I have compiled an extensive list of camera gear and accessories that I have used or would recommend to anyone wanting to learn take better pictures of their family. In general, I always recommend buying your camera body without a lens if that option is available. The lens that comes in an entry level camera kit may seem like a good deal, but it isn't. If you can, skip the kit and invest your money in one of the other lenses recommended here.
And remember -- the gear is only a tool. You must learn how to use it in order to achieve more professional looking results. Otherwise, nothing here will serve you any better than your iPhone camera. I host beginner workshops periodically that will teach you everything you need to know. You can click the button below to get on the waiting list and be notified of the next workshop dates.
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This is my TOP choice for a great everyday camera that can also be used professionally. It is pricier than the entry level Nikons and Canons. But it’s compact size, superior image quality, external controls, and handy smart phone integration features make it worth every single penny.
UV filters protest the glass element on the front end of your lens from scratches and breaks. I put one of these on every lens the moment I take it out of the box and I never take it off. Be sure to check what size filter your lens needs before purchasing. This will vary from lens to lens.
There really is no other way to describe Peak Design's line of camera products than absolutely genius. Stylish, durable, and weather proof bags that are comfortable to wear and hold a TON. Their parented flex fold dividers save so much space and make packing your bag a breeze. I own the 20L backpack in Ash and it is my favorite bag yet. For the everyday mom with a camera, I would recommend the Everyday Tote or Everyday Messenger. Room for you camera AND all the junk us moms have to haul. All of their bags come in several colors. I'm partial to the Ash. Click here to browse all of the awesome products they put out and to receive a 10% discount on any purchase made.
KELLY MOORE BAG
Kelly Moore makes some really stylish camera bags. They lack some of the functional aspects that I love about Peak Design's bags, but that hasn't stopped me from collection several that double as purses perfectly. The Libby especially, makes an excellent diaper bag, laptop bag, or travel bag. There are lots of options (you can CLICK HERE to shop them all!), but here are a few of my favorites.
JOHANSEN (Formerly JO TOTES)
Johansen bags seem to lack the longevity of Peak Design and Kelly Moore Bags, but they are significantly less expensive. They also have a variety of smaller bags that are more functional for travel, especially with a mirrorless DSLR.
ADOBE CREATIVE CLOUD
Learning to make a few basic adjustments to your images can really help you take your photos to the next level. I edit my images almost exclusively in Adobe Lightroom Classic CC and I plan to offer editing classes in the future. Lightroom is also a powerful cataloging tool that will help you organize and easily locate your image files. Adobe offers a subscription to both Lightroom and Photoshop for $9.99 per month, or if you have a student email address, you can get the entire sure of adobe products for 60% off!
You want to make sure to download Lightroom 'Classic CC'. The other version is cloud based and requires you to purchase cloud storage for your images.
FREE EDITING OPTIONS
I've found a couple of free Lightroom alternatives. RawTherapee and Light Zone seem to be adequate editing programs for the beginning user, especially if you have a basic knowledge of Lightoom. However, I have not used these programs myself and would not be able to provide editing assistance or tutorials. If you really want to learn these programs as an alternative to paying a Lightroom subscription, I suggest searching for YouTube tutorials.
When you are ready to learn your camera and more about editing, I would love to invite you to join me at one of my Mom Workshops (non-moms are welcome too!). Get on the waiting list and be the first to know when the next in-person workshop goes on sale. Workshops are only held once or twice a year and space is limited, so click the button below and make sure you get first dibs. OR get started right now with the online version of the workshop here: