A Beautiful Mess Favorite Camera Gear!

A Beautiful Mess Favorite Camera Gear List (Click through for links)As you can probably imagine, we get a lot of questions here at the blog about what our favorite camera gear is. For that reason, every so often we like to update you guys and give you the inside scoop about what camera gear we are loving (and don’t worry, the items have a range of prices depending on your budget)! The list has a few reliable standards as well as some new items we’ve discovered along the way. So let’s dive right in!

1. Canon 5D Mark III: This is the camera that we’ve all been using for years now, and we LOVE it! It’s amazing how much more you can fit into a full frame camera shot, and since we switched over, we hardly ever have to pull out the wide angle lens anymore. It’s great in low light situations, can handle a higher ISO, and while it is a lot more expensive than a starter camera, it’s definitely an investment that we were so glad we made!

2. Canon RC-6 Wireless Remote Controller: Most DSLR cameras already come with a self-timer function, but it’s really handy to have a remote to take selfies or any other kind of photo where you don’t want to run back and forth for each snap. The Canon RC-6 is a great choice, but we love this remote as well.

3. Wacom Tablet: This tablet is great for adding handwriting or drawing to photos and makes certain editing tasks a lot easier as well. There are a couple of good models out there for less than $100, but this is the one that we’ve been using (the newest version of it is this one).

4. Cute Camera Straps: Camera accessories don’t have to be basic! Get yourself a few cute straps to switch out and be a shutterbug in style.

5. White Balance Cards: Emma swears by these cards to get her white balance just right, and these are small enough to throw into your camera bag without taking up all your space.

6. Canon EOS 80D: If you want to up your camera game but aren’t ready for the price jump of a full frame camera like the Mark III, then this 80D may be the perfect middle ground for you. We have all used at least one of the previous versions of this camera (starting as far back as the 20D), and it’s a great model for bloggers and was even used when we wrote our first book as well.

7. A Color Story Desktop Actions/Presets: If you’ve ever used actions on photos, then you know what a crazy difference they can make when it comes to creating clean, bright, and powerful images. It makes your editing process so much faster and gives you a more consistent look—we love them!

8. Reflector Set: Having a good reflector set can be a lifesaver in certain lighting situations to help you manipulate the lighting tones and shadows. This is a 5-in-1 set that is collapsible and is a great deal considering it’s under $20.

9. Large Camera Bag: If you are going to have to lug around all your camera gear, you might as well have a cute bag to carry it in! This bag is a good size to carry your camera and 2-3 lenses as well and has several divided compartments for storage. And in case you’re curious—we launched a NEW A Beautiful Mess camera bag this year!

10. CamFi Wireless Camera Controller: This device is a newer find for us, but it allows you to use your phone as a wireless remote for your camera so you can see in real time through your phone what the shot looks like and adjust accordingly. You can also download the photos right to your phone when you are done for instant uploading. Genius? We think so!

11. Camera Tripod: Tripods come in handy in a million situations, so make sure that you have one that you love.

12. 50mm lenses: For a great, everyday lens, we suggest this 50mm f/1.4, but if you are wanting to get a starter 50mm at a lower price, it’s hard to beat this 50mm f/1.8 for the quality and value.

Emma swears by this EF 50mm f/1.2 lens for all her food photography needs.

13. 35mm lenses: The lens that we probably use the most would be this Canon 35mm f/2 (it gets used for the majority of the shots we take). If you can only get one lens, this would be the one we suggest as it’s really clean and has a more moderate price point.

We also love this Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L lens for taking crisp portraits (the quality is top notch).

14. Small Camera Bag: Sometimes you don’t need or want to take all your gear options with you, and it’s nice to have a smaller bag to keep your camera handy but also protected. Just make sure and measure your camera before buying your dream bag to ensure it will fit!

15. Canon Rebel: If you are just getting into the photography game, the Rebel is a great starter camera for also being on the lowest end of the price scale. Don’t let the price point fool you though, it’s still a quality camera for the novice or a blogger on a budget.

16. DSLR Basics eCourse: Does all this talk about camera gear make you want to get into the photography game (or at least up your current game a bit)? Well, don’t forget that we have a DSLR basics eCourse as well as a Photoshop for Bloggers course—you can even get them both for a discounted price!

It’s always fun to see what tools-of-the-trade other bloggers are into lately, so we hope this list has been informative for you! Maybe you’ve even added a few items to your Christmas wishlist, eh? Happy snapping!

  • Awesome list. Just started on my photography Journey and purchased my first few camera items. My first project is a film shoot so a Sony a6500 is a good choice which I have now got. And a really fast Sony E 35mm f1.8 OSS Lens. My Mefoto tripod in Orange has also just arrived so I can’t go with the more colourful items you have above. Great article Ive got a few more ideas of other elements that make up a kit now thanks.

  • If you like the 40mm (like how much you see in frame, how far it requires you to be from you subject, etc.) then you might consider just getting a 40mm but not the pancake. If your budget allows I recommend buying in the L-series (has the red ring around the lens) because in my experience they are super high quality and completely worth the price point.

    I shot mainly with a 35mm and a 50mm. But it depends so much on what you are shooting (room tours, people, close up food tutorials) and also how much you want to back up from your subject, or can back up in case you are shooting in smaller rooms.

    One thing I do when I’m thinking about buying a new lens is I rent the lens I want to buy to try it out. This helps me feel super confident about my purchase, or I discover it wasn’t as useful as I thought and I’m only out a little bit of money as oppose to my whole budget.


  • No, the new ABM camera bag will not be out before this coming Christmas. We’re not 100% on when it will be out yet but I promise, it will be worth the wait! But that’s partly why we wanted to showcase some other cute camera bags in the meantime in case anyone is in immediate need and shopping. 🙂


  • I bought a small, lighter weight tripod for our honeymoon (we hiked a lot in Switzerland). And although it was OK, I probably wouldn’t recommend it. And that’s the only one I’ve used so I’m not sure I have a great rec for you. 🙁


  • Cool thanks! Would love to know more about the light kits you guys have, too, for all those brightly lit and crisp shots!

  • The best thing about blogging is how techy it can be!! Great post 🙂 ! Lauren – www.theyoproedit.com [latest post: How to Hygge on a Budget] x

  • That is an awesome camera bag !I currently just use the Nikon one that came with my camera but I want to get a bigger one.

    Floradise blog

  • Love this post!

    As we learn more and more about photography, we’re constantly researching what items to add to our collection!
    Definitely looking into getting a reflector set, and those camera bags are adorable!

    Thanks for sharing!



    A Whimsy Wonderland

  • Cool stuffs!
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  • Great equipment! Do you have a recommendation for a great lens for making videos. I’m currently using the Canon 40mm pancake lens which is great quality but it has focusing issues. Thanks!

  • AAAAHHHH i was so hoping you would do a more affordable camera bag!!!!! will it be ready for christmas??? cause i want to add it on my christmas list!!!

  • These camera bags are fantastic 🙂 Mine is slowly falling apart, so I do have an excuse…

  • Hi guys!!! This is an awesome post so thank you for sharing 🙂
    I am looking for a good travel weight tripod currently (I have a small bridge camera so it’s not very heavy) and was hoping you had some tips?
    Thanks so much!!


  • Thanks for sharing! I’ve been looking for a new camera and it’s nice to see what other bloggers like http://www.hannamarielei.com

  • This is so great, those reflectors for under $20 = awesome. I’m starting to up my portrait game so this will really help, especially as we get closer to winter! Thanks!


  • I was so excited to see this post as soon as I opened your blog! I just got my very first (!!!) DSLR last week, and I’ve been researching all the accessories I need like there’s no tomorrow. I’m thinking to seriously focus on my blog and the quality of the photography – so thank you so much for the post!


  • I’ve searched and searched for a good camera bag and I don’t know why I never thought to look on Etsy! Both of these are really cute options!

    Brittany | thechicette.com

  • I like this. Thank’s for mentioning a lower price point camera. I’m actually looking into getting one for myself in the next couple of months!

  • I got the Wacom Tablet after I saw y’all using it and I absolutely love it. Cute camera straps are an essential. I find the straps Canon sells to be super itchy. The wireless camera controller sounds amazing. It’s expensive, so I’m going to have to wait a while since I just bought a new camera. I would love to get your camera bag. Please make it using vegan leather, so I can get it.

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