Your photography gear is an invaluable investment if you want to take your Instagram to a professional level. It is often assumed that all Instagram photos are shot with a basic phone camera, then a filter is slapped on it and uploaded, leading many people to wonder why their photographs don’t look like their favourite Instagram photographers. This couldn’t be further from the truth. To get that professional look, you have to think like a professional, and invest like one. While I work with photographers with much more expensive and superior equipment, I have smaller equipment that is more travel-friendly and does the trick with producing amazing photographs:
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Sony Alpha 6300 Camera with Kit Lens and Polarizing Filter
I have always been a Sony Camera user. My first digital camera was the Sony slide from the ad featuring Aerosmith – ageing myself here! In 2015 I upgraded from my iPhone 4 to a Sony Alpha 5000 with the kit lens in my first attempt at being a content creator. This great little starter camera also saw me through my growth as a traveling content creator when I grew my account from 1000 to over 15,000 followers. After breaking it along my travel (thankfully it was usable!) I upgraded again to a Sonly 6300, with the same kit lens.
I love Sony, not just for the familiarity of using it, but also, I love the way it captures blues. It really brings out blue tones. The 6300 is a little meatier than the 5000 but it is still a great travel camera. It is mirrorless so you can swap out lenses.
The compact 16-50mm kit lens, however, makes it perfect for travel. I have looked at other lenses, but many of them are large and bulky, as though they are superior lenses, I value my ability to travel light. I can slide my camera into a little neoprene sleeve that keeps it save and can pop it into my smaller handbags.
I also highly recommend a polarizing filter. This will deepen your blues, reduce glare, and make oceans look crystal clear.
Also get lots of extra batteries as they drain pretty quickly!
DJI Spark Drone
Even though there are superior drones on the market, I love my Spark for its size. The picture quality is great, but the downside is the battery life, which can be sorted by buying extra batteries. As far as drones go it’s also fairly inexpensive, so it’s not the biggest worry to lose it. There are a lot of drones out there on the market and after seeing other peoples’ I highly recommend going with a name brand, rather than a knock-off of a name bran’s “better” drone.
Again, if you can get polorizing lenses for the drone, do it!
GoPro Hero 7 Black
If you’re taking any action or underwater content, then I highly recommend the GoPro Hero 7 or higher. The image and video quality is incredible, underwater footage looks better on the camera than it does in real life. The blues (I’m a sucker for blue tones!) are amazing and it has great built in technology to colour correct while underwater. It also can record in vertical and even live stream to social media through the app.
It is waterproof, but if you’re SCUBA diving you’ll need a dive housing, as well as possibly red filters.
As a content creator, I need to always make sure that my content is of the highest quality, and even though I don’t post any images on my gallery shot on iPhone, I need the images and videos posted to stories to be of high quality but don’t want to deal with transferring footage from my camera so I invested in an iPhone 11 and haven’t regretted a thing. The camera is amazing, and it is optimized for social media by shooting in 16:9 as well as 4:5 aspect ratio settings.
If you don’t want to bother with a camera and just stick to iPhone photos, then the 11 is a great option for you!
I have a great little pink MacBook which is great for both traveling and editing photographs with Lightroom and Photoshop. It can get a little slow when I get really deep into editing, so this is something I’d love to upgrade eventually. This little laptop is great for travel, but not great for video.
What I love about Macs as a content creator, is I cannot live without Airdrop – seamlessly sending content back and forth between my devices without compression. As well as sending and receiving footage taken by other people.
I have a great little Manfrotto travel tripod that is lightweight and compact and is essential for any creator as you can eliminate your need to find a photographer. Sony has a great app where I can see on my phone what the camera sees, so I can get the perfect shot. You can also get a remote.
With this portable set of photography gear, you’ll be on your way to creating a show-stopping Instagram feed!