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As an influencer and content creator, one of the questions I’m most commonly asked is what kind of creator tools and gear or equipment I use, especially when it comes to traveling. While you don’t need much to get started, over the years I’ve added each piece of equipment on this list to the gear I personally use today.
To keep it real, you don’t need to drop thousands of dollars in order to create beautifully-curated content. It’s all in your eye to capture something that tells a story. But as you grow and expand your creative business, you are always bound to make some upgrades and investments. Creator gear isn’t always cheap, but in the long run, investing in better creator tools to create higher-quality photos, video, and audio content will only elevate your brand or business as an influencer and content creator. Whether you’re looking for just the basics, vlogging equipment for beginners, or equipment I travel with, it’s all covered in this post!
These are a couple pieces of basic of equipment I use to create content across all my social media channels, my blog, and for brand collaborations.
For any kind of content creator, the most basic of content creator tools you’ll need is a camera to shoot high quality pictures and videos. If you’re just starting out, you don’t need anything too fancy or complicated, and can even use your phone if it has a good quality camera.
I started with the Canon G7 X Mark II (which I brought with me to events and what I mainly opted for when I traveled) and a Canon 70D (which I mainly used for my YouTube videos and makeup portraits). Today, I use the Sony Alpha A7R III with a few different lenses, which actually took me 8 years before upgrading to a full-frame camera. Why? Because I wanted to master content creation using what I had; it’s not always about how expensive or how top of the line your gear is.
I’m glad I opted for the Sony Alpha A7R III to upgrade with because it’s everything I need in a camera. I learned photography through Canon, so it will always be my first love, but man, the Sony mirrorless cameras are top notch! Here are some reasons why I love my Sony A7R:
When creating content inside, a ring light creates a brighter aesthetic and lights up the face evenly. Any ring light with a tripod helps you be hands free to do stuff like record those flawless TikTok dances or create more engaging Instagram Stories. A lot of them have multiple options to change the warmth or coolness of the light and to dim or make it brighter giving you more control of your aesthetic. For something that’s easily transportable, check this one out by Littil. It’s compact, fits easily in my backpack, and has a USB cord that I can plug into a portable charger if I want to use it outside.
When it comes to vlogging equipment for beginners, you don’t need a lot to start, but these are two essential items you need.
You can totally start making videos and vlogs if you have a one of the more recent iPhones or Android phones (within the last few models), but if you’re serious about producing higher quality content I would suggest investing in a video camera to level up your game. One of the creator tools that’s a favorite with a lot of vloggers and photographs pretty well is the Canon G7 X Mark II that I mentioned above because of its flip-out screen so I’m able to see the framing while filming.
Another piece of vlogging equipment for beginners that you should invest in is a microphone, like this Blue Snowball iCE. Having one creates better audio and voiceovers for your videos. I also use this mini mic – it’s fun for creating Instagram Reels or TikTok videos and doubles as a funny prop (make sure to get a headphone jack adaptor)! But it also works well as an actual microphone to connect to a camera if you want crisper audio for videos.
This might seem like a lot of creator tools to travel with, but bringing this gear helps me capture moments and memories in a number of ways. Also, when collaborating with a brand on my travels, having this variety of equipment is essential to getting all the best content.
People usually associate a GoPro with extreme sports or outdoor adventure, but it offers so much more because it’s simple and versatile. It’s great for traveling because its small and doesn’t take up a lot of space. Plus, it’s waterproof.
I’d also recommend this as vlogging equipment for beginners because you can have a lot of fun and get really innovative with a GoPro, especially when using all the different mounts and housings like the GoPro Dome I use to get split shots over/underwater.
A lot of phones are waterproof these days, but only up to a certain depth. Get a waterproof case for your phone to have peace of mind that you won’t lose all your awesome content just because of the water. It’s also essential vlogging equipment for beginners so you can shoot all the underwater footage when snorkeling in turquoise waters or swimming in the bluest cenotes if you don’t have a GoPro.
A tripod/selfie stick is really useful when it comes to creator tools, particularly when no one is around to take pictures for you. It’s also helpful vlogging equipment for beginners to hold and stabilize your camera while recording your videos. This compact gorilla pod acts as both. The legs are even flexible enough to wrap around other objects so you can take pictures and videos from every angle you can think of.
There are many reasons to use different lenses with your camera, such as allowing you to photograph your subject more creatively or capture more of those beautiful landscapes, cityscapes, and architecture you see on your travels. In order to avoid bringing a bunch of lenses, I suggest traveling with a zoom or wide angle lens, like my Tamron 17-28mm f/2.8 lens. It’s definitely one of the most affordable wide lenses that’s Sony E-mount compatible on the market that’s worth every penny! It’s sharp, compact and light for traveling. The auto-focus is quick. The bokeh at f/2.8 (or the blur on the background) is not my favorite, but it certainly does the job.
Another affordable lens that I like is my Sigma 30mm f/1.4 lens. While it’s not the fastest for auto-focus (I prefer using manual with this lens), the bokeh at 1.4 is stunning! The colors are vibrant (typical of any Sigma glass) and captures incredibly sharp images. The focal length (distance to subject) is just right for portraits and lifestyle images, and essentially the 35mm’s affordable sister.
Lighting is everything when it comes to taking photos. A reflector is one of the most underrated creator tools, but one of the most important. Basically, it bounces or diffuses light where you want. This collapsible reflector is easy to travel with and super helpful when doing photoshoots or lighting is uneven. Read more about how to use one here.
Adding a drone to your must-have creator tools takes your travel pics and videos to the next level. I get all those amazing aerial shots and footage with my DJI Mavic Pro. A tip for traveling: make sure to know the drone rules of the country you’re traveling to before visiting. For example, drones are banned at all of those beautiful cenotes I visited in Tulum.
If your creator tools don’t have any power, you can’t create content. So having an extra battery (or a portable charger if you’re using your phone) is an important piece of equipment to have with all your gear.
Who has ever gotten the perfect IG shot on the first try? Not me! As a creator I have thousands of photos and videos that can’t all fit into one memory card. Get a few extra memory cards for your camera or micro SD cards for your phone (if it uses one). That way you don’t run out of space and have to worry about deleting content.
Pro tip when traveling or on the go: A nifty little gadget I’ve been absolutely loving to bring with me everywhere is the Apple Lightning to SD Card Camera Reader! It enables you to upload images from your SD card to your iPhone. This completely eliminates the need to bring a laptop to edit and you can view and edit the photos directly from your phone and post in real time on Lightroom.
Another piece of vlogging equipment for beginners (and creators of any level, really) that is a good investment is an external hard drive. High quality pictures and video take up a lot of space, so it’s best to have a backup place to store it. I recommend the Western Digital My Passport HDD or the G-Drive SSD.
To edit photos, I use my Wacom Intuos Graphics Drawing Tablet. A lot of the basics when it comes to editing can be done with a mouse, but if you’re going to be editing a lot, for a long time, or want to get as precise as possible, a drawing tablet comes in handy.
The last thing I use to create different kinds of content my gooseneck phone stand. If you’re going to be shooting a lot of flat lay content, I highly recommend getting one.
That’s it! These are all the creator tools I use to make my content. As I mentioned before, gear and vlogging equipment for beginners isn’t always cheap. You don’t need everything all at once, but have at least a few of the basic tools to start – like a camera, ring light, and tripod/selfie stick.
Let me know in the comments if you currently use any of these and what your favorite creator tools are!
FTC: Some links are Amazon affiliate links.
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