In my local Coffee + Cameras class, I end our time together with a quick round up of my favorite resources for photographers.
Hands down, my favorite lens for the photographer who wants to uplevel their photography is the “nifty fifty.” Available for both Canon and Nikon DSLR cameras, the aperture on this lens opens up to 1.8, which is a DREAM for inside shooting. Goodbye, flash and hello, blurry backgrounds! In fact, 15 years into my photography career, my go-to portrait lens is a version of this.
The Nikon version runs a bit over $200 and the Canon version is about $125. Be sure to utilize Amazon’s part-finder functionality, which allows you to enter your camera make and model to ensure that the lens will fit and function properly.
I always suggest renting gear for travel as well as to test it out before purchasing. For rentals, I use and love LensProToGo.com – you can rent bodies, lenses and other gear. Their equipment is well cared for, shipping is fast and availability is great. If you decide to rent from LensProToGo.com, use the coupon code ROCKYOURCAMERA for 15% off!
Sandisk Extreme Pro is my go-to brand for memory cards. I keep several in my camera bag and two in my wallet! You never want to be in the position of running out of space and having to delete images in-camera. My camera’s RAW files are massive so I buy mostly 32g and 64g cards, but if you’re shooting JPEG (which is what I recommend for beginners), you can for sure get away with an 8g card.
While digital photography is super cost effective in that we’re no longer needing to buy film and pay for developing, it’s really easy to fall into the trap of just leaving the images sitting on a hard drive somewhere. I’m 100% guilty of this. In fact, I have ONE photo of my children printed in my home, and it’s from two years ago!
My all-time favorite print shop for consumers is Mpix.com. I recommend them to all of my clients who purchase digital files so I regularly run test prints to ensure quality. I’ve NEVER been disappointed! They offer high quality products, super reasonable pricing, fast shipping and exceptional customer services.
This Exposure Simulator has a fun challenge mode where you can test your skills. I got 37 seconds – can you beat that?