I have always considered myself a storyteller. That’s how I know the best stories have plot twists in them.
Four years ago, I thought I had my storyline mapped out. I was in a happy relationship, working as a producer for E!’s Fashion Police, and living comfortably off steady paychecks. One day I woke up, broke up with my boyfriend, quit my job and dropped all that hard-earned stability for a plane ticket in pursuit of a new adventure. Armed with corporate-job experience that deepened my understanding of the production and storytelling process, I continued to blog (which I had done on the side during my corporate job) about my food, travel and lifestyle passions. Fast forward to present day, and this dream has become more of a reality. Over the years, I have learned about various tools that better showcase my style, as well as which kinds of content are truly engaging for my followers. While much has changed in my style and the “method behind my madness,” if you will, my ultimate goal of connecting with people around the world through meaningful, authentic imagery has remained the same. And I am so proud to say I have now more than 260,000 followers on Instagram that I have worked hard to get.
For aspiring bloggers and influencers, I do feel that one particular lesson they must learn centers around the importance of having attention-grabbing images, and to keep finding ways to be unique and creative. This journey led me to understand that smartphone photography would no longer suffice, especially when working with world renowned and credible brands. Instead, I’ve stepped up my game to professional-grade cameras.
With increasingly sharp resolution and gigabytes of storage, smartphones have made it quick and easy to document and share your life on-the-go. For most influencers—myself included—their first touchpoint with photography was their phone. As my career has progressed and my online presence has grown, I’ve seen the light, literally and figuratively. If you want to have an actual career as a social media influencer, I think you need a real camera. Here’s why.
Most influencers will tell you that the content they produce is essential to their success – yet most also do not consider themselves to be photographers. In lacking the technical knowledge to shoot on DSLRs and mirrorless cameras, we often turn to smartphones to get the job done. However, smartphones are severely limited in the settings that can be adjusted. This can compromise image quality, which leads to more time spent editing and less time spent putting out actual content. Take it from me: it’s great to be able to manually set a camera. Recently, I was shooting in Paris in front of the Eiffel Tower, which—as you can imagine—caused significant backlight. However, the manual settings of Canon’s new EOS R full-frame mirrorless camera allowed me to capture the color in the sky, while also keeping me in focus (a smartphone would have focused on one or the other). I’m all about the post editing process and you can really do wonders with today’s editing tools, but ultimately, minimal editing translates to more authentic content.
My full-time transition to Canon’s EOS R full-frame mirrorless camera has been a recent one. Upon testing it out, I saw that it was an easy-to-use camera with greater capabilities for the type of content I typically produce, and I fell in love. Since shooting my content exclusively with the EOS R, I’ve received a spike in engagement. Lately, the number one question I get asked is, “What kind of camera do you like to shoot with?” While I have no formal camera training, the EOS R has been a great tool for my comfort level. This camera has truly helped me capture my vision and inject a new level of authenticity into my posts, bringing to life epic travel photos, all while easily maintaining my standard for high quality imagery. Its lightweight body makes it easy to transport, which is especially crucial as I’m constantly hopping from place to place.
Now, more than ever, there is so much pressure for influencers to deliver a constant stream of content. My advice to up-and-coming influencers is to differentiate themselves, to learn what makes their voice unique, and to dig into what makes their imagery authentic to their story. The bottom line? Be a master of your craft, and grab and master a real camera to do so.
SOME IMAGES SHOT ON THE CANON EOSR IN THE PAST FEW MONTHS: