A couple of weekends ago, I popped into Jessops for some passport photos (which were refused, btw - apparently you're not allowed to look like a drug addict on your passport) and came out with a DSLR camera.
It was a joint purchase and something Rob and I have been considering for a while. A great offer coupled with a touch of the impulsives and a very good salesman meant we were easily convinced, and after taking many, many photos I can honestly say it was thoroughly worth the money. But before I get into all that, I thought I'd write a bit about the cameras I've used in the past. Weirdly enough (because I really don't rate my 'photography' much), I get asked about my camera quite a lot. And after reading Lily's great post on her camera journey, I thought it'd be nice to tell you about mine.
Ahem. A bit of a Canon fangirl, perhaps?
These are the two cameras I've used to take all my blog photography since December 2010. In the very early days I had a Sony Lumix point and shoot which was a great little camera, but as I started blogging more and my interest in photography grew, I upgraded to a Canon G11.
I bought my G11 on eBay for around £250. It's second hand but came in the box with all the bits and pieces. It's a brilliant camera - a bit more advanced than a point and shoot but without the faff of interchangeable lenses (which I'm quite terrified of). If you're used to picking up a camera and taking a photo on auto, the G11 is great for learning a bit more about the manual settings and how you can fiddle about with them to get a better image. It's also quite small and compact, making it perfect for events and nights out.
After a year of shooting with the G11, I learnt lots about camera settings and how to use them. And with my interest in photography growing, I decided to make the leap from point and shoot to DSLR...
This is the Canon 500D. As mentioned, Rob and I bought it at Jessops - there's a newer version now (the 550D) which is why this one was a bit cheaper. With this offer, it was just shy of £480 for the camera with an 18-55mm and 75-300mm twin lens kit.
I have to tell you - I'm still a bit scared of this camera. It's a proper camera, and I am by no means a proper photographer. I'm also determined not to be a typical fashion blogger with a DSLR on auto. But despite my fear, it's actually very easy to use if you understand the basic principals of photography. The controls are similar to the G11 and I am in LOVE with the manual focus. Yes, it's scary to hold (so big! So precious!) and the first time I took it out on the tripod I felt like I'd left a newborn baby balanced on a window ledge (or something similarly precarious). But the difference in the images is amazing - they're crisp, clear and vibrant.
This is a 75-300mm 'telephoto zoom' lens. Different lenses are a completely new territory for me and I haven't done much with this yet - according to Canon it's great for sports, portrait and wildlife photography, so I'm looking forward to trying it out.
My final 'bit of kit' (totes profesh) is this remote. I can't tell you how much of a difference this has made to my outfit photos. I bought this along with my new camera for about £22. Before this, I was using the self-timer mode and running back and forth from the camera after every shot, which often threw it out of focus. With the remote, I can set the camera up on my tripod, get into position (my best fashion blogger pose) and press the button, which prompts the camera to focus on the scene and take the shot. I can now take 20 shots in just a few minutes, which is amazing when you're standing outside taking photos of yourself with a tripod. Less time means less chance of being 'discovered' and embarrassed!
I know I'm not a professional photographer and wouldn't even describe myself as a hobbyist (not yet, anyway), but I really enjoy taking pictures and feel really proud when a photo turns out well.
I'd love to hear about your experiences with photography - what camera do you use? Any tips or tricks to share? Are you confident when shooting or still learning, like me?