The Best Camera Equipment for Fashion, Travel, & Beauty Photography: What To Use for Social Media Lifestyle, Instagram & Blogging
What is the Best Camera For Fashion & Lifestyle Blogging?
Welcome to my favorite post of the year where I am going to dish on the question I get asked most as social media ambassador and brand manager and that is: ‘What camera do I personally use as a professional blogger and fashion editor?’
Without further ado, I present this year’s ultimate guide to photo equipment in Lacey’s 2018 Best Cameras in the World for Blogging Round-Up!
The Secret To Influencer Success is So Simple:
I’ve seen nauseating amounts of books, courses, conferences and paid courses all trying to sell you the SECRET OF BLOGGING. Well, I’m letting the cat out of the bag for free right here on Paper Duchesses! The real secret to blogging success, the real way to become a famous social influencer either on your own site, on Instagram, OR on Youtube is stunningly simple.
Ready? Post photos of yourself and stuff YOU LOVE from a camera / lens that can do depth of field and bokeh and make you look Photoshop flawless with no edits. That’s the secret, that’s all the investment that it takes. Quality camera and a few pieces of carefully selected gear.
Everyone seems to be starting a blog lately, but to stand out as a professional you really need a top quality camera. This is the secret weapon I use to stay at cutting edge of blogging and compete with pro photographers that want to charge you thousands of dollars for a few outfit of the day posts.
A Nice Camera Can Change the Game
My fashion blogger camera choice has changed in the past year because… spoiler alert, a brand new camera style came out recently and it’s better than anything on the market! I’ll tell you why I picked it and why you should consider it if you want to take your own blog or Instagram game to the next level or break into being a professional blogger or content creator.
Why You Should Invest in a Quality Camera
First though, let’s talk about why a blogger needs to invest in a good quality camera. In the fashion, lifestyle, and beauty world, pictures are everything. You have to make sure every picture you’re taking and sharing is the absolute best it can be if you want to compete in the saturated economy of social influencer marketing. When you use a phone camera or a point-and-shoot, you are showing the world your brand through a dirty, outdated lens.
Good Beginner Blogging and Social Media Camera Choices
Let’s get real though, not everyone can afford to dish out thousands of dollars for a camera to use for blogging or Instagram. That’s okay. If you are serious and passionate, you can develop an artistic style even with the worst equipment and slay the social media game. Even if you are broke, you can still often borrow a phone from a friend! So, I’ve included a special updated post at the end of the guide for cameras that work for every budget, skip ahead if you’d like.
How to Skyrocket to Popularity on Social Media
The images you post on social media and across the internet are how you share yourself, your vision, and your lifestyle with the world. They are your voice, your aesthetic, your ultimate form of communication about who and what you are. Without a high quality blogging camera that is capable of professional photographer level shots, you are just wasting your time and money and setting your images up to fail. On Instagram, on Youtube, in blogging… your image is your brand and is the core of your business.
The number one secret the professionals won’t tell you is that a good camera equals better pictures, period.
There is no such thing as a pro blogger with a cheap camera. Practice, a good eye, and a sense of style can play a role, but your equipment plays a bigger one unless you’re a magnificent artist. Social influencers from every medium utilize the latest technology and the absolute best camera equipment on the market. That’s why you’re always seeing them doing reviews of cameras and ‘behind the scenes’ set ups. If you can’t compete with the industry baseline standards, you’re not going to get very far in the influencer game.
The Secret of Social Influencers, Bloggers, & Models
Many professional YouTubers make videos on exactly what their camera and lighting set-ups are, and bloggers often share posts on this topic. It doesn’t matter your niche – if you love to take travel landscape shots, if you’re a fashion model in the city, or if you shoot up-close cosmetics review videos – the camera choices are the same. You want a high quality image sensor to give you a beautiful image, and you want the latest features that make your life easier.
You can spend endless hours going down the rabbit hole of Googling what each creator personally uses. Many of them use the same models and brands, so we’ve put together a guide to social media star’s camera equipment in a separate post.
Don’t Be Intimidated, the Camera Won’t Bite
These cameras may look sophisticated and fancy, but they are designed to be picked up and used right off the bat without any training. If you can use a point and shoot, you can use a DSLR. Not to mention, if you’re stuck or want in depth guides, YouTube has thousands of awesome video tutorials. None of this stuff is a secret, everyone is happy to share to help elevate our profession as a whole.
Most fashion bloggers and travel photographers happily include sections on their ‘technology’ right on their website. You can spend hours browsing through and seeing what your favorite influencers use behind the scenes. Often though, they have several cameras in their kit, and that’s just not realistic for a blogger starting to go pro.
This Camera is The Best Investment in Your Brand
When you invest in a professional quality camera, that money is a critical investment into your brand, your business, and your future as a blogger. No one is going to enjoy reading your content if you have small, dark, poor quality images, and certainly no one is going to follow you on Instagram!
When you get to the point of being an online professional, you will have to hire photographers for photo shoots. Soon you’ll find having your own camera pays for itself very, very quickly. You can easily spend over a thousand dollars on a half-day shoot with a local photographer, and the big name pros charge in the tens of thousands of dollars!
Of course, if you’re here looking for the very best camera for fashion and beauty bloggers, you know you can get the same quality photos with the right gear yourself. There’s no secret that makes a professional photographer any more skilled or special than a blogger – the more you practice and use your camera, the better you will get too.
Best Blog & Vlogging Cameras for 2018:
The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV!
This will come as no surprise to longtime readers, as I’ve talked about my love for Canon cameras back since the early days of blogging, when I bought my first professional level camera. Overnight, it changed my brand and I can’t overstate enough what an important and critical investment it was. I’ve continued to upgrade over the years but I’ve always stuck with the Canon line and I have built up quite the collection of camera bodies and lenses.
Canon Cameras Are the Highest Quality
Canon simply has the best quality image sensors, which in the old days of film would be like having a bigger, better negative. What that means is that they take the best photographs of any camera in the world, with the best colors, sharpness, and overall quality in my opinion. They also make a huge line of lenses, which is also a whole other topic and post on it’s own, but suffice to say you will also have to invest in lenses over your career as a pro blogger.
Canon is Worth the Investment in your Brand
The technical specs of this camera are top notch and don’t have to be complicated. In a nutshell, it has all the features you need to make shooting quick, easy and stunning. If you want to dive deeper, you can go layer by layer and customize every minute aspect of your image, just like a professional photographer if that is your desire. It let’s you do everything a professional videographer needs to, so those YouTubers and streamers will want to reach for this too, especially with it’s brand new video improvements.
If you are a review reader like me, take some time to peruse through the Verified Purchase reviews on Amazon… the proof is in the pudding! Thousands of top tier bloggers, videographers, and photographers are using this camera not just for themselves but for the superstar social influencers that you know and love.
Some of my Favorite Things about the 5D
The Canon 5D Mark IV feels comfortable to hold, even for long shoots or in the cold, and it is sturdy and weatherproof. The images it takes seem to have this special quality to them, very sharp, colorful, and luminous. This is the best camera you can get for a lot of different uses, but beauty blogging and fashion blogging are two areas where the Canon 5D Mark IV really shines and is worth the investment. The travel and scenery shots you can get with this thing are absolutely unreal, you’ll feel like Ansel Adams and won’t know how you did it.
Not to mention, it is always satisfying as a blogger when you go to a photo shoot and your gear is nicer than the professional photographer they hired! Models and bloggers get lumped into this category of ‘untalented’, but not only can you prove them wrong with this camera, you can make them feel inferior with your bigger piece of equipment.
I’ll be posting a helpful guide on tips and tricks on how to use a professional DSLR yourself and make every picture you take come out beautiful! Most of the time though, you can take amazing pictures just by looking through the viewfinder, hitting the shutter halfway down to autofocus, and then clicking, all while on the Auto setting.
Easiest Professional Blogging Camera to Use
This camera could not be easier to use, but better still is how easily it takes absolutely gorgeous photos. Most of the time you won’t need to edit the photos after you take them, you can use the images straight out of the camera and they look like you paid a pro thousands of dollars for a full-day shoot. When you’re in a hurry and have a ton of outfits to change into or several locations to film at, being able to get an amazing shot right off the bat saves you time, money, and your sanity.
Anyone who says ‘it’s not about the camera, it’s about the photographer’ is only telling you half the truth. With a Canon 5D Mark IV in your hands, any fashionista, Instagram model or blogger can take the same vivid, eye-catching images as the famous professionals, and launch yourself into that same category.
You don’t just have to be a social influencer, you can be a professional blogger, photographer, and videographer when you get a camera like this. Take yourself to the next level, because you deserve to make your dreams come true. This camera is expensive, and that’s because it’s an investment in yourself, your life skills, your brand, and your future success.
Alternative Blogging Cameras for Every Budget
If you’ve come this far and you’re on board with everything I’ve written, but you just can’t afford the Canon 5D, don’t stress. There are alternatives on the market, and while they won’t be as out of this world incredible, they can still be perfect for you and your social media. I’ll give you a run through of some great cameras at every budget below the professional level so you can see the great options available.
If you love the 5D but are willing to compromise on some of the advanced features, one secret the professionals know about is the Canon 6D camera. The 6D is almost exactly the same as the 5D and was actually created as an improvement to it, it features the coveted full-frame sensor of the 5D at a price that’s now almost half! You will miss out on the bells and whistles, most notably the video tracking feature and some low-light capability, but for fashion and lifestyle blogging, the 6D is everything you could ever dream of and more.
While there are other camera companies like Nikon and Sony, every talented professional I know uses Canon almost exclusively. Their range is just better from high end to low end, so if you can’t afford the best, at least stick with the best camera manufacturer. Canon’s modestly priced offerings are just as lovingly crafted with the photographer in mind and offer, in my opinion, a more beautiful capture of light than any other brand.
We’ve also compiled a guide on what social media stars are using for their camera equipment. Some of it will surprise you, and even the big names can use low-budget equipment. What matters most in the creative space is your unique vision. The camera is just a way to show it to everyone else, and that’s why I personally use the best in the world.
Can You Use Your Phone to Vlog & Instagram?
One question I’m seeing more and more of is about how to be successful at social media WITHOUT a camera at all – using only a phone. The truth is that yes, a lot of influencers DO use their phones for just about everything. Some even only use phones – but keep in mind they have the very latest and greatest phone on the market, phones that cost a thousand dollars which, unless you own it already, is much more expensive that most cameras.
If you want to use your IphoneX or Samsung Note8 to take photos and video, you’re going to be in pretty safe territory. You still won’t come close to the professionalism of a DSLR camera, but with a tripod and some accessories you can absolutely make it work.
What Do You Think?
Best of luck in your search for the perfect camera! If you liked this guide and want some more of my opinions about cameras or behind the scenes of being a blogger and fashion editor, let me know down below! Also, comment below if you’re trying to decide on buying a new camera, or if you love the one you already have and want to dish about it.