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Are you becoming increasingly frustrated with your iPhone photos? Feel like you never have candid images that truly represent the essence of your child and other loved ones? I hear ya, mama. Sometimes it is oh, so difficult to capture photos that feel like you could print and frame in your home.
So what’s a mom to do? While iPhones are great for capturing everyday moments on the fly, a more professional camera is a great tool to use for those beautiful prints you’ll save in photo albums and scrapbooks and pass down for generations.
Here I’m breaking down some basics in what to look for when shopping around for your first camera, along with some of my favorite, essential accessories you just have to have to get started.
This is the first in a series of posts focusing on photography for moms (woohoo!). Later posts will feature how to use your camera, how to get real smiles out of your kids, my favorite ways to save and print your photos and so much more.
Best cameras for moms
Without writing an entire eBook or eCourse on how to buy the perfect camera that fits your skills and needs, I’ll break it down simply. There are several options these days for cameras that falls into one of three categories: Mirrorless, point and shoot, and DSLR.
These are still relatively new on the market, but provide some of the best quality photos due to the technology. You’ll also find mirrorless cameras to be incredibly quiet (no shutter sound!), which is great for babies and when you’re trying to sneak photos of your threenager being super sweet.
Mirrorless cameras come either with a detachable lens or in point and shoot form, which I will detail below.
Another bonus of mirrorless cameras is they are much lighter than other types of cameras, perfect for those of us with arthritis or joint problems!
Point and shoot cameras
Point and shoot cameras are what most of us had in the early to mid-aughts, before cameras on our smartphones became wonderful, high-tech tools to capture images. These are incredibly simple to use, a minimal learning curve (if any), but some of the more advanced cameras offer flexible options like shooting in manual and customizing your settings.
DSLR cameras are traditionally are what the pros use, with the exception of growing number of pros who use mirrorless cameras! It’s what you see in your family photographer’s hands, on the sidelines of professional sports, the olympics, news photographers, and so on. They look just like the mirrorless cameras (which also have detachable lenses).
The only difference between the design of a DSLR and mirrorless camera is that the DSLR has a little mirror inside. That’s what you hear when it makes the clicking sound.
DSLR cameras are slowly growing out of favor by some professionals, who are switching to mirrorless.
Which is the best option for you? If you’re just starting out without wanting to venture further into learning how to manually control your camera, go with a point and shoot. These are also ideal for taking anywhere and can fit in a clutch or even your back pocket. My faves are listed below!
If you’re wanting a middle of the road camera you can put on auto and get great photos with the option to expand – more lenses, wanting to customize settings, etc. – go with a DSLR. Check out the best mid-range semi-pro cameras below.
If you love high tech and want the best of the best, whether you want customization options or not, go with mirrorless. Find my favorite mirrorless cameras for beginners and intermediate users with the handy list below.
Best camera accessories for moms
Gone are the days of only having the option of ugly black cameras bags and the camera’s default neck strap. There are thousands of absolutely adorable camera accessories for moms out there that match any style.
Check out my favorite picks for camera straps from Amazon below.
A camera bag is an absolute essential in my opinion. Bags can even do double duty as diaper bags or a few kid essentials. You would never know it was a camera bag, either!
When looking for a camera bag, know that just not any cute bag or backpack or even diaper bag will do. You’re looking for something that is specifically made for cameras so as to keep your camera and if using them, extra lenses, especially safe. Check out my faves below!
My biggest tip when it comes to memory cards is to always have several on hand, no matter where you are. Keep an extra one in your bag or pocket, because you never know when you accidentally run out of room OR the card fails. It happens more often than you would think!
It’s best to have several you are able to rotate through. With some memory cards starting as low as $8, there just isn’t an excuse!
As for how much memory your card should have, you should be just fine with a few 32GB cards. If you’re planning on shooting a lot of video, I would upgrade to the 128GB at least, as video takes up a lot more memory than photos do.
My favorite brands of memory cards are Sandisk and Lexar. I’ve linked a few of my favorites below for easy shopping!
I’ll be adding links to future blog posts on my series on how to get started with photography soon! Once you’re ready to start editing your photos, I recommend downloading Adobe Creative Cloud — especially Lightroom and/or Photoshop!