If you watch my Youtube channel, whenever I do a what’s in my bag video, you’ll know that I always say “I’m just so nosey… I love to see other peoples stuff” and believe me… I really, really do! House tours are my favourite things EVER on Youtube, I love to see the inside of peoples bags, how they store things, how their kitchen is laid out… I just love seeing how other people live. Which is where the inspiration for this post came from. I’ve seen the odd post on the bits and bobs people use for blogging over the years and I thought it was about time I did the same thing!
I’ve been building this blogging kit for around three years now after realising it was time to stop trying to take decent photo’s on my iPhone 4 (naturally, phone cameras are more than ideal now!) and relying on a huge pile of books as a tripod. As a student, I had to be careful with what I invested money in to. I bought my first camera years ago and recently upgraded but most of the accessories and bits and bobs are quite purse-friendly, or at least as budget, as I could get them.
After rounding up everything for this post, I am quite happy with my little blogging kit! Do not get me wrong, it’s certainly not fully complete, I’m eyeing up a decent microphone for Youtube and I think I would prefer soft boxes instead of a panel light, but I’m more than happy with what I have got! These are the bits and bobs that help me every day to put up posts and videos, all the items I rely on to keep SimplyAbbi up and running! Here is my blogging kit!
Possibly the most important part of my blogging kit is my cameras – I wouldn’t be doing much if I didn’t have them! For Christmas, my mum and dad kindly gifted me the Olympus Pen E-PL8 after months of me dropping little hints here and there and boy, I am so glad they did as this camera has completely revolutionized my blogging routine. It is so easy to use and incredibly lightweight meaning I do not miss my massive DSLR at all. It’s made flat lays and fashion photography so much more of a breeze and I just love it. I use the kit lens and alternate with the 40mm lens which is just perfect for those beautiful depth of field shots. If it wasn’t for the fact that is a zoom lens which can be a little awkward in tight spaces, I would not need that kit lens at all!
As much as I love my Olympus, the only thing I haven’t quite got on with yet is filming. The pull-out screen makes it incredibly difficult to film as you cannot see yourself (therefore have no idea if you’re in focus/in frame) and all-in-all, for sit down videos, I still prefer filming with Canon 600D (discontinued) and the 50mm lens. This is what I originally used for all my blog photography before the upgrade whereas now I only pull it out for filming. It’s an oldie but a goody and I now officially know this like the back of my hand! I can’t help but think that having two ‘main’ cameras if excessive, so I’m making it my mission to start getting the hang of filming on my Olympus, so I can let this one go.
For vlogging, two years ago I decided to invest in the Canon G7X (discontinued) for my first Disney trip. I was lucky enough and found it with a bargain price and just went for it. There’s a reason this is such a popular vlogging option, the quality is really insane and impressive, the flip up screen changes the vlogging game completely and it’s the perfect size for filming on the go. I adore mine, I’ve used it quite a few times for Disney trips and just random vlogs and it’s still in perfectly good condition!
The latest addition to my (ridiculous) camera collection is the Apeman Action Camera. Myself and my friend Georgia wanted to film our Gran Canaria holiday and looked at getting a Go Pro but I just couldn’t justify the price for one holiday so started to look at cheaper alternatives. We found the Apeman for £50 and with raving reviews, we went for it! It’s such a lovely little nifty camera that is just so ideal for those wanting to test the waters before going for a Go Pro, my own annoyance is that the filming quality isn’t great, you can see for yourself in my Gran Canaria vlog, but for the price, I cannot complain too much!
Both Olympus and Canon have a pretty nifty app which allows you to remote shoot (control the camera’s shutter via your device, essentially) which is fab for my Pen and G7X but for my Canon 600D I use a little remote. This allows me to put the camera in focus and start/stop filming without me having to move which typically puts me out of focus. This was one of those things I didn’t realise I needed until I started to use it!
For lighting videos and photos, I’m currently using the Neewr Dimmable high power light panel. This is perfect for those on a little bit of budget but still require lighting, simply turn the dial to what level of brightness you want and you’re ready to go! So simple, it’s not too big you can’t store it and it sits nicely on top of your camera or on a tripod. Perfect for dull days and all of Winter!
A tripod is such an essential for blogging. I use mine almost daily, for balancing my camera for filming, taking non-shaky blog shots, allowing myself to take outfit photo’s in my garden with no one around and simply giving myself hands-free option which allows for more creativity and freedom. The one I use is the Amazon Basics 60-inch tripod and this is so perfect, easy-to-set up and store and just perfect for filming and taking all sorts of photos!
Organisation is key in blogging and for myself, I like to use my bullet journal to keep everything organised and in place. This little yellow book has everything I need for blogging. My content calendar, my post ideas, my to-do lists, my PR information, my stats, my post-breakdowns… everything. I completely jumped on the bullet journal wagon earlier this year as I wanted a system that had ‘everything’ in it and I found this is what worked best for me. This is quite literally my blogging bible and I’d definitely be lost without it!
Alongside this, digitally, I use Google Calendar also for content planning as this offers an easy and simple to use calendar format which gives me the perfect overview of the month. The drag and drop function is also perfect for those last minute changes and I just like knowing that if I am out and about and haven’t brought my bullet journal with me, I still have my content calendar online and this can normally give me enough to work with if I find myself in a coffee shop with a spare fifteen minutes.
For file storage, I couldn’t live without my G-Drive External Hard drive, my MacBook Pro has limited storage, so an external hard drive is so essential for me for storing invoices and old blog photography that my MacBook just won’t take. I also store all my video files on it and edit that way because my Macbook literally cannot function otherwise. It was an absolute lifesaver for me throughout university and that is proving to still be the case now I’m blogging part-time!
Every now and then I like to head to a quiet coffee shop to blog. Or I go on holiday or simply out for the day, if I have time, I like to get a little bit of work done to keep everything ticking over. My iPad Mini 4 is so perfect for this. My laptop is pretty heavy so isn’t ideal to carry around so my iPad is the perfect alternative. I can still do everything I want to do – write, edit, schedule, browse social media without having to drag around my laptop. It fits perfectly in my handbag too, which makes it perfect to carry around just in case I get the chance to do some work.
To make typing a little easier, I recently bought a Bluetooth keyboard and this really changes the whole ‘working from a tablet’ game. It makes typing out blog posts so much easier and once again, it’s small enough to just carry around in my bag or it attaches onto the iPad itself and turns it into a case.. so ideal!
For those days I’m not carrying around my iPad (or usually in my case… it’s dead), I like to make sure I have a little notebook on hand with me to write down any ideas that pop into my head or anything I’ve suddenly remembered I have to do. I’m using the pink Rhodiarama notebook* in A6 and it’s just perfect for carrying around – the paper is beautiful quality and the elasticated closure keeps it secure in my bag. There is also a useful pocket at the back, perfect for shoving business cards and receipts in there. Since I’ve got it, it hasn’t left my bag and I just find it so useful to carry a little notebook around, this one is just perfect!
Wow, that was quite the list! What is your number one blogging essential in your kit?
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Olmypus Pen E-PL8
Olympus 40mm Lens
Canon 600d (discontinued – second hand)
Canon 50mm Lens
Canon Gx7 – (discontinued – Mark II)
Apeman Action Camera
Neewr Dimmable High Power Light Panel
Amazon Basics Tripod
Amazon Bullet Journal
G-Drive External Hard Drive
Apple iPad Mini 4
iPad Mini Bluetooth Keyboard
Thank you for reading!