Toast Talk + Selling my Camera

July 8, 2013

Another Monday. Thank you for the comments last week when I asked what topics you all might want to hear about on Toast Talk—it was helpful to get some feedback! I’m hoping to discuss topics like dressing for work, stress management (or mismanagement?), favorite Dallas spots, trip and traveling advice, newbie blogger tips, and a bit about how we manage our collaborations. Sally and I will also try to do weekly “work-wear” posts starting in the fall when she is back at school full time. Both of us work in pretty relaxed environments but we do have some tricks and…

Another Monday. Thank you for the comments last week when I asked what topics you all might want to hear about on Toast Talk—it was helpful to get some feedback! I’m hoping to discuss topics like dressing for work, stress management (or mismanagement?), favorite Dallas spots, trip and traveling advice, newbie blogger tips, and a bit about how we manage our collaborations. Sally and I will also try to do weekly “work-wear” posts starting in the fall when she is back at school full time. Both of us work in pretty relaxed environments but we do have some tricks and tips to dressing each day so we don’t get sick of our clothes and we still look appropriate!

A big question, and one that I continue to receive lots of emails and comments about, is about our photography on the blog. It is SO freaking complimentary to be asked about our equipment and techniques, I really cannot even tell you how happy it makes me feel that you all admire the personal shots we put up. Thank you! The truth is, we are both novices when it comes to photography. Both Sally and I have taken classes (I took a full day at Spot Studio and she at Beaux Arts) and we both found this book to be really helpful—but so much of what we’ve learned has come from practice and trial and error. And a lot of what you see happens when we edit the photos in Photoshop. Under our “Facts” Tab you can read more about our equipment and find a link to this Toast Talk post that was all about being a wanna-be photog.

Last September I upgraded to a Canon 60D body and a 50mm 1.4 lens… I passed down my first DSLR, a Canon Rebel T3i, to Sally, along with my 50mm 1.8 lens to Sally. I’ve really, really enjoyed the 60D (it was a big jump from the Rebel and it takes great pictures) but as I’ve been taking more and more photos for the blog, I am thinking about upgrading to a new full-body EOS that will only furthur improve my images.  This means I need to find a new home for my 60D and I would love to sell it to a reader in need of a great camera. Any takers? You will get everything you see here, including the original box the camera came in.  The camera is in perfect, like-new condition (it’s been my baby for the past 11 months and I’ve taken excellent care of it!) and I will really miss it when it’s gone. If anyone is interested, please email me to talk pricing!

The body of a camera definitely determines the quality of the photos you take but most/all photogs will tell you that the secret sauce comes from what lens you have. All my initial research and inquires about lenses resulted in the same advice: get a 50mm lens. Compared to most, they’re relatively inexpensive (in the world of lenses), light weight, and give you gorgeous depth of field without much effort.  I started out with a 50mm 1.8 but got a 50mm 1.4 when I got the 60D. I’ll be sticking with the 1.4 with the new body I end up getting because I think it still serves as a versatile lens for what I need (portraits, lifestyle shots, etc.). I’d highly recommend bypassing getting a camera body with the “kit lens” (the lens the camera comes with) and buy the body + a 50mm or another lens that fits your needs. I think I’ve used the kit lens that came with my Rebel twice in the past 2.5 years (re: not a good bang for the buck).

I mentioned editing a little bit and it’s a huge part of how most, if not all, photographers get pretty photos. Right now we use Photoshop for edits and the process/steps we use is too helter-skelter to do a quick walk through of (and it really depends on each image). It takes a loooong time to edit (I’m slow) and we’ve been talking about buying a trial of Adobe Lightoom to see if we like it better for editing… We’ve been told that it’s much more intuitive and faster for editing purposes. If anyone uses it and prefers it to Photoshop and/or has great resources for learning the program please let us know!

What else? Oh yeah, cameras are expensive. It hurts shelling out a lot of money for the equipment but in the long run I really believe that it pays off. If I think of any of my favorite blogs and why I love to read them what comes to mind is, “content, photography, and originality.” Great photos can be a gateway to creating original content. Buying good equipment, learning how to use it, practicing (a lot), editing, etc.; it’s not an overnight process but the investment will probably be well worth it!

It cracks me up that I’m even posting about this because I am so critical of my own skill level and photographs. I constantly stalk photographers for tips and tricks and I always want to improve and hardly ever feel satisfied with my personal results. But I love learning and I’m really passionate about improving and making photography a life-long skill! Leave a comment if there was anything specific you wanted to know photog wise and I’ll add amendments to the post (: And please email if you’re interested in making my sweet Canon 60D yours!

**Editor Update: My camera has officially been sold! Thank you to all that emailed —I can’t thank you guys enough for inquiring and showing interest in helping me out. Excited to send my 60D to a loving new owner…

(Image via Lovely Pepa)

  1. would love to know what camera you upgraded to. in my wildest dreams one day i may upgrade but for now my little nikon 3200 will have to do. your photos are always gorgeous so whatever you’re doing keep doing it! i too would love more posts on any tips and trick you may have.

  2. Have you decided what full frame camera you’re going to get next? I’m tempted to upgrade my rebel to the 6D, but probably don’t take enough of my own photos to justify it! (Generally I hand my camera over to my sister to take my outfit photos. haha)

  3. As a mom of young kids, I especially love your blog, b/c it shows so many casual options. Too many blogs are fancy, featuring mainly dresses and high heels. I’m looking for machine-washable, easy options (preferably on sale!). Love the Sales & Steals. Please keep those coming, and don’t venture too far off into work wear.

  4. Another thing to note-while a good camera body & a great lens help, it really is all about the photographer, too! Embarrassing fact here-my camera is 10 years old, a Nikon D70s that I bought in high school when I started studying photography. At the time, it was a great entry level camera and cost $1200 for the body & kit lens-now you can find it on eBay for $150, and nearly every cell phone out there has more MP! Other costs have stopped me from being able to get a new camera over the years, although I have plans to upgrade within the next year. Most of the photos on my own blog are shot on this same camera (not with the kit lens, though-I have a 50mm 1.8), and while the “quality” isn’t as great, technically speaking, I can still get a great quality shot from it and have won a variety of awards over the years with photos shot on my D70s.

    I also tell people that photoshop is trial and error; while I’ve been learning it for 10 years, I really progressed once I started a job requiring me to work in it daily. Don’t be afraid to look up tutorials online (I’ve found some great ones for getting vintage-looking photographs) and play around with them from there. It’s kind of like baking or cooking! You start with your basic “ingredients” and adjust them to your liking. I don’t have Lightroom, but have worked with some photographers for work who swear by it-but they use both Lightroom and Photoshop on their images (starting in one and moving to the other).

    My biggest thing to remind myself is not to get intimidated by other photographers-nearly every learned by trial and error, and it’s not nearly as snobby a business as you’d think! Don’t be afraid to ask questions because you can get some great advice. Thanks for sharing yours, because I personally love to hear other people’s tips (and I would LOVE to hear some of the blogs & sites you visit! I’m always looking for new ones.)

    Rose
    Blonde in this City

  5. I really love your posts about photography- it’s sooo nice to get a real, down-to-earth opinion from someone who is constantly learning. it’s also so nice of you to open up the sale to your readers! i’ve been meaning to invest in a nicer camera, and i’ll definitely be returning to your posts for reference

  6. As long as it might be, I would love to know how you edit your pictures! They are seriously beautiful and I drool over there Pinterest like quality 🙂
    xo

  7. What came first? The camera or the classes? I feel like I need to up my photography game, but don’t want to make the investment into a camera if I don’t have the skills. But I obviously shouldn’t take a class without first having the equipment to put it to use!

    Loving the blog!
    Caitlin
    http://www.douxrousse.com

    1. The camera came first for me but I timed it so I took a class immediately after acquiring it. You can’t go to a class without having a camera to practice with!!

  8. Please keep us posted, I would love to hear what model camera you get and how you like it 🙂

  9. I have a 60D as well, but am seriously considering upgrading to a 7D (working on a lot of video content) or a 5D. It’s a great camera, but I’m scared at how limited I already feel by it!

    Lightroom is the GREATEST! Forget layers and all that nonsense – this program does it all. I took a workshop from Okello Dunkley (http://www.dslrworkshops.com/) and can’t recommend him highly enough – you should e-mail him and see if he plans to come to Dallas soon. If not, I’m happy to share my notes from the class!

    1. Oh my gosh, thank you so much for suggesting Okello – his classes look great! Going to email him and see if he has any plans to come to Dallas… I might be hitting you up for notes, my dear!!

  10. I purchased my first dslr last year, I am not ready for an upgrade but next year I want to get a full body EOS as well. SO please give us an overview when you do get yours as they are really expensive and I’m kinda nervous. I really admire your pictures and now you make me really want to take a class…Good look selling your baby – this sounds really bad lol

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