5 Essential Pieces of Tech for Bloggers
Blogging is unsurprisingly very tech-based. With the whole premise of a blog relating directly to the internet, there is a definite reliance on all things tech! From a laptop to something to take photos with, I thought I'd break down my five essential pieces of tech - and try and dispell the idea that being a blogger requires all of the fancy equipment when in reality, it's all about having a few items that are multi-purpose.
1. Camera or Phone.
First of all - you can 100% do this with your iPhone. I have an iPhone 7 and currently use a LuMee Duo Case to help with the lighting - but stay tuned for more on that...I already had an interest in photography when I started my blog way back in 2012 - so I had a DSLR. I started with a Nikon D5100 which are fairly hard to get now but retailed for around £300. But if you're wanting to start a blog, you don't need a DSLR. Sure, it's helpful and an investment that pays off in the long run, but if you're not sure what direction your blog is going to go in, I'd suggest starting with your phone! Most phones have a decent camera and it's pretty much all in the editing. I currently use a combination of my iPhone 7 for Instagram pictures and my Nikon D5500 for pictures! The camera has a flip out screen (great if you make Youtube videos) and has wifi so I can send photos to my phone and get them on insta! If you already have a DSLR, I'd suggest buying a 50mm 1.8D lens - I personally use the Nikon FX 50mm f/1.8D AF lens which is perfect for getting that blurry background. It also has an option to use auto-focus which is really handy! This lens is around the £100 mark so as far as lenses go, it's definitely one of the most affordable options.
2. Editing Software.
Whilst having a good camera helps, it's really down to the editing of photos that makes all the difference. I personally use Adobe Lightroom and my own presets to curate a bit of an aesthetic but I know plenty of bloggers that use Canva or PicMonkey. I've used both of these and they're great online editing platforms that can do everything you need to! Again, I'd recommend starting out using free editing software and going from there. If you're also planning to do a bit of graphic design, I'd suggest investing in Adobe Photoshop but I personally love Lightroom so much!
Lighting is so important in getting the perfect picture and is one of the key ways to up your photo game! Because at the moment, I haven't been working alongside my Masters, I haven't struggled with getting daylight, but I know that many bloggers are a big fan of artificial lighting, especially if you work a 9-5! Whilst this isn't a problem in the Summer, it can be hard in Winter so is definitely worth considering. I'd recommend getting some light boxes like these which will help brighten up your photos and make your photos look like they were taken in daylight! These are only £30 so really well priced! If you're using your phone, I'd suggest getting a Lumee Duo Case*. We've all heard of the Lumee cases thanks to the Kardashians but these are honestly brilliant as not only is there a selfie light on the front, but on the back are two strips of light which are so helpful for flatlays - it's a perfect lightup selfie case! You can see the light difference below and it makes such a huge difference for when you then go on to edit the photo! If you're a fan of nights out or regularly frequent bars with moody lighting, this is essential to get the perfect picture! Or if you're like me, they're a great shout if you have a sack of a bag and constantly lose your keys...
4. Computer or Tablet.
I know this seems fairly obvious, but I had to include it. Obviously, a laptop or a tablet is essential for a blog because well, you gotta type on something! I personally use a MacBook Pro 13 inch which is the perfect size as I regularly take it to university with me. The battery life is also ace. I know Macs are expensive but I've had this one since 2013 and it's still going strong - that's almost 5 years! (Touch wood!). It's really great. But if you don't own a laptop, tablets are great! It's really easy to get all the various tech adaptors for memory cards etc that work with tablets so you definitely don't need a computer anymore! And don't forget that your local library will have free to use computers if you don't have anything to work from.
5. Portable power bank & Harddrive. Okay - these are negligible, but I thought I'd include them nonetheless! When I'm out and about at an event or even just in the city, I'm on my phone loads. Yes - I'm that person. You gotta do it for the Instagram... But this means my phone often drains - so I always pack a power bank. I have the Anker Powercore which can hold enough charge to recharge my phone 3 or 4 times. This is really handy not only because it means your friends can use it too but it means I don't have to constantly charge it up. So handy if you're travelling. Anker is a great brand too - they may be slightly more pricey than eBay bargains but they have a guarantee so really last. Plus, this one has two USB ports - which means you can charge two devices in one go. And if you take a lot of photos, I'd suggest picking up an external hard drive. I have a 1TB hard drive that I transfer photos and general documents on to every month - I have the Seagate Expansion which is a great brand. These cost about £40 but are worth it! If you can't afford this at the moment, I'd suggest setting up your Google Drive Sync - this means you can sync a specific folder on your computer with your Google Drive so that you instantly have an online backup. I don't do this with my photos, but do it with my Masters work so that I have an online copy. It also has a little alert so that every time you delete something, it confirms whether you want it deleted online as well!
And there we have it! The five essential pieces of tech you need (and I use) for my blog! Let me know if I've missed anything critical!