One of the questions I get asked over and over again is ‘What gear are you using?’, ‘How do you edit your photos?’ Now I typically answer you each individually over DM but I thought I’d write a more in-depth blog post this way I can reference links to the exact products I use to make it easier for you!
Below you will find information and links to all the equipment I use and travel with. Whether you are an experienced photographer or just starting out, this is everything you could need to create incredible travel and lifestyle content.
Before we get started I want to be clear that great equipment can definitely make things a lot easier, but having good equipment can be just as powerful. It’s less about having the best gear as much as knowing how to understand the camera you’re working with and all in how you use it. Whether it’s a point and shoot, crop sensor, full frame or even an iPhone. If you have a basic understanding of compositions and lighting you can make magic with anything.
I hope this post answers everything but if I left anything out please let me know in the comments below and I’ll be sure to respond back!
TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHY & BLOGGING GEAR
My camera is my most prized possession and the most expensive piece of equipment I own! I decided to bite the bullet and upgrade 2 years ago when I knew I wanted to take my photography to the next level and make a business out of this. I started out with a basic Nikon (Nikon D3400) so when it came time to upgrade I debated long and hard about staying with the brand or making the move over to Canon (the most comparable would be the Canon 5D Mark IV).
My best friend had just upgraded to this one so when we would go out to shoot I got to play around with it. I was already pretty comfortable with the Nikon system. So by the time I was ready to invest, I had completely fallen in love with it and I was confident in my decision.
Recently I upgraded to the Canon 5D Mark IV after getting my camera stollen in Paris. The transition over to Canon was smooth, I love the warm coloring the camera gives RAW images.
If you’re looking to step up your editing game, check out my ‘How to Edit Photos in Lightroom Tutorial’ on Youtube!
Vlogging was something I had been wanting to get into for a while and in January I decided to invest in a camera with a flip screen to make things super easy. I contemplated between the Sony RX100 and Canon G7X a lot. I like to be sure of my decision so I researched and asked a lot of questions. In the end I went with the Sony. It was slightly more expensive but got great reviews and I felt confident in my investment.
I’ve only released 1 vlog so far but plenty more to come. I’m still getting used to the process and balancing it all, IG edits, blog post and now youtube! But if you’re curious to see even more of me, make sure to subscribe to my channel here! As I said, the best is yet to come!
I always underestimate the quality of the GoPro and I don’t know why. Because every time I do end up taking pictures with it, mainly underwater shots, I end up loving the outcome! I recently just upgraded to the new GoPro 7 and I am obsessed! Check out my shot from Tahiti here! Curious to see more? See the GoPro in action in my Costa Rica video of me surfing or my Mallorca pictures from last summer here and here. It will blow your mind!
The next big question is “what lens do you use?” Initially, the lens that came with the camera was a zoom lens, Nikkor 24-120mm f/4 and I shot with this lens for about a year. As I grew as a photographer my photography style also developed. I started to learn a lot about aperture and depth of field (that’s what gives the image a sharp or blurry background).
After traveling and shooting with other photographers I fell in love with a shallower depth of field (meaning I like the blurry background). So in January, I invested in my next lens, a prime Sigma Art 24mm f/1.4. It was an expensive upgrade but what I’ve come to learn is invest in glass. The lens is what makes all the difference in a photo, not the camera body.
If you’re confused I don’t blame you, here’s the best way I can describe the difference between lenses:
Prime lenses have a fixed focal length, meaning they don’t have the option to zoom. I know this will sound odd but they do have distinct advantages. The quality of a prime lens is often far greater than that of a zoom lens because there are a lot less moving parts, resulting in sharper images. The main advantage of having a wide aperture is that you can take photos in low light.
Zoom lenses carry the obvious advantage. They are obviously a very convenient lens to have on your camera as you can shoot both wide and longer focal lengths without having to switch lenses mid-shoot.
You can shop both lenses below.
A tripod is essential when there is no one else around to help you get the shot. Some of my favorite couple/ bestie and even some solo shots have come from using my tripod!
My current laptop is a 2015 Macbook Pro 13″ model with 8GB of storage. I can’t link it as it’s discontinued but it’s been so good to me! It’s been with me since school and this entire rollercoaster entrepreneurial process. Lately, I’ve been thinking about upgrading to something with more storage as I’m always out of storage in everything in my life, laptop, cell phone, closet, you name it and I have no more space! Haha, it’s a constant battle.
But I’m linking the new laptop I’m hoping to purchase in the next coming months. I’m just waiting for more funds as the upgrade is going to cost me a pretty penny.
Hard Drives hold my entire life! They are essential to any creator for how much data they can store. I take my Lacie Rugged (the orange one) with me on every trip. I’ve had many different hard drives but this one has been my favorite for its shockproof case. I’m so clumsy so I need the extra cushion for protection.
It’s a great way to backup all my content or else I would need to travel with at last 6 memory cards. This way I can back up everything onto the hard drive while I’m traveling and when I get home, the first thing I do is transfer all the files onto my home drive. My home drive lives on my desk and doesn’t move, with 4TB of storage, he holds everything.
Another great option I’ve been looking into is the Samsung T5 Portable SSD – 1TB it’s a bit more expensive but there are great benefits to an SSD drive.
AIRPLANE & TRAVEL ESSENTIALS
There’s nothing worse than a hotel room that doesn’t have a wall plug close to the bed. I know it’s a bad habit but I’m guilty of scrolling Instagram from bed right before I fall asleep and immediately when I wake up. Don’t judge me. But in any case, this 10ft cable is heaven! The real beauty is that I can be charging my phone from anywhere in the room, curling my hair in the bathroom and still be close enough to change the song I’m dancing to. Yes, this part happens often.
When you travel with as much gear as I do having enough plugs in a room is often an issue. Especially when you share a room with another creator with the same amount of gear. This worldwide adapter has been a lifesaver!
Where would I be without an external battery? I love to stay connected to you guys but Instagram stories can really kill your battery. I live my life on 8% most days so an external battery is always in my purse so I can stay charged while on the go, especially while traveling.
Ever since I got my AirPods I have been addicted! I love being wireless. The only issue is that I always need to bring a second set with me if I want to watch a movie on board a flight. My second set is typically my FRENDS headphones, they are so comfy and I just love the rose gold look to them.
Now that you know all my gear you need to know how I travel with all of it. I never put any of my gear in my checked bags. These gadgets are far too valuable to risk them getting damaged from being tossed around. So I always travel with a backpack and sometimes a carry on too depending on what I’m packing. It can be a lot of weight on your shoulders but it’s so much better than running the risk of anything getting damaged. I’m using this one right now and I like it but it’s a bit bulky and doesn’t always fit under my seat. So here’s the link to the Wandrd PRVKE. This bag has been taking the travel community by storm. All my friends have it and it’s sure to be my next purchase!
WISHLIST – MY NEXT PURCHASES!
Initially, when I was upping my lens game I was interested in the Sigma 20mm but it was unavailable in Canada so I opted for the Sigma 24mm. Although the difference is pretty minimal it can still make a visible difference in the overall look of the photo. Another amazing wide-angle lens option I was considering is the Nikkor 16-35mm.
The Nikkor is a zoom lens which is nice to have the option. However, as I mentioned at the beginning of the post I love that soft blur background which is achieved by a lower aperture. The Nikkor has an f/4 vs the Sigma which has an f/1.4, the lower the aperture the more blur and better in low light.
I need to invest in a drone. I’ve been saying this for 2 years and the fact that I have gone so long without one is kinda embarrassing. I always had my eyes on the DJI Mavic Pro, I’ve used it a few times and I love how small it is. It wasn’t until my recent trip to Peru did I get to see the DJI Mavic Air in action. It’s even smaller and delivers just as good quality as the Mavic Pro.
I know this is a lengthy and techy one but I hope this post helps answer some questions you guys have been having about what gear to use. To wrap up this long post I want you to remember it isn’t so much about the gear you have, the true power is in how you use it.
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THANK YOU! I need like 5 of the things on this list currently, and you just saved me so much time (probably hours tbh), by taking out all of the guesswork. Love, love, love you for this!
Omg Cortney yay!!! I’m so happy to hear this post was helpful for you!
Thank you Lisa for putting this blog together. It’s always so interesting to read and see what other bloggers have in their packpacks. Btw get yourself the drone mavic air. We got it when it was released and absolutely love it. It’s small and fits literally in any pocket and performs really well. Wanted to ask you about the Dome you have listed? Do you like it and does it work well? We have been looking for one and would love your feedback. Hope you are having a great day.
Angie ang Kevin @happynomadsouls
I’m so blown away by the air, the quality is amazing!! However, they just released the Mavic Pro 2 today so I’m going to wait to hear reviews on that one too. The dome is great! To be honest I don’t use it all that often but when I do I’m always so surprised with the results! If you scroll back to my Mallorca pictures there are 2 underwater shots taken with it. For optimal results though an underwater housing for my camera would be the most ideal… it’s just so expensive. For now the go pro works for me.
Woah, Lisa!! SO happy you wrote this post. I recently rented the Nikon D750 + 16-35 mm and LOVED both and am thinking eventually I will upgrade from a Nikon D5200 to the 750. I’m also relieved to see that one of my favorite photographers also shoots on Nikon because I feel like I see a lot of people with Canons and have gone back and forth on which brand I should go with. Ultimately, I think it comes down to preference AND what you’re comfortable with (i.e. if you’ve used a Nikon all your life and vice versa). I’ve done some research on it and talked to our local camera shop too. Great post 🙂
Hey I’m so happy to hear you say that. Thank you so much for loving the post. Yes I started with Nikon.. I’ve been considering thee switch for a while and ultimately I just loved the raw colouring the Nikon offers. But I still love canon too
So useful! And you have some beautiful pictures. Funny thing, I just realized from looking at your pictures that I followed your instagram account yesterday and happened to come across this article. Looking forward to your content 🙂
Omg no way Aarti!! How funny. Well welcome I’m so happy to have you here!!
Aww that’s amazing!!! Thanks for your support