Photography: What I Shoot With (& Other Such Things)

I’ve received a few emails lately from readers asking (a) what I shoot with and (b) what I recommend for people not willing to spend over $1000 on equipment.

I have two cameras that I frequently use on this blog.

The Canon PowerShot S95 is what I use when I’m walking around the mall, going for a light trail walk or plan on handing the camera off to multiple people throughout the evening.  It’s easy to use, takes good pictures even on automatic and has video.  It’s also very light and very portable.

Right now it’s selling for $459 on, but I got mine for $250 after looking for sales.  You can also buy them used for cheaper on amazon as well.  Just look for a reliable seller who has good ratings.

I’d recommend this camera to the person who already HAS a DSLR camera who wants something more portable or someone who’s just looking to take pretty nice pictures without necessarily worrying about all the settings.  Although there is a manual setting for people who are looking for a little more control as well!

It takes pretty good quality pictures, especially when outdoors:

My other camera is the Rebel XS.  

This is actually an outdated version that Canon doesn’t make any more.  You can still find it used on for a pretty good price, but I’d recommend going for the newer version, the Canon T3,  which sells for around $400 on

The Rebel XS is my go-to camera when I want special images and when I want the control that a manual DSLR camera can offer.

Lenses are an entirely different ball game.  I have several lenses but there’s one that I almost always find on my camera, which is the Canon 35mm f/2 wide angle lens.

It sells for about $280 on and it’s such a nice multi-use lens.  It’s super light weight which means I don’t mind carrying it around all day and it takes great low light photos.  About 90% of the time, this is the lens that I’m shooting with!

For storing my camera, I use this Case Logic sling bag, which sells for about $45 on  It’s very convenient and comfortable.  Perfect for walking through the city, going for a hike or bringing along to someone’s house.

Bonus: Since it’s a sling back, it doesn’t require that you take it off in order to gain access to your camera.  So if you’re out on a walk and a mallard duck is 20 ft away and you want to snap a shot, simply unbuckle the side snap, slide it over and pop out your camera.  It’s awesome.  Love it!

I once heard that the most important aspect of photography is the photographer, or having the “eye” for a good photo.  Second most important thing is the lens.  And the third most important thing is the camera body.

If you’re new to photography, I’d recommend working on your photography EYE before investing in a more expensive camera or lens.  Lately I’ve been going to pinterest for photography pictures and have been trying to get some inspiration in that way.  You can work on new ideas and developing your “eye” no matter WHAT camera you have on hand.  And once you use out all of your camera’s possibilities, you’ll probably find yourself wanting to upgrade. But all of those skills you’ve gained and knowledge you’ve learned will carry over to the next camera that you purchase.  No time wasted!

I also highly recommend this book by Bryan Peterson, a well known photographer who knows how to explain photography in a simple albeit exciting way.  If your mind is reeling over all the camera lingo like aperture, ISO, shutter speed, etc., this book is a must.  I’m constantly reviewing this book for guidance and ongoing suggestions!!

Most important thing to remember: Photography is FUN!  If you’re feeling tense over trying to figure your camera out, seek out some help through photography books or websites or by asking fellow photographers.  Over time, you’ll develop your own photography “eye” and your own unique style.  Try not to compare yourself or your pictures to others but always be open to learning new things along the way!

Also.  Check out this post if you’re looking for some new “project” ideas! 😀

QUESTION: What is your favorite thing/place/object/theme to take pictures of?  I’m obsessed with photographing food (of course!) but also love taking pictures of people.  I don’t have much experience with children photography, but am constantly looking for opportunities to grow in that area.  Also ANIMALS are a favorite thing and outdoor scenery. 😀


5 thoughts on “Photography: What I Shoot With (& Other Such Things)

  1. You should link to your post about your umbrella lights too! When I added you to google reader (I’m so glad you commented, I lost track of you!) I was looking through your old posts and found your umbrella light post very helpful. I’ve been wanting umbrella lights for a while to help with lighting when natural light isn’t abundant… and that post was a huge help. I bought the lights you recommended – they should be here today! YAY! Can’t wait to try them out.

    • That’s so exciting!! I love the umbrella lights, they come in so handy. They can be a bit tricky to figure out at first (i.e., which direction to point the lights!) but once you get the hang of them, they’re awesome! 😀

      Also, so glad I “re”found your blog as well!! I missed reading it and happily landed upon it while reading through several other blogs. 😀

  2. I’ve always thought that you take such gorgeous photos, so I am excited to learn a few of your secrets! I am hoping to invest in a Canon T3 sometime within the next year. I use my camera so often that it makes sense for me to upgrade.

    I, too, love photographing food, but I also love capturing flowers and plants. One of my favorite things to do in the spring and summer is to tote along my camera on a visit to pick berries. The nursery we usually go to has such a vast collection of plants that I can occupy a whole afternoon taking pictures!

  3. I’ll have to look at that lens! I have a f/1.4 50mm (I think) portrait lens that I LOVE, but I want something a little better that my kit lens for “walking around” types of photos.

    Favorite thing to photograph? Food. Mostly because that’s what I do SO much of the time (cook, I mean). I also enjoy portraits, but the few times I have done it, I have been blessed with an awesome location (my home is on a LOVELY piece of property) and extremely photogenic people. I would basically tell them, “Sit here,” I’d back up, snap the picture, and it would be AWESOME. I know it’s not always that easy, but with a photogenic person, it becomes SO easy.

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