Tools I Use

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 started this adventure in July 2015.  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 Vlog theme from MeksHQ.  I use WordPress because of its versatility and because of its SEO friendly plugins for recipes.

The Blog Village

The Blog Village - Tools and training for a successful blogThe 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.

 

 

 

My DSLR Camera

FRT VARI ANGLE MON w EF-S 18-135mm IS STM_pack_tcm14-1064827The Canon 70D is my baby and is what I currently use in shooting the wide angle main shots of my videos and the majority of my food photography.It’s great for video because of the flip out LCD screen to see what you’re shooting from in front of the camera.  I have more lenses than I should, but I shoot the majority of my still images and the main shots of my videos with the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8.

Any side angle “b-roll shots” are typically shot with my mirrorless Sony a6000 and a Zeiss 55mm 1.8.  It does a lovely job of seamlessly transitioning focus without any jerkiness.

Tripod

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 if you don’t have one and this is solid while flexible.

C-Stand

I have a heavy duty c-stand that I use when I shoot overhead “Tasty” style videos.  It’s weighted at the base and heavy enough to hold my Canon and 24-70 lens without much shake and no risk of falling over.  Certainly, the Manfrotto mentioned above can do this job as a tabletop unit.  I just like having a dedicated overhead c-stand so that I can run my b-roll camera simultaneously on my tripod.  I typically shoot most videos with two cameras running at once to simplify shooting while still getting a variety of angles to choose from when editing.

My Vlog Camera

Canon-PowerShot-G7x-front-screen-upAfter extensive research, I landed on 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.

 

 

 

 

 

My Audio Setup

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 mics when using a lavalier, I use the Audio Technica wireless lavalier system.  I have two for when I have a guest.  I use the Rode adapter to plug the lav receivers into the Zoom H6.

For a mic when at an event or unable to use a lav, I use the Rode Go Shotgun mic.

Photo Editing

I use Adobe Lightroom for all image editing and occasionally touch up in Photoshop.  When I want to create collages or YouTube thumbnails, I design those at BeFunky.com or PicMonkey.com.

Video Editing

I currently use Adobe Premiere Pro for video editing and Adobe After Effects for animated titles.

Artificial Lighting

For video, I currently use the Flolight kit, though I started with the Lowel Ego Fluorescent set and still use that occasionally for unique lighting situations.  I very recently added this insanely wonderful (and equally insanely expensive) LED light.  The size, quality of light and diffusion are pretty much an exact replica of a window light.  But, this only came very recently, after two years of working full time as photographer.  This light is by no means required, but I definitely adore it.

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!