Ever since Justin gave me studio lights for my birthday, I’ve been getting lots of questions about where they were from and what other lights I’ve been using for my Instagram videos and photos. So I thought I’d put together a list of all the things I’ve acquired lately they are related to blog photography, filming, and my current setup. Last week I also got a new clothing rack that is SO much sturdier than my last but still very affordable, along with a faux fur ottoman under $50 that was one of the best finds ever (I’ve been using it at my vanity)! 

blog lighting setup

filming studio setup
joby tripod

phone ring light

at home photo studio

photography lighting and technology favorites
1. Ring light. I did a ton of research before buying my ring light. Lots of YouTube videos and scouring websites for the best price. I ended up choosing this one because it’s 18 inches, is dimmable, it didn’t cost a fortune, the light can be replaced, and had great reviews. If you’ve never seen a ring light before, it’s what most YouTubbers and bloggers use when filming videos, especially beauty tutorials. It enhances your facial features, bringing about a brighter more beautiful light so that followers and subscribers can see detail and color better. 

2. Light stand. There are lots of ring light packages full of all sorts of random things. Stands, covers, remotes, etc. etc. but I didn’t want to pay more for things I won’t use, so I bought the ring light solo and then this light stand by the same company to hold it. It ended up costing me less to do it this way. 

3. Ring light diffuser. Ring lights are quite bright, which is the point, but you can make the light less harsh by placing a diffuser over the top. The one I got simple velcros on. The diffuser also helps the light to disperse around the face instead of shining so brightly just on certain areas. 

4. Camera bag. I got this camera bag as soon as I got my camera so that it would stay unharmed in transit. This camera bag is cute, well constructed, and really affordable! I also love the size. It’s small enough to fit in my LV Neverfull tote when I’m traveling along with my laptop and other belongings. You can also move around the divider inside depending on the size of your camera and lenses. It also has pockets on the sides for extra batteries and chargers. Highly recommend!

5. Phone ring light. This clip on ring light is so much fun! It’s super inexpensive and works really well. It’s actually so bright that I only put it on the first light setting… and it has three. I use this when I don’t want to set up my ring light for a full-blown tutorial, and I just want to chit-chat. It clips over the camera on your phone and the battery life is fantastic – I still haven’t charged mine!

6. Clothing rack. I have loathed my clothing rack for so long. It was only $10 or so dollars but not steady at all. It was on wheels and always swayed back and forth depending on the weight of the clothes – so annoying! So recently one of my followers sent me this clothing rack and told me she loved it and that it was very sturdy. So I took her recommendation and I’m quite satisfied! It has rounded edges so I was a little worried the hangers would slip off, but it actually has little balls on each end so this doesn’t happen. It’s also SO easy to build!

7. Studio lights. Justin got me these studio lights for my recent 29th birthday. It was so sweet of him because I’d been talking about how I needed an indoor lighting setup and he surprised me in my office when I woke up. So sweet! He also took me out for tacos which was my only birthday request haha! The studio lights not only make things brighter but help to create a more white, less yellow light. The umbrella lights I have help to diffuse the light much like the ring light diffuser. 

8. Faux fur ottoman. This ottoman was the find of the century! And under $50 which shocked me. I almost bought two but then decided I only needed the one. I’ve been using it at my vanity as it’s the perfect height and it looks so pretty with the gold detailing. 

9. DSLR camera. Last February I finally gave in and purchased a “big girl” camera. It was a much-needed investment as I wanted to share higher quality photos and content here on the blog and on Instagram. It has made a HUGE difference and has been relatively easy to learn. I say relatively because there are still a lot of technical tricks I need to master but it’s not impossible! If you’re a serious blogger or want to take blogging to the next level, I highly recommend investing in a good quality camera. I chose this one because, after much research, it was a decently affordable price, but even more important, had great reviews about the image quality. 

10. 50 mm lens. The camera above comes with a stock lens that is good, but for close up shots with a more blurred background, a 50 mm lens is essential! This lens is very affordable and lightweight. I use this 90% of the time when I’m taking photos. The only time I don’t is if I need to take a shot that’s further away or an action shot. 

11. Flexible tripod. I got this tripod so I could film Instastories easier and also to start making videos on my DSLR camera. It’s a very sturdy, well-rated tripod and the coolest part is that the legs are flexible! You can wrap it around whatever you need if you’re shooting in an area without a table. I realize I forgot to separately number the phone holder that screws into the top of the tripod I ordered to hold my iPhone. It’s spring loaded and one of the few I researched that doesn’t drop your phone accidentally. I’ve been super pleased! 

12. Laptop case. I ordered this laptop case when Justin and I were traveling last year. I actually had to have it shipped to our hotel because the one I had broke. I also ordered a click on case but wanted this zip around case for extra protection. It easily fits over the clip on case! 

13. Wireless charger. Justin put this wireless charger in my stocking and I love it! Now at night, I simply place my phone on top, and it charges without having to be plugged in – so nice! But it only works on the iPhone 8 or X (or phones designed for wireless charging). Everyone at Justin’s house tried and mine was the only one that would charge lol… basically Justin can’t steal it from me since he has a Samsung hehe. 
I hope this was helpful for those of you looking for better lighting and technology.
Have a fabulous weekend!

XO Amanda