Starting a blog. OMG. So so many things to say about this. For the longest time I didnt want to start a blog because I felt a little overhwhelmed by all of it / long form content?! Who even reads that anymore?
But the more I learned and the more my social media channels grew, the more it became clear to me that in order to truly make this into a business, I needed to start a blog. I needed a home base to host my content, to have longer form content that I truly wanted to create – not what I thought someone else wanted me to create. It could be my very own space, and allow me to grow by getting to write articles for other blogs, and to feature other writers on mine.
BUT WHERE TO BEGIN?! Squarespace, wordpress, wix, and the list goes on and on.
Also – I needed to “level up” my photography game. While you can get some really great ( and I mean REALLY great ) photos with the newest iphones these days, there just is no replacement for the quality and depth of field you are able to capture with a DSLR camera. I had be hesitant for so long, I am just a mom who likes to take photos of her kids.. can I really justify that expense?
YES. 100 time yes. I wish I had done it sooner. Investing in a real camera and learning to use it well has been the single most impactful decision I have made for my brand.
I get asked all the time about what gear I use and how I started / maintain my blog. So I figured I’d round up all my fave things / equipment / resources all in one post to make it easy for you to use! I’m breaking it down into categories: Photography, Blogging, and Instagram.
- I shoot with a Canon M50 It is their mirrorless DSLR so it its smaller, and much lighter than a traditional DSLR. It also shoots 4k video – so that is a huge plus! I use the Canon iphone app to set up my self timer shots like this one above!
- The lens I shoot most with is a 35mm f/2 Canon lens – I use full frame lenses with my mirrorless camera. I just bought the crop frame adaptor so that whenever I do decide to upgrade or get a full frame DLSR, all my lenses will be able to transfer. I also use a 50mm lens f/1.8 on occasion as well as a 18-55mm zoom lens.
- UPDATE** I decided to get one crop frame lens – and I LOVE IT! Here is the one I bought. It is especially great for shooting indoors and in any lower light situations as well as makes my outdoor shots look amazing!
- PHOTO STORAGE IS HUGE. When I started shooting more photos, I quickly filled up my macbook’s hard drive and my icloud storage within a few weeks. I have found that having an external hard drive ( or two ) is absolutely crucial. I use the ultra slim and lightweight Sandisk Extreme 1 Terabyte solid state drive. It easily fits in my purse or pocket and holds so much data! I also love the Sandisk iXpand flash drive. It plugs into my phone and I use it to backup all my iPhone images, as well as transfer large amounts of photo backups to my computer / external hard drive.
- I typically start by importing all of my photos directly from my SD card to my computer – I then go through and eliminate any blurry or less than ideal photos. I will then transfer all of the viable images to my hard drive. From there I import to Lightroom cc – and rate my favorites. I then go through and edit all my five star rated photos!
- I have a light kit for my indoor shots. ALSO A HUGE GAME CHANGER! I am no longer subject to the outdoor light conditions to make or break my shooting days. However – I try to shoot exclusively in natural light whenever possible – but somedays, some rooms in my house need a bit of extra help. I typically aim my light at the ceiling in order to make it seem as natural of light as possible and keep it from creating shadows.
- I hired Shari from Little Blue Deer to build my WordPress blog. She did INCREDIBLE. Its a little ironic because I am a Squarespace website designer, but I just couldn’t make the time to make the design decisions for myself. I love Squarespace and typically advocate for people to use it for almost any type of business. However – I needed the flexibility of WordPress because I hope to have my own built in / custom video hosting site for the future of my Pranamama Postpartum Yoga program. If you need a WordPress blog site – I highly recommend Shari. She was fast and affordable. If you’ve got a retail site, or business page in addition to your blog, then I would advise you to go with Squarespace. It is the easiest. most bang for your buck, platform.
- Just start writing! I think I was hung up on the idea of long form content being dense or difficult, or requiring 50 perfectly styled photos for each post. And that is simply not true! For me, I have found that when I just say what is important to me, or write about things I get asked about frequently, then my content does really well. Authenticity is key – so just go for it! Say what you need to say and trust that the right people will read it.
- I could go on and on about the nuances I’ve learned about instagram over the past 18 months of growing my brand online. There are literally bajillions of things in my brain I want to say. However – there are people who are much smarter and more eloquent than I who have already written tons of content on this topic. Go check out Beth Kirby from Local Milk and Jenna Kutcher from the Goal Digger podcast. Everything they teach is GOLD.
- You can also read about my top 5 editing apps and instagram tips on this post I did a little while back! I show you how I edit and exactly which apps I use!
I hope all of this is helpful to you! Please let me know in the comments if you have any additional questions that I can answer for you! I don’t know it all and I’m honestly just beginning – however, I am a firm believer in Community Over Competition, so I am always willing to share what I have learned along the way.