my camera equipment

by Kaylah Stroup

Photography has always been something I loved but for the longest time I never really saw any reason to upgrade my equipment. I stand by the notion that a good photographer can take a great photo no matter the equipment but y’all having awesome equipment sure does help!

 The very first non-kit lens I bought many moons ago was the Canon 50mm f/1.8 II which I had actually read about on someone’s blog. I liked their pictures, and their FAQ included a link to that lens along with a few sentences about how much they loved it. I bought it same day. The internet is full of recommendations on camera equipment – and just about everything else but hearing that someone I know, whether that be online or in person, loves something and reading what the practical application for me is is what is most important to me when choosing what to spend my money on.

It’s been a while since I updated my equipment list here on the blog and since my last update I’ve found a handful of new things that I just can’t imagine myself not shooting with!

1. This shutter release is seriously one of the best things I’ve ever bought. You can either push+hold the button to take a single picture or set the timer to for it to shoot a few seconds (or minutes) later. If you put your camera in sports/ high speed continuous mode, and set the timer for a few seconds long it will take a series of photos for you. It’s a thousand times better than just a remote and an absolute must have if you take outfit pictures! It also makes taking long exposures easier since using the shutter release minimizes the possibility of camera shake.

2. The Canon 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 was something that as soon as I got it I wondered how I had shot all these years without it. I just never realized how often I could benefit from having a wide angle lens. I find it most useful when shooting photos of abandoned building, landscapes, rooms in my home, etc. The whole room photos in my apartment tour are a great example of what this lens can capture.

3. Canon 100mm f/2.8, my macro lens! Perfect for shooting insects, and close ups of plants. It might be one of my least used lenses but when I do find a use for it I am so happy to have it. Here are two posts featuring examples of what the lens can do – 1 + 2. The photos of elephant seals I shot along the coast were taken with this lens as well.

If you’re not one hundred perfect sold on putting out the money for a macro lens I recommend macro filters. For under fifteen bucks you can take some pretty awesome close up shots!

4. Canon 35mm f/1.4L. So it’s technically not my lens, it’s Jeffs, but this was the lens that made me realize L-series lenses were no joke. This was one of the first outfit photo set I shot with that lens and I just remember being blown away. Before purchasing the 50mm 1.2, this was basically my every day lens. It just takes some seriously gorgeous photos! Good glass is worth the money.

5. I recently upgraded to the Canon 70D. I did a ton of research before pulling the trigger just to make sure it was the right camera for me – I’m pumped! It was important to me to buy another camera with a flip out screen since a lot of the photos I take for the blog involve me shooting photos of myself. It’s an excellent way to make sure I’m in the frame. It’s also useful for shooting things low to the ground while not getting your knees dirty.

6. The 50mm 1.2, ooooh boy. This lens is what dreams are made of. I splurged and bought this puppy for my birthday and haven’t looked back since. It rarely leaves my camera now. The plant photos in this post were taken with this lens. I’m sure after having it for a little while longer I’ll have more articulate things to say about it but right now I’m just feeling very “wooooow” about it.

My top two film cameras are the Pentax K1000 and the Canon T2. I love them both equally but have figured out which works best for me in certain situations. The Pentax K1000 is a manual camera, you have to focus and adjust the settings properly yourself. It’s an excellent camera to learn to shoot film on. I use it most for landscapes, and subjects that don’t move too quickly. The Canon T2, on the other hand, does have auto focus. It’s my camera of choice when I know I’ll be shooting animals (like at the deer park) and children since I’m still not that quick at focusing on my own.

As far as 35mm film goes, I’m not that picky. I will shoot with anything I can get my hands on. I tend to most frequently purchase Fuji 35mm Superia X-TRA 400 because Amazon has it for a decent price.

My pride and joy, the land camera. This is my absolute FAVORITE camera. I bought mine from Film Photography Project on ebay a few years ago or so when they were having a sale. They do currently have a few in their webstore. They’re slightly pricey compared to what you’d find at a thrift store or estate sale but they have been tested and come with batteries. Plus they have really great service that I can attest to! When I first got the camera I had no idea what to do with but it actually came with an instructional DVD to help you out.

Film for land cameras can be found on amazon, black and white or color. The black and white film was recently discontinued, hence the major price difference, so if you’d like some I’d stock up while you still can.

I own a handful of camera bags, it’s kind of my thing. Some people collect shoes or purses, I have camera bags. I very rarely leave my house without a camera so it’s important to me to have something safe to tote them around in. My current favorites are the Bellbrook Backpack and a cross body leather bag called Siena, both of which are from Jo Totes. I own more of her bags than any other brand. They’re stylish, and functional! You can find lots of photos of my camera bags, and how they look on by browsing through my What I Wore archives.

Those are my favorite, and most commonly used photography related things. I also have a list of just for fun cameras that I love, you can read more here! Or if you’re interested in instant photography (with easily accessible film!) you can read more here.

You may also like


Jess August 5, 2015 - 1:52 pm

Hi and thx for a great post! I own the 50mm 1.8 and was wondering what you think are the biggest differences/benefits of upgrading to 50mm 1.2? /Jess

Kaylah August 6, 2015 - 2:21 pm

Not to avoid the question but seriously, head to your local camera store and test it out. You don't even have to rent it – just shoot some pictures around the store. Canon's L series lenses are INCREDIBLE. There is nothing like just trying it out and seeing for yourself what a great lens it is. The 50mm 1.2 is pure magic.

Lydia B August 5, 2015 - 2:00 pm

Fantastic Post! I love anything camera related, I purchased the Canon 50mm lens last year and I absolutely love it. I'd love to buy a couple more lenses in the future because they really do make photos look incredible! I also love to buy a polaroid style camera because I love how instant they are and how they capture a memory that is saved within that image.

Lydia //

Kaylah August 6, 2015 - 2:22 pm

Yeah! Definitely get yourself an instant camera. They are so much fun!

B August 5, 2015 - 2:07 pm

Those camera bags are gorgeous!

Kaylah August 6, 2015 - 2:22 pm

Right!? I'm so glad pretty camera bags exist!

Indy August 5, 2015 - 2:32 pm

This post was so helpful! Like you said, it's one thing to read reviews about equipment, but when the review comes from someone whose work you admire, it means so much more! I bought the 70D a few months ago, and it came with the 18-135mm lens, which, after years of shooting with the 18-55mm, was an absolute dream! I always feel overwhelmed when looking at different lenses, but this post helps a lot, especially the links to the photos with each lens!

Also, I've had that remote in mind ever since your last equipment post, and I think I'll have to look into it for real this time. It seems like there are so many more possibilities with that one (esp. for a personal style blogger!)!


Kaylah August 6, 2015 - 2:25 pm

If you ever have any lens questions just shoot me an email I might not always have a really great answer but I can try. Buying lenses was such a mystery to me for so many years and it was so frustrating to not know where to turn for advice!

Buy the dang remote already! It will change everything! I have no idea how I ever shot outfit photos without it.

Michelle August 6, 2015 - 2:34 am

Wow you have an amazing camera lens collection! I've always been a fan of your photography so it's nice to know what you use.

Kaylah August 6, 2015 - 2:27 pm

Thanks! 🙂

Natasha Hill August 6, 2015 - 12:04 pm

I'm always interested in reading about camera equipment and figuring out the best lens to get as I am constantly wondering about upgrading from my little digital camera to a proper DLSR! Great post, really useful too! – Tasha

Kaylah August 6, 2015 - 2:30 pm

Glad you found it useful! 🙂

Maria G January 6, 2016 - 9:17 pm

Hi! Thanks for a great post. Been following your blog for years & it's interesting to see what you use. I've been trying to figure out if I should buy a tripod – as in will I actually haul it around if I buy one…

What are your thoughts on tripods? So far I'm very hung up on price + weight to carry it. And probably no less than 150cm/59" height since I'm 6'8 (173cm) and I'll be bending over more than comfortable otherwise.

And I've been looking for a similar shutter release in Sweden & my Canon EOS 1000D is probably getting old cause I can only find short cable ones with no "extras". Which of course lead me on to ogling the Hähnel Giga T Pro wireless remote… that does exist. Once you start looking at one thing you just find more things you want. Thanks again for a cheerful happymaking blog 🙂

Kaylah January 7, 2016 - 1:22 pm

I think they're an absolute necessity, but it really comes down to if YOU need one or not. Do you take photos of yourself often, what about long exposures? If yes, then you need one but if you're just snapping photos during the day or whatever you probably don't need one.

Maria G January 7, 2016 - 2:36 pm

Well the thing about Sweden this time of the year, from a good part of October up to March is that it's lousy with daylight. It's pitch black when I go to work and the same when I go home. We have light somewhere between 9am and 2pm, which makes taking any pics during winter kind of hard. I was hoping that if I had a tripod I'd actually try and take more pictures since everything wouldn't be automatically fuzzy because I breathed while taking the pic 😉 And I'd love to try and take pictures of the moonlight hitting the snow…

Also lol, I've tried taking daily outfit pictures but either the light sucks, or I can't get the focus right since I'm basically leaving the camera on any good height furniture, then setting the 1-10 photos taken with a few seconds delay and then running around and standing in front of it. It's more lol worthy than useful photos. I mean the tripod would help to set the correct height, but without a remote I don't see how the rest of my problems would work.

Honestly I still feel like a complete n00b after buying my first camera January 2012. But I love taking nature pictures, therefore I'm wondering if I'll actually haul the tripod with me while walking around in the forest..

Anyway, thanks for a quick reply 🙂

Comments are closed.