Brooke Bakken

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Does the “Right” Gear Make You a Better Photographer?

I have had so many people not only ask me how I got started but where exactly to start. And I really mean that in a LITERAL sense, not in the “influencer” sense where you hear them say, “A lot of you have been asking about XYZ,” when we all know in reality that might not be the case. So, today I’m breaking it down for you- camera gear and all!

Where and How to Get Started

When searching for what camera to buy, it can feel extremely overwhelming. There are so many dang options! Now, don’t get me wrong. Options are amazing and now they truly have something for everyone’s budget and starting point, but it can still make the decision feel like a complicated one. Plus, it is hard to know what the best option and value is on the market… but don’t worry, I got you!

If you have a camera, or maybe you have started doing some research trying to decide what to buy…without a doubt you have seen the age-old debate…Canon Vs. Nikon (and now enter Sony). What brand is better?? And does it really even matter what you buy? My answer…sure doesn’t! Sony, Canon and Nikon are all incredible brands with incredible products. Each brand brings something a little different to the table (think focus, sharpness, color, etc) but each of these camera brands in their own right are amazing DSLR cameras! So, really, there is no “right” or “wrong” choice here.

My Camera Gear

Let me give you a look into exactly what gear is in my bag right now:

Camera Bodies:

Nikon D800
D750 (x2)

Lenses:

Nikkor 24-70mm 2.8
Nikkor 70-200mm 2.8
Nikkor 50mm 1.4
Nikkor 85mm 1.4
Nikkor 100mm Macro 2.8
Sigma 35mm 1.4

Then, the obvious: batteries, flashes, memory cards, chargers, external hard drive (when traveling), etc.

Everyone Starts Somewhere

But let’s get one thing straight…in NO WAY did I start with all of this! Slowly but surely I have built my collection AND I treat my gear like the precious (and expensive) gems they are! I have been able to have my gear last way longer than expected, but I also have them serviced and cleaned at least once a year (that’s a whole different blog post by itself!)

I was lucky enough to have the Google search bar at my fingertips and the phone number of an incredible photographer that I could text and ask questions. So, when it came to gear, I knew where to spend my money and what to avoid! But if you don’t have someone you feel comfortable asking “all the things” to and Pinterest feels overwhelming…then read on my friend.

Camera Gear Rules

First thing first: DO NOT ( I REPEAT LIKE ON EXTRA LOUD VOLUME FOR THE PEOPLE IN THE BACK ROW) DO NOT BUY A “CAMERA KIT”. Sure, it sounds convenient and like the “whole package” but anyone who knows anything will tell you, the Kit lenses won’t get you far and chances are you will outgrow those lenses much sooner than expected. Then, you will want/need to buy new lenses and spend more money. Not exactly ideal!

Instead: Buy a Camera BODY. They sell camera bodies ONLY- basically anywhere except Costco or Target. Look at Amazon (I mean that pretty much is my go-to for everything I buy online these days), B&H, Adorama, Samy’s, and even a local place here in Utah called Pictureline!

Next: You will need a lens. If you want that shallow depth of field and pretty Bokeh (if you don’t know what either of these things mean, be sure to snag my photography terms freebie HERE!), my suggestion would be to start with what we call “The Nifty Fifty!” The 50mm lens is so versatile and can give you that low F-Stop to really separate your work and make your photo-loving heart smile! You can find some great deals HERE, or HERE.

Finally: Get out there and SHOOT! You will never know what your next lens will be until you figure out your needs and what your style is!

Want More Camera Tips & Tricks?

Each Tuesday, I send out all kinds of educational goodies for those wanting to up their photography game. If this piques your interest, be sure to sign up here!

If you enjoyed today’s read, you should also check out my two-part series on Composition. Read part one here and part two here!

 

 

 

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