My Photography Must-Haves

I usually get two kinds of messages in my inbox. Messages about my vintage and thrift finds and messages about what photography and videography equipment I use. "How did you get that overhead shot?", "What did you use to edit this video?", "What tripod do you use?", etc. So I've compiled a list of all the equipment, apps, and supplies I regularly use to take my pictures and make my videos including a few wishlist items I hope to add to my collection soon. I shoot almost all my photos with my phone just because I always have it on hand so these products are pretty phone-specific, but some can be used for a camera as well. If you see something you like, just tap the picture and it'll take you to the link!

Tripod and Remote

I take 99% of my pictures myself. Even the ones I'm in so a tripod and remote are a must. Most tripods these days will come with a little remote, but I try to keep a few extra on hand in case I loose one (which I always do) or one has a low battery. There's lots of tripod options to pick from and I've tried out quite a few over the years. Below are two of my favorites.

Ring Light

A ring light is great to have on hand for a little extra lighting help. Especially if you are on camera a lot yourself. Many ring lights double as tripods, but I still like to have both so I can light my set from a different angle than I'm shooting from. My sister got me this particular ring light and it's my favorite to use. I feel like the lighting options are nice and clear and it has a little more weight to it than others I've used which is nice so it won't tip over from the weight of your phone. This one also locks into place and is very easy to adjust height-wise. I would not recommend going with a tripod that twists to lock because they always fall down and are a big pain. Make sure you get one with clamps. The twist ones tend to be a little cheaper quality too and the light isn't as crisp.

Gooseneck Camera Mount

This is the product I get asked about the most. To get my overhead shots, this is what I use. It's called a gooseneck mount and is basically a clamp on the end of a long, flexible, yet sturdy pole. It can be attached to a lot of different places which is nice and it's my go-to for cooking videos, baby photoshoots, and DIY's.

There are a couple cons to this product: It takes some effort to maneuver and get into place exactly how you want it. If you clamp it onto a table like for a cooking or DIY video, it can be a little shaky if you bump the table. It's not as long as I'd like it to be so I usually attach mine to a tall lamp to get the height I need and to act as a sturdy base so it's not too top-heavy. Even then, a lot of times, my lamp base is in the shot because my gooseneck can't stretch out far enough. Even with these cons, I use this mount a lot and very much recommend having one if you shoot a lot of overhead pictures and videos. I've included another version of an overhead mount that looks a little easier to maneuver, but I haven't tried it myself to really say if it's a better option.

Lighting Kit

If you're looking for something more than just a ring light, this is the light kit I have. I don't use it all the time just because it's a lot to set up with two little kids running around, but if I'm alone and really want to set up an awesome shoot, I pull it out.

Overhead Rig

This is my first wishlist item. I don't own an overhead rig, but I think it would be pretty useful. However, I can't see myself using one enough to justify the price so for now, I'll keep doing what I'm doing to get those overhead shots. If you do a lot of flatlays, crafting, unboxing, or cooking videos or something else where you're mainly working with overhead camera angles, it would probably be worth the money.

Here's one that isn't quite as extensive as the other, but has a much nicer price tag. Keep in mind you'll need to have your own tripod and sandbag for this one.

Phone Gimbal

Another wishlist item of mine is a camera stabilizer or a gimbal. I'm always annoyed at my shaky camerawork with stories and room tours and would love an easy way to get a steady shot. This would definitely be most useful for a vlogger or someone who works with a lot of moving shots.

Lightroom Presets

To quickly give my photos that warm, vintage feel, I use presets I've created in the Lightroom Mobile app. I tried out a lot of different photo editing apps over the years before settling on Lightroom as my favorite. (It's also free!) It's super simple to use once you play around with it a little and learn which controls are where. The best part is even if you're inexperienced or overwhelmed when it comes to editing, you can just buy presets and achieve the look you want with one click! I sell the presets that I personally use on my photos which you can find here, but if my look isn't your style, there's tons out there to choose from!

I'll update this list as I try out or discover more gear I find helpful. If you're looking to step up your photography or videography game, this list is where you can start. Decide what will be most useful for the kind of creating you do and which items are worth investing a little extra in. You'll be on your way to creating beautiful, high-quality work in a simple and streamlined way in no time!

Did I leave anything off this list? Let me know! I'm always looking for new gadgets!