Do You Need A DSLR Camera For Blogging?

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When I just started blogging, I asked myself a question, “Do I need a DSLR camera for blogging?” All my fashion blogger friends swear by their DSLR, and they all told me to get one. If there is an Elle magazine for fashion blogging, a DSLR will be in the must have list. It is a necessary like the 50 shades of  pink POI nail polishes. Back then it made a lot of sense to invest in one.

One day I was trying to find room for a gifted unwanted dress, it made me think. If I don’t let my friends tell me how I should dress, why would I let them tell me what I should purchase? Let’s the people who sold their souls to companies for invitations to exclusive parties or a free

dress tell you what to buy is never a good idea (sorry my fashion blogger friends I am too honest. Deal with it, you can unfriend me any time). I am too poor to listen to my friends.

Lucky me I have spent a good time having an affair with the hot charming new social network Google+ (if you don’t get it, read my Twitter bio). There are so many amazing photographers on the site. Also at Thumble, I work with a lot of photographers and the community. Before Google+ and Thumble, I didn’t know how nice and smart photographers are. They told me that I shouldn’t buy an expensive camera before I grow out of the one I have. It is not about the camera but the photographer. You can give a blogger a Hasselblad H4D, the Ferrari of studio cameras, the photos can still be out of focus and noisy, if you don’t know how to use it. The fancier the camera gets the harder to control it. If you still don’t believe me that you don’t need a fancy camera to take amazing photos, read this book Low Cost High Impact Photography by Steve Johnson. It is the best 99 cents I have spent in a long time. Please read it before you spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars or even thousands on the new fancy camera. If you still don’t think it is enough. Here are my 3 reasons for not buying a DSLR for your blog.

1. I am too poor to afford a DSLR and so are you.

What are you talking about? I am going to be a fashion blogger, companies are going to invite me to sit in the front row and pay me like a celebrity.

Darling wake up. Most fashion bloggers don’t make money. Most of the bloggers who make money don’t make money directly from blogging. If a Amazon best selling author makes nothing from his book, do you think you will make money from your blog? If you are a blogger, expect to get poorer. You are signing up for an unpaid full-time job with a lot of expenses. It is not free to go to events every night. You need new clothes, cabs/gas money and lots of valuable time. At the end of the month, free lipstick and shoes don’t pay your rent. Just to get this straight, you are going to invest a lot of money into a camera for a job that might put you into debt. Bad idea. I have a mortgage to pay, a family to feed and a future to build. I wasn’t ready to get into debt for something that is not worth it. I can afford a DSLR but in the long run it is still too expensive. I already have a very expensive hobby ( fashion and good food), I should stay away from photography. In most cases, buying a camera body is the cheapest part. Buying the lens is the real deal. Once you get in and fall in love with photography, it only gets more expensive. I know I will be so sad if I have an awesome camera body without an amazing lens. Just like I try to stay away from the mall, I don’t want to get into photography. It is too expensive for me. I prefer to be financial independent before I get into photography. Unless you make decent money or have a wealthy father/boyfriend, you are too poor for a DSLR camera.

2. I am too pretty to carry a DSLR camera.

If you have seen a DSLR camera you know it is HUGE. Not only you need to carry a body , you will need to carry lens too. I know people who carry tripods with them too. I am the girl who always carries a tiny little clutch to event ( and you should too, over-sized bags are not accepted). My camera bag cannot be bigger than my clutch. Do you know how hard it is to find a beautiful camera bag to match your outfit? My photographer friends always ask me to start a camera bag line because they can’t find a nice one.  If you take blogging seriously, you should carry your camera with you everywhere. Any moment can be a special moment. I have a micro four third camera (the newest model) that I love to death  but after a week carrying it to the office with my laptop bag, purses, I gave up. I knew I need something smaller and lighter. Luckily, Fujifilm was so kind and sent me a christmas gift, their newest compact camera FX1. I have been carrying it with me everywhere. If my micro four thirds camera is too chunky for everyday life, what would it feel if you have to carry your DSLR camera with you everywhere. If you don’t love photography enough, this is painful.

3. I don’t have the skills for a DSLR camera

Most bloggers think fancy camera = beautiful photos. This is not true. Photography is an art and there is so much you need to understand. I am working for a startup, I don’t have a lot of time to learn a new skill after a 16 hour working day. I don’t have the skills to get the most value out of a DSLR camera and I don’t have the time to learn it. If I get one, it will cost me more than just money it will cost me time!  It is better to settle for something that is right for me. I can always upgrade when I outgrow it. I like to keep my life simple.

As you might know, I am a big fan of 80/20 rule. I’d rather focus most of my time doing something I am good at and get the most value out of . I know it is not photography. Instead of trying to learn photography, I collaborate with people who have the skill. It is so much easier and I like being in front of the camera so much more than being behind it.

Which camera should a blogger buy?

To be honest I don’t have the answer for you. Nobody understands what you need better than yourself, however I know most of the time that a  DSLR is not the answer. Sit down and ask yourself what you want to do with your camera. Do your research before you buy one. Don’t buy something that you don’t need, otherwise, one day you will have to sell something that you need.

Don’t buy something that you don’t need, otherwise, one day you will have to sell something that you need. [Tweet this]

Most successful fashion bloggers have more than just a fancy camera, usually the photographer boyfriend/husband comes with it. You should spend less time searching for a camera and more time on building relationship and collaborate with people. It is easier to find a photographer to collaborate  with than learning how to take great photos and carry a giant camera every where.

Note: One of my readers, Dominique Bennett wrote an interesting respond to my blog post “Too Pretty NOT To Carry a DSLR”, you should check it out.

Photos: 1 JJ Cowan – SFYGF – Olympus Pen 2. Fujifilm FX1


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