31 Days Blog to Biz / day 11 – what equipment should YOU get?

I recently ran into trouble with a photoshoot. I’ve been needing a macro lens forever and decided to bite the bullet and get what was needed to do the job.

I tend to do that. I need things but wait till the 11th hour because #1 they’re expensive and #2 I wait for my blog to pay for my blog things.

Once I was there, I realized I needed a few more things on my long overdue list as well. I gulped hard, picked it all out and came home with a bagful. And yes, my blog paid for it all. 🙂

While you don’t need ALL these things for a blog business, here’s a run down on the things I now have in my arsenal.

Digital recorder – $60ish – London Drugs, Chilliwack

I’m planning to do an interview for FOLK magazine that entails me either developing a speed writing technique overnight or record the whole thing. I chose this.

Diffuser flash – $400ish – London Drugs, Chilliwack (BC Canada)

After 3 photoshoots gone bad for an overdue article, I knew I had to try and end the deep dark cave dilemma of shooting indoor photos in rain country.  So I picked up this diffuser flash to try. You can bounce the light off the ceiling.

Don’t even ask me what those colored lenses do yet. I’ve yet to read the booklet.  Or try the flash! 🙂



iPhone – mall store – free with a 2 year plan (valued at $600!)


This guy has gotten me out of lots of pinches. I’ll retrieve email, check the blog, and have gone to publish posts when my internet was down, all while on the road. I’ve even shopped for clients and have sent them a picture of the item before I purchased. The screen is amazing and so are all the helpful apps you can get.  If you’re upgrading your cell, consider an iPhone. The screens are AMAZING.

Nikon D3100 – $1000 is with body and 2 standard lenses – London Drugs, Chilliwack


You don’t have to have an SLR, but you do need at least a decent point and shoot. Get what’s affordable, just don’t choose bottom of the barrel this round. One with settings including macro is a must.

I’m very happy with my camera choice. I went to the store with full intent on bringing home a Canon, however soon learned you need to ‘feel’ it. This one fit me like a glove and I knew within seconds of holding it that it was coming home with me.


iMac 27″ – $1500 and up – Mac Station, Abbotsford



If’ you’re still using an itty bitty computer that’s as old as the hills, I beg you to upgrade as soon as you possibly can. You can get a new laptop for $500 these days! But I do suggest to get the biggest monitor you can spring for.. it’ll change the way you blog and work with photos. I prefer to do my blogging on a stay put computer vs. a laptop myself.

I LOVE my 27″ iMac with my whole heart and soul! 🙂 The 21″ is VERY nice too and a bit cheaper. But I still vote for the 27.

Please compare a mac screen to a pc if you work with photos. I was a PC girl until I did the comparison. You can read my pc vs mac review linked to the bottom of this post.

Nikon Micro Lens SB-700 – $350ish – London Drugs, Chilliwack

I was badly in need of a macro lens. I was having to revert back to my point and shoot for closeups and felt that I shouldn’t ‘have’ to be doing that with that fancy schmancy SLR I now have.

Point and shoots don’t need this fancy option but SLRs do. What’s nice about this lens is it’s a fixed one (you can’t zoom) that will shoot to 40mm (vignette shooting) as well.

Tip – this is actually a micro lens, not a macro. It supposedly zooms to resemble microscope close.



TechPro tripod, TP 242B62 – $100ish – London Drugs, Chilliwack


I’ve been without a tripod for some time after mine broke. But after running into issues with indoor blur, I knew I had to smarten up and get with the program. A stationary camera is the ONLY way to take blur-less photos. Just do it.

Especially if you have a point and shoot.  Their lenses aren’t lenient to movement at all, especially in macro mode. 


This particular tripod performs neat tricks. It will allow you to lower the legs to nearly ground level for low shots. You can also remove and replace the middle post upside down for amazing ground level closeups. I really liked the feel of the clips and the way the components seemed to turn with air cushiness.


Go play with tripods and you’ll soon know the one you can’t live without. My dream tripod is a magnetic one (not sold in Canada) but this was the next best thing in a hurry and came highly recommended by another camera buff. And wasn’t even that expensive!



13″ macbook pro – $1199 and up – Mac Station, Abbotsford


I wanted something for on the road and when we went travelling but denied myself. It wasn’t until my son needed a laptop that I bit the bullet and got this little thing. In hindsight, I wish I went for the bigger screen, (I was too cheap!) but this does travel extremely well.

You can get a decent PC laptop for as low as $500 these days so there’s really no reason to suffer as long as I did with 2nd hand junk.



I shop local 


I choose to shop local for these kinds of things. I can hold what I like, view the selection avail and be near a place that also troubleshoots for me if need be.

I won’t apologize for having these nice things because I’ve worked hard to earn each one. And I’m more committed than ever to work them hard to pay ME back one day soon. 🙂

If you wanna turn pro, gear up right.

What’s on your wish list for equipment? 


Bad computers go bye bye in 2 weeks


My pc to mac review


Our new mac toy

All 31 Day posts to date can be found HERE.


Day 1 – intro

Day 2 – money isn’t first

Day 3 – take time to RESET

Day 4 – submitting work for magazines and websites

Day 5 – my top 5 photo tips

Day 6 – my big announcement (offer something)

Day 7 – all about sidebar sponsors
Day 8 – how I do it all
Day 9 – be original

Day 10 – an unexpected lesson (ask for advice)

Day 11 – what equipment should YOU get? – this entry


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  1. I am saving up for a Macbook Pro right now. We have a marvelous PC – my hubby is CIO and so we have a HUGE screen and nice PC that was free since he’s got to have it for work reasons…but I use it for all my blogging. The problem is that I can’t go anywhere to get real blogging done so I want a Macbook Pro, big screen. Hubby said to wait because they are coming out with a new version soon. I’ve got most everything else you listed, but I need to get a couple of lenses eventually. I will wait until the blog pays for that stuff too! I LOVE my Nikon DSLR! Thanks, Donna!!!

    Becky B.
    http://www.organizingmadefun.com
    Organizing Made Fun

  2. Another great read and one that I totally agree with!! Having the proper, and best equipment that you can afford is essential! That being said though, the most important piece of equipment is you, the operator! Learn your equipment inside out and upside down, read your manuals and have them close by to refer to when needed.
    Keep up thee great work Donna!!! 🙂

  3. Hi Donna,
    This is great information. Thinking positively, I hope to be able to invest in equipment in the future. For now, I’m starting with what I have – a sony cyber shot, a new pc with an old monitor, and a prayer! Bless you for being a pioneer and for helping the rest of us have an easier path.
    -Revi

  4. Someday….I will have some of these recommendations! You’re offering wonderful information here that I’m gonna hang onto. Maybe someday my blog will get to the point that it can pay for these things for me. I need to figure out how to get advertising on there in the first place.

  5. Yesterday I got a new tripod and a Polarized lens filter for an annirversary gift. My wish list includes a wide angle lens and I would really like a big bad boy 400 zoom lens but at the cost of $1700 I don’t see that happening in the future unless we win the lottery or something.

  6. Well, at least I have the iMac. And you’re right, the PC just can’t compare! The ease of use is phenomenal, as are the graphics! I went with the 21″ screen and should have listened to my husband and sprung for the 27″. Grrrrr! LOL! Another question… I have a macro setting on my point and shoot, but what does it do and in what instance should I use it? I usually only use the portrait and close-up settings to take my blog pictures. Thanks for all the great information, Donna!

  7. My mom bought me a while back and I LOOOOVED it! Then, one day it decided not to turn on. again.ever. There is no one around here that works on Macs. boo. I don’t have the money to ship it off to have it worked on. So, it sits in my closet. dead. sigh.

  8. Laura, the macro setting allows you to take extreme closeups of detail. To activate it, turn your camera on to your chosen setting, tap the macro button, then hold your camera VERY steady, (put it on something) compress button allowing camera to focus, then shoot.

    Macro settings on P and S’s are fiddly. You may have to do the focus more than once for it to pick up the right area. But once it does, you’ll love it.

    Donna

  9. I think that all your purchases are things you have probably need for a long time and just kept putting it off. 2 years ago when our last pc died, I convinced my hubby to get an I mac and he got the 27 inch. I am sitting here watching soccer with hubby and my wonderful macbook pro is on my lap. I have a nikon d90 and hubby has a d80, I will say we have at least 20 lens and most we have gotten on ebay just because they are so expensive. I do not have an Iphone but I do have an ipad. In this world of technology we need certain things to stay connected. I am so glad you rewarded yourself!

  10. No need to apologize, you deserve that plus more! I recently got a Nikon D3100, and I love it. Of course, I needed a better computer to store my pics, so I got the 13′ MacPro. Also got a closeup lens similar to the one you have, and will soon be receiving a telephoto lens, oh yeah, and a tripod (don’t ask how I paid for all of this) You would think I’m a photographer with all this equipment, but I’m just a mom, trying to capture those special moments in my children’s life’s. Love your blog by the way!

  11. Oh my gosh! I just went out and invested in myself/biz and bought a lot of the same things. I have went without,also because I am too cheap. That’s how I got into repurposing junk in the first place! Anyway, I love my MACbk 13″ but also wish I got the bigger one. I just saw the iMac 27″ and fell in love. That is on my “list”. I also got the Nikon 3100 bundle and can’t seem to get that “boca” look (the one with the blurry background). I think a macro would help. I also got the iPhone 4 and loooove it. this phone has changed my life in many ways. sounds dramatic, but it’s true. i can do all my online in real time and the calendar is awesome. it’s hard to break down and buy these things, but it is worth it.