I get questions on Instagram almost every single day about what camera equipment I use and where I buy my photography backdrops. So I decided to consolidate all that info into one place!
*This post contains affiliate links which means that I may receive commissions for purchases made through these links. However, please know that I only provide links to products that I actually use and wholeheartedly recommend!
Canon Camera Gear
First things first, I want to emphasize that you do not need the most expensive camera gear or equipment to take amazing photos!! I've been using a super basic camera for the past year with amazing results! As my food photography career progresses, I am planning to purchase some nicer gear which I'll also link below. But again, what matters most is knowing how to use the camera that you do have properly! Also the lens you use is far more important than the camera body!
There are great brands other than Canon, that's just what I happen to use and love!
Beginner Camera and Lens
EVERY SINGLE photo on my website was taken with this camera and lens!
My Canon Rebel was only $375 and it's been such a great starter camera! The only downside is that it is a crop-sensor camera, which can be annoying when using the 50mm lens because everything seems much closer.
I made the mistake of buying my camera with a kit lens instead of just the body and the kit lens is trash. I never use it. I exclusively use my "nifty fifty" because it's an AMAZING lens for the price! I highly recommend starting out with this 50mm.
Advanced Camera and Lenses
The following camera and lenses are my photography wish list that I'm currently saving up to buy! I've done a TON of research about this camera and lenses so I feel comfortable recommending them even though I haven't splurged myself just yet. Also, big hint to any family members that might be reading this (jk).
Tripods, Lighting, Etc.
My very first tripod was this Amazon Basics brand tripod and honestly it works great for simple straight on shots! I use it for all my pour shots/drip shots/etc.
For my overhead shots, I use this tripod with an overhead arm and rotating ball head. I bought it because it was the cheapest overhead tripod I could find on Amazon (lol) but it's worked great for me over the last 6 months!
I also use it with this iPhone adapter so that I can film quick reels, etc on my phone!
A super important but often overlooked piece of gear is the diffuser. I try to shoot on overcast days whenever possible because then I don't have to use a diffuser, but for those sunny days I use this one! It helps soften the light and filter out any harsh blue light. It also comes with different covers so that you can use it as a reflector.
Similarly, I use a basic foam core board to help reflect light back into my scene! I have one white and one black, both are just from Michaels.
Also, make sure you invest in a good external hard-drive to store all your photos! They usually cost $50-$75 but it's well worth the price!
Artificial Lighting Gear
I'm currently venturing into the world of artificial lighting so these are my beginner artificial light reccomendations!
So first of all you need a speedlight and then a trigger that attaches to your camera! Please note that both of these are for Cannon cameras!! You also need equipment to mount the light and a softbox to diffuse the light. It's a lot, so just get everything in the list below!
I get questions about the backdrops I use almost every day! There are a ton of great options out there, so I can only speak to what I actually use.
When I was first choosing backdrops, I was very drawn to some of the popular backdrop board companies that are very popular (like Woodville) but I just could NOT justify the price. So I started looking for more affordable options.
The very first backdrops I bought were these paper backdrops from the shop LifeFilm on Etsy! They are significantly cheaper than any other backdrops I've bought, but there are some downsides to using paper backdrops. Sometimes they don't lay completely flat and they aren't 100% water resistant (however I have spilled a LOT of things on them and they've held up great). But overall their value for the money is amazing! These are the backdrops I still use 80% of the time! [UPDATE: this shop appears to be closed now]
These are some of my favorites from their shop!
I've also started making some of my own backdrops using the DIY backdrop guide from Frosting and Fettuccine. These were super fun to make but I honestly don't love doing a ton of DIY projects so I'm not sure how many more I'll make.
The vertical backdrop in this photo I made myself!
I just bought a few backdrops from Capture by Lucy and I love them so far! But since I've only had them for a couple weeks I can't speak to how they'll hold up over time. However, she has the most beautiful backdrops on her site! These are the backdrops I have:
This isn't technically gear, but the courses I've taken have been such a game changer in my photography journey!!
Foodtography School & Advanced Foodtography School - I actually wrote this whole blog post all about my experiences with both! Sarah is an amazing teacher and taught me almost everything I know! If you're just starting out in food photography, I highly recommend checking out the OG Foodtography School Course!
Artificial Academy - I just recently enrolled in this course because I'm trying to learn artificial light as winter is coming. So far I'm LOVING it! I was so intimidated by artificial light before this course and Joanie makes it so easy to understand!
As always, if you have any questions about anything in this post (or if you just want to chat) leave a message in the comments, shoot me an email at [email protected], or DM me on Instagram @barleyandsage!
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