In case you’ve had an inkling to start your own YouTube channel or want to get into photography or blogging or creating an online brand, here are some helpful resources that I have used to create everything you see on this website and on my YouTube channel. But, before you venture any further, do know that this equipment and software list has morphed drastically since I first started. I firmly believe in waiting to upgrade equipment until you’ve proven to yourself that you’ll stick with it. It kills me when people spend their hard-earned money on equipment thinking that equipment is the answer to building a successful business. Good equipment helps, but only if you’re going to use it. I started shooting video with my iPhone and a video editing app and that’s really all you need in the beginning. Start small, be patient, know that photography, videography and blogging are skills that take a good bit of time and personal passion to grow. But, if you love it and you stick with it, you’ll be amazed at what you can do!
Disclaimer: Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links and I will earn a commission if you purchase through those links. I use all of the products listed below and recommend them because I believe in them. Please let me know if you have any questions about anything listed below!
Site Platform and Theme
This site is built with WordPress and the AWSM theme from MeksHQ. I use WordPress because of its versatility and because of its SEO friendly plugins for recipes.
The Blog Village is the ultimate training resource for everything from setting up a website to photography to videography to social media to building a brand. I actively participate in their forums and learn from other bloggers in addition to help from the ultimate gurus in digital media creation. I continue to return to their tutorials on video editing and regularly use their smart tool for image sizing.
The majority of my images (and YouTube videos on The Bite Shot) are shot with the Canon 5D Mark IV camera body, an upgrade purchased in November 2017.
But, I built my business on the the Canon 70D . It’s great for video because of the flip out LCD screen to see what you’re shooting from in front of the camera.
For handheld vlogging on-the-go, I use the Canon Powershot G7X and love it. It has anti-shake technology for handheld use, a flip up selfie screen for handheld vlogging and the picture quality is fabulous. The audio is great, too, when recording in normal to low noise. Though in a noisy area, it becomes hard to hear and voices get muffled.
I use this Hoya Polarizing Filter on my Sigma Art lens.
You’ll hear me reference this little guy all the time. Here’s the small diffuser I started with an it has a nifty light stand with a grip arm to hold it up and in place for you. When I shoot on location for clients, I bring this larger diffuser that also comes with a set of reflector covers. I recently added this gigantic one which is great for spreading light softly all over your scene.
Tripod & C-Stand
Manfrotto MT055XPRO3 with Horizontal Column this tripod was worth every penny. I used a cheaper tripod for two years, which made sense at the time, but with the amount of time I spend shooting every day, it’s invaluable to have this rock solid piece of equipment that is also easy to adjust on the fly. Also has an extender arm to enable overhead shooting. You’ll also need a tripod head to mount the camera to the tripod if you don’t have one and this is solid while flexible.
I have a heavy duty c-stand that I use when I shoot overhead “Tasty” style videos and flat lays in the studio. If you want to attach a camera you’ll need this adapter. If you have the Manfrotto Tripod, it will also be helpful to get this monopod head which attaches to the adapter and uses the same mounting plates as the Mantrotto tripod head listed above. More questions about the c-stand, I have a video about it.
Sometimes you need a hot plate. For TV segments, Tasty videos, I love this one by Cuisinart.
I also use speedlites for an off-camera flash solution. I recommend the Yongnuo YN560IV Wireless Flash Speedlite Master and the Wireless Remove Flash Trigger Kit is the Yongnuo RF-603C-ii-C3 (please note compatibility with your specific camera). You will also want the mounting bracket in order to affix the flash to a stand. I personally use the Canon 600EX-IIRT speedlite with this speedlite transmitter because of the compatibility for High Speed Sync with my Canon 5D Mark IV camera.
For quick chef portraits, I use this simple umbrella.
For situations where I want to limit the light, especially for dark food photography, I use this strip softbox with grid. You will need a speedlight adapater in order to use this. You’ll also need a light stand for mounting it.
For more general uses of the speedlite, I sometimes use this larger softbox.
I also modify speedlites with this snoot kit for spotlight and focused light situations.
My Audio Gear
This is repurposed from my podcasting days, though has been a champ for me. I use the Zoom H6 handy recorder for most recording with a 16GB memory card that can hold several hours of recording. This means, though, that my audio and my video are recorded separately and I sync them up together in video editing. It’s an extra step, but the audio quality makes a huge difference. This is the kind of stuff The Blog Village can teach you.
For a mic when at an event or unable to use a lav, I use the Rode Go Shotgun mic.
I use Adobe Lightroom for most image editing and occasionally touch up in Photoshop. Depending on the situation, I also use Capture One Pro.
I own several backdrops from Erickson Woodworks but also for custom jobs, make my own.
I currently use Adobe Premiere Pro for video editing and Adobe After Effects for animated titles.
Photography and Videography Contract
It’s important to have a contract in place to protect yourself and your work as a photographer. I use a contract from The Contract Shop.
I’m sure there a bunch of other resources that I use that I didn’t list here. If there’s something you want to know about, just holler!