Hi Internet friends!
I’m not one to keep secrets from you – especially not when it’s something that can help you (given you are a blogger or thinking of becoming one). And today you’re getting the complete list of tools and resources I use to build and run this blog.
This turned out to be such a long list, that I’ve divided the list into 3 parts:
- Blog hosting, design, email & plugins (read it here)
- Photography and graphics design tools (that’s this post!)
- Blogging & social media tools (coming up!)
What: I got my DSLR, specifically the Nikon D3200*, as a graduation present back in 2013 from my family. As I’m getting better (still learning) to take advantage of all the settings, my pictures are getting better and better, and there’s a clear difference in quality compared to my phone. Combined with a program on my PC, it also lets me shoot pictures for my workouts and everything else on my own.
Why: I don’t believe bloggers absolutely need to have a DSLR, especially when it’s just a hobby. But if your blog is visual – like food and fashion blogging, quality images is a must-have and that’s just easier with a DSLR if you know how to use it.
How much? Not cheap, that’s for sure. It’s a big investment, so it’s worth setting time aside to browse for a good offer or wait for a sale.
What: So I had a really old tripod made by SLIK* that’s kinda broken and I kinda stole it from my dad (He wasn’t using it anymore, I swear I’m not a bad person). Then for my birthday last year I got a new one by Hama*.
Why: A tripod is a great alternative to balancing your expensive camera on top of a shaky tower of boxes and books (I can’t be the only one that used to do this!). If you’re trying to get a specific setup, it’s preferable to be able to go back and forth and make adjustments, while the camera stays in place. I love my new tripod because its height is continuously adjustable, feels sturdy, can shoot in both horisonal and vertical mode and when you pack it up, it doesn’t take up a lot of space.
How much? Tripods vary a lot in price. Usually the more expensive ones has more features/possible positions and are more durable.
What: Digicam Control is my secret weapon to taking photos without bugging my boyfriend or anybody else. It let’s you connect your DSLR to your computer and lets you control it from there.
See if your camera is on the list of supported devices
Why: I wrote a whole post about this, but basically this let’s you control your camera from your computer. With the liveview mode, you can see if you’re in shot, and you can set it to take an infinite amount of pictures with a set amount of time in between.
The only downside is that it’s only supported on Windows.
How much? Free!
What: A photo editing app for iPhone and android. It comes with build-in presets (and more can be downloaded from the store, some for free). Presets are like filters, it’s a predefined set of editing settings you can quickly apply to a photo.
Why: Just go to the hashtag and you’ll see so much stunning photography. I’ve tried a lot of photo editing apps, and in my experience VSCO’s presets are the prettiest, and the extra editing features (adjusting brightness, contrast, strength of filters and so much more) gives you everything you need. You can also use the in-app photo library to plan your instagram feed.
How much? Free, but some additional presets can be purchased.
What: Lightroom is a powerhouse of a tool for for image editing and organising.
Why: To me, this is a gift from above. It makes organising images so much easier, and it’s easy to flip through folders and find the right one. I use the tagging options to keep track of what images I’ve used for the blog and Instagram. And thanks to the presets, editing a handful of images is done in a hurry. And there’s so many other things this program can do!
How much: Like Photoshop*, Lightroom* can a bit pricey. Adobe usually offer free trials, and now has subscription models (if you’re lucky, you can get it for free through school), so the upfront cost is not that huge – that way you can try it out and see if it’s something for you.
Graphic Design Tools
What: Does it really need an introduction? This is an advanced tool for image editing, it has so many features I’m still learning after years of using it.
Why: This probably is the best tool out there for editing. If you have enough time to learn how, you can make a picture look however you want. You can also download presets/actions that make consistent editing easy.
How much? Like Lightroom*, Photoshop* can be a bit pricey. Adobe usually offer free trials, and now has subscription models (if you’re lucky, you can get it for free through school), so the upfront cost is not that huge – that way you can try it out and see if it’s something for you.
A good free alternative is Canva, which is widely used as well.
What: A place to find handcrafted (mousemade) designs for all digital creative purposes.
Why: I receive their newsletter with 6 free goodies every week – and I’ve found so many good things thanks to that! Nearly every week there’s something I just have to download – there’s so many beautiful fonts, vectors patterns, photoshop brushes, and gorgeous templates for Instagram and Pinterest.
How much: It’s a market, where prices vary. But sign up for their newsletter for free weekly goodies.
Here’s the current free goodies:
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How much? There’s lots of free fonts (and lots of premium fonts too) on the sites listed.
What’s your favorite tools for design and photography?