifty Fifty (Canon EF 50 mm f/1.8 STM)

My 50mm lens is probably my most used lens. It’s versatile and (relatively) affordable. Everyone loves a nifty fifty!

Red grape tomatoes in a ramekin on a marble board
Tomatoes, July 7, 2016
Canon EF 50mm, f/1.8, 1/60

Macro Lens (Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM)

This lens is my newest! I’m still learning how to use it, but wow, it’s becoming a quick favorite. This lens is definitely an investment.

Dried pink rose buds macro
Roses, December 8, 2019
Canon EF 100mm, f/2.8, 1/200

Tripod

I absolutely adore my Davis & Sanford tripod. It’s a sturdy tool with lots of different adjustments which is great for both photography and video.

Photography Lighting

Truth be told, I rely heavily on natural light for my photos. The sun can be hit or miss, but it’s free and gorgeous!

Reflectors

While I don’t use artificial light, one item that proves helpful in natural light is a reflector. A reflector is a tool that helps manipulate the light by providing another surface for the light to bounce off.

Here’s an example of photos take with a reflector and without a reflector:

Photography example: makeup smear on black background shot without a reflector
Without a reflector
Photography example: makeup smear on black background shot with a reflector
With a reflector

Foam Core Board

A reflector can be as simple as a white foam core board. I’ve linked to a pack of 10, but you can get a single piece of foam core at your local store for a few dollars.

Selens Reflector

If you would like to get something more professional, I would recommend these reflectors from Selens. It comes with 5 collapsible reflectors in various colors.

Photography Backdrops

The most frequent question I get asked is about backdrops. I typically use a piece of black fabric that I got at a fabric store. You can also use a table cloth, construction paper, painted foam core, etc. It doesn’t have to be expensive. Be creative!

Photography Software

I’m a huge fan of Adobe and a devotee of both Lightroom and Photoshop. One mistake I made when I first started using editing software was having a heavy hand while editing. The more editing I did, the more tortured the photo looked. Now, I try to shoot for the edit; that is, shooting such that I will have to make the fewest amount of edits possible.

I use Lightroom more often and reserve the use of Photoshop to retouching, composites, and advanced healing (like removing objects from a scene). Adobe has free trials available and they run periodic discounts on their suite of software. You can purchase a subscription for Lightroom and Photoshop for $9.99/month. Check out some edits below.

Adobe Lightroom

Adobe Lightroom photography no edit: grape tomatoes in white ramekin on marble board
Original
Adobe Lightroom photography edit: grape tomatoes in white ramekin on marble board
Edited

Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop photography without edit: tomatoes in a ramekin on marble board
With pasta
Adobe Photoshop photography edit: tomatoes in white ramekin with pasta edited out with Photoshop
Without pasta

I hope you found this post enjoyable and informative! Would you like to see more posts about photography including basics of composition, editing, how to optimize photos for the web, etc.? Let me know in the comments below!

FTC: Some links included in this post are affiliate links. If you choose to use them, Mocha Minimalist receives a small commission. There are no additional costs to using these links. Thank you for your support!

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