This year marks my sixth year blogging, but my second full year doing it full-time. Turning this passion into a career is one of the proudest things I’ve ever done. I feel like over the years I’ve really honed in on my style and skills, curating must-have tools and equipment to help me create my best content.
As much as I love finding beauty products that give me bang for my buck, I’m the same way with my blogging equipment. I am very selective about what I choose to invest in for my content, trying to keep my costs low but my work high quality. Today, I want to share with you my favorite affordable blogging equipment that will have you creating great content right away, something that’s imperative if you want to grow quickly. I’ll also mention the splurges that are totally worth the money to elevate your photos and videos and level the playing field with the best of the best.
Keep reading for my favorite blogging equipment suggestions. Click the picture of the item to find it on Amazon.
1. Canon Rebel T7i ($849)
In terms of “entry level” DSLRs, the Canon Rebel T7i is Queen. I recently upgraded to it from an older model and enjoy the newer features that make working so much quicker and easier. This is particularly great for beauty blogging and YouTube videos because of the flip-out touch screen that lets you monitor what’s in frame in real time. If you’ve been relying on your phone camera or a point and shoot, you’ll immediately see a clear difference when starting to use a DSLR. Crisper images, more definition of your subject, and a more professional feel.
If you’re on a budget, try finding an older model of the Rebel series— look for the “i” in the title to indicate the flip out screen. Don’t go older than a Rebel T5i, though, which starts around $639.
2. EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens ($125)
Also known as the “nifty fifty” this is an affordable (by comparison) lens that will give you that gorgeous, blurry-background effect. This is great for fashion shots, portraits, or close-ups where you want to highlight one aspect of the photo. Look for the STM model specifically, which has an upgraded autofocus technology that will be smoother, quicker and quieter (important for videos!). This is what’s called a prime lens, which means there’s no zooming. It does look more zoomed in than the kit lens, but the only way to adjust what you get in the frame is physically moving the camera back and forth.
3. EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM Lens ($149)
Another affordable and very travel-friendly lens, the 24mm is a newer addition to my own collection and I’m really enjoying it. This is also a prime lens that offers a nice blurry background (not as intense as the nifty fifty though). However, it’s not as zoomed in as the 50mm, so I find it much more convenient for filming since I don’t have to place it so far in front of me. You can get a little more in focus rather than honing in on such a shallow spot. While I love the bokeh effect of the nifty fifty, the 24mm is a close second that is a little less finicky.
4. AmazonBasics Wireless Remote ($8.50)
When you’re working on your own, setting a timer and running back and forth to your camera is exhausting. This wireless remote is less than $10 and pairs with either Canon or Nikon SLR cameras. It will initiate autofocus and take a photo, or start recording video at a touch of a button. It’s a must-have when you’re a one-woman show like I am!
5. Mobile Ring Light ($7.99)
You might look super extra when you use them, but a mobile ring light will seriously elevate your phone photos for Instagram. For $8, you can get this light that clamps over your phone and offers three lighting modes to get the right brightness for your environment. It works for both the front facing and back camera, so you’ll get brightly lit selfies or illuminated food shots when you’re on the go.
6. LimoStudio Umbrella Lights ($52.99)
In my opinion, nothing beats natural light in photo and video. However, having supplemental artificial light is really important as natural lighting isn’t always reliable or available. This was my first lighting set that I used for both my blog and YouTube videos, and I’m still using them. The set comes with everything you need— three light stands, bulbs, umbrellas, and a carrying case. The umbrellas diffuse the light for a more even brightness which looks great for face shots, but these also help eliminate shadow for product pictures.
7. The Happy Planner ($27.99)
Planning ahead and keeping a content calendar is key to giving yourself enough preparation to create quality content. My worst posts are the ones I pulled out of thin air because I didn’t prep. Scheduling post ideas gives you a chance to think everything through and determine what you need to make it a great post or video. I’ve gone through so many different planners to keep track of my to-do lists and blog schedule, and The Happy Planner the best one by far— and it’s affordable! I like that I get a month view and a vertical weekly view, which is the best format for me to list out all of my daily tasks. It’s clean and very customizable, so if you have a job or go to school on top of blogging, you can easily split it up to cover both aspects of your life. I’ve used The Happy Planner for 3 years now and it just vibes so well with planning blog content and seeing everything at a glance.
While these are the more affordable equipment choices in the realm of blogging, I definitely wasn’t able to purchase all of this stuff right off the bat when starting out. But as you start to get more serious about your passion for sharing content, investing in your brand will make a big difference when it comes to getting noticed. I would say to pick and choose what you need the most at the moment, and work from there. You can absolutely work with the kit lens on a DSLR and get great photos before needing to step it up to an extra lens. You can definitely shoot videos or photos in front of a window and never need artificial light. Do what’s best for you and your goals, and everything else will follow.