The moment you become a parent, your world changes in more ways imaginable. Your once quiet home has been filled with a beautiful balance of love and chaos. Little moments that would otherwise be insignificant become valued memories in your family's story.
Every milestone and moment is now worth documenting. Many parents will often make the decision to invest in a "fancy" camera so they can document the moments.
If this is you and you are wanting a way to capture your family's memories with more than just a phone, this guide is for you. This guide includes:
Photography Gear Essentials
Photography Gear for Parents Under $500
Photography Gear for Aspiring Photographers
PHOTOGRAPHY GEAR ESSENTIALS
The first step parents make when wanting to document more of their family memories is buying a new "fancy" camera. By fancy camera, this often means a DSLR camera. Let's review the basics of what you need to begin shooting along with some of my favorite recommendations:
Camera Body: DSLR cameras have both a camera body and lens. When shopping for a camera body, there are full frame and crop sensor models. Beginner models are often crop sensors and less expensive than full frame models.
The Canon Rebel Series is a fantastic crop sensor DSLR for beginners. This was my first DSLR camera. It was also the camera I started my photography business with.
Lens: DSLR camera's will have a separate lens. Lenses can vary in many ways but the most obvious differences are the focal length and whether they are a prime lens or a zoom. Many DSLR kits will come with a zoom lens that will range from 18-70mm or 18-55mm. Prime lenses have a fixed focal length. Common focal lengths are 35mm, 50mm and 85mm.
Memory Card: Memory cards record the images you take so that you can transfer them off your camera. Memory cards come in different sizes according to the amount of data they can hold and varying speeds on how quickly they can write the data to the card. For beginners taking photos only, most cards will work great. Size and speed only become an issue when you begin shooting high volume or capturing large files like RAW images or video.
PHOTOGRAPHY GEAR FOR PARENTS UNDER $500
The Canon EOS Rebel Series of cameras is a beautiful and high quality DSLR camera. This crop sensor, 24 megapixel camera comes with a standard 18-55mm zoom lens and 16 GB SanDisk memory card.
Canon 50mm f1.8f STM Lens - $159
The first gear upgrade or additional purchase I recommend after investing in a a DSLR is a 50mm lens. This is one of my favorite portrait lenses and offers a wide 1.8 aperture. A wide aperture, or low f-stop number, will give you creamy bokeh (aka dreamy backgrounds behind your subject.)
PHOTOGRAPHY GEAR FOR ASPIRING PHOTOGRAPHERS
In recent years, a brand new mirrorless technology has hit the photography industry and is replacing the standard DSLR cameras. Mirrorless cameras have the advantage of usually being lighter, more compact, faster and better for video.
At a higher price point, this would only be my recommendation if you believe you will be pursuing photography as a serious hobby or perhaps if aspiring to get into photography professionally.
In either case, if you want to make this investment, make sure you will invest the time in learning how to use the camera. Here is a great mirrorless camera to start:
We just discussed a great starting place for investing in photography gear. Once you invest in the right gear, I strongly encourage you to invest some time in learning how to use it!
Along my photography journey, I've heard this statement quite a few times... "Your camera takes beautiful photos." Although I do appreciate this compliment, I want want to point something out...
The camera will only get you so far until you know how to use it!!! Taking beautiful photos is a skill that takes practice.
If you are looking for a simple, easy to follow and incredibly resourceful place to learn how to use your camera AND take beautiful photos of your children, I suggest checking out Shultz Photo School.
My entire photography journey started here and I am still an active member with them. I suggest starting with the Photo Fix Course for $79 which covers all of the basics you need. If you love this course or want more, this course is included in their membership for only $120/year. With a membership you have access to all the other courses they offer!
Shultz Photo School Photo Fix - Only $79 Lifetime Access
(Membership option is only $120/year and includes PhotoFix + other courses, examples below)
If you are interested in learning how to document your family but not quite ready to invest in photography gear - check out some of these great articles. These include composition basics, tips and tricks for photographing children and more...
If you have the desire to invest in a more robust camera to help document your growing family, please use this guide to start. If you have any questions, I would love to help in any way so please ask!
All the best!
Danielle Blewitt - Pittsburgh Family + Newborn Photography
Life moves too fast. Although we can't slow it down, we can record the moments that fill our hearts and tell our story through photos and films. I am a Pittsburgh family photographer and film maker that helps families record their stories and pause some of life's greatest moments.
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