Which photo gear should you take on vacation?

It’s officially summer which means lots of sun and vacations!  If you’re like me, you take your camera practically every where with you especially on vacation, and no I’m not talking about the camera in your phone, although I admit that I use my iPhone camera a little too much on a daily basis.  But even if you’re not like me but want to take great pictures while on vacation and have no idea where to start, I’m here to help.  Point-and-shoot cameras are good for being small enough to fit in your pocket or purse but I haven’t found one that takes really exceptional pictures that I would take it over my SLR camera.  I’m a Canon girl so I don’t know much about Nikon equipment however the Canon Rebel series and the Nikon D Series like the D3100 or 5200 are great amateur SLR cameras (SLR meaning Single Lens Reflex, aka you can change lenses because really, having a good camera body only gets you part of the way to taking good pictures, the other key part are good lenses).

Whenever I go on vacation my lens of choice for my Canon is the 24-70mm 2.8.  It’s an L Series lens which means it’s one of the best lenses Canon makes.  It’s a decent zoom for family vacations and since it’s a 2.8 (that means the aperture can open up to 2.8) you can shoot in lower light situations without a flash.  This lens is perfect for going to Disneyland, the beach, or any other family vacations.  It also comes with a hefty price tag of about $1200.  But did you know that you can actually rent camera bodies and lenses?  My favorite dealer to rent from is BorrowLenses.com.  They have a huge selection of equipment to rent and for a super reasonable price, quick shipping and even have local pick up and drop off locations in the Bay Area and in Roseville.  You can rent lenses and/or bodies for 3 days all the way to 4 weeks at a time!  So if you’ve been wanting to play around with different lenses for your SLR camera or try out an SLR camera they have both Nikon and Canon equipment to choose from.  And when you’re done, you just pack up the equipment in the shipping material they sent you and off it goes back to it’s home.

Now, if you’re planning on going on vacation to Europe or somewhere else that has beautiful architecture and/or gorgeous landscapes that you will want to photograph I highly recommend renting the Canon 16-35mm 2.8.  This is a wide angle lens that will allow you to capture architecture and all it’s glory in one single image.  This was the one and only lens I used while we were in Italy last summer, it never left my camera body.  I was able to capture all of the gorgeous architecture, beautiful landscapes and even shoot some portraits of my hubby and me while exploring.

If you’ve been wanting to learn how to take better pictures, especially for your family vacations the best place to start is to rent the equipment you’re thinking about buying and take pictures, lots of pictures, of anything and everything.  Practice, practice, practice, read the camera manual or online tutorials (Pinterest has a ton of articles on how to learn your camera) and try to learn how to shoot in other than the auto mode.  Push yourself to learn your camera because once you do you will not regret it.  Think about all the memories you can capture better by knowing how to properly use your camera, and then putting those memories in an album rather than storing all of your family memories in your photo album on your phone.  How will your kids be able to enjoy all of those pictures when they’re older if all you ever take are iPhone pictures that stay trapped on your phone?

Once you decide on a camera body and purchase it then play around with it, if you’re still thirsty to learn more let me know by emailing me or leaving a comment on this post and I just might put together a “Learn your Camera” workshop to teach you in plain English how to take better pictures.

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