photography faqs

I've been getting a lot of DMs and email questions around my camera and photographs recently, so I wanted to address those on the blog. I took a photography class in San Francisco last year in the Mission through Isla Studio and learned how to actually use my camera (not on the auto mode). I highly recommend it if you're looking to get into photography! It was only 3 hours and I learned so much! I only ever use the manual mode now to get my photos matching the style and aesthetic I like best.


The most asked question I get from friends and readers is: "what camera do you use?" I use the this Sony and absolutely love it. It's reasonably priced, small enough to carry with you anywhere, is a mirrorless camera so will last for a long time, and is advanced enough to be able to use different lenses.


The 2nd most frequent question I get is about my lenses. I use 3 lenses, which I describe below. I recently got a new lens and LOVE it (#1 below) because it's great for portraits and food photography. If you're looking to get that one area in focused and blur rest in the background, the 50mm lens is what you need.

1. 50mm f/1.8 lens, which I described above as great for portraits and food photos - really anything with one focal point. This is my newest favorite toy.

(I have the cost-effective one, but it doesn't zoom so you physically have to move. I don't mind it, but can be confusing if you ask someone to take a photo for you! Here is a nicer version with similar/slightly better specs along with zoom feature as well.)

2. 16-55mm Power Zoom lens, which comes standard on the camera typically. This is your everyday lens that is versatile. I always bring this one when I'm traveling!

3. 55-210 Power Zoom lens, which is great for distance shots. It's awesome for landscape, skyline, and outdoorsy shots. I'll use this one when a shot has a lot of depth (focal points both near and far that I don't want blurred).

You can also buy this starter kit, which includes #2 and #3 lenses with the camera for a decent price, an extra battery and SD memory cards - it's a great deal.


Finally, I'll touch on lighting. I like to take my photos in natural light whenever possible - they turn out the best so you don't have to up your ISO. When it's not possible (and let's be honest, for those of us who work an 8-5 everyday, it's hard to find daylight to take photographs for your blog!), I use these lights.

1. Selfie ring. No, I don't use it for selfies. Instead, I hold it up to provide additional lighting that isn't as blunt as a phone flash. This is great for restaurant food or on the go since it's lightweight and doesn't cause a huge scene when you pull it out.

2. I also have this light, which is definitely more professional - it comes with a couple different light softeners to make your photo look white or warm, and it's extremely high powered. Most of the settings are WAY too bright, but they're great for portraits and food when you don't have the space in your tiny San Francisco apartment (or budget) to afford a full photo lighting setup.


1. I got this backpack (under $30) to store all my lenses and camera accessories. It's lightweight and small, so easy to bring for shoots! It also just helps me to keep everything organized and in one place in my closet.

2. I use this this leather (looking) camera case because it's affordable (under $25) and cute. It's perfect for bopping around the city or use for traveling when you wouldn't want to carry a big, bulky camera bag.


is something I'm yet to dabble with much but look forward to learning more about. I'm eager to take some classes or watch some YouTube videos on Photoshop or Lightroom. If you have any suggestions, please let me know in the comment section below!



Next, check out more about why I blog!

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