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How well do you know your camera?

So you have your camera and you’ve been happily snapping away. But how much do you REALLY know about your camera’s key functions? Take our quiz and find out!

( The quiz was designed to cover key functions which you may find across a range of most popular DSLR and bridge cameras. In some cameras, some of the functions may be hiding under a different name or variations. Sorry we can’t include them all)

How well do you know your camera? Does your camera have no secrets from you or do you know how to make it do exactly what you want it to? Do you know your way around all your buttons and dials, or are the number appearing on your screen filling you with dread? Take our quiz to find out!

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Dear Santa – if you haven’t got me anything yet, I’d like one of these…

Once you get into photography, your list for Santa will never be short on options. Here is 5 things we think make wonderful presents for a photographer. If you haven’t got one of these yet, there is still time for Santa to get you one ( or more ) of these…

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Photoshop Lightroom from Adobe

We love Lightroom. It’s a powerful yet intuitive software that serves professional photographers around the world – with a price tag that even amateur photographers can afford. Buy it as a self standing software product with a one-off payment of £99. Or even better, get it bundled up with full Photoshop and a tablet version of Lightroom  on Adobe’s Creative Cloud Photography subscription for a whisper over £8 pm

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A practical and beautiful camera bag

If you’ve looked for a camera bag in most camera shops you would have seen the bulky, black or khaki nylon bags. Practical – yes, beautiful – no. Luckily for all female photographers out there, there are plenty more options available now which merge both practicality and style. Check out brands like Epiphanie, Cheeky Lime, Jo Totes to name just a few. In the UK, you can buy them via CosyCameras or LoveCases

 

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A nifty-fifty wide aperture lens

If you haven’t moved on from your kit lens yet, now is the time. Affordable prime 50mm or 35mm, wide aperture ( F1.8) lenses for Canons or Nikons ( other brands are available too!) will transform your photography! Dreamy bokeh, creating beautiful blurry backgrounds and really isolating those details – all that with a new lens. Retailing around £100 depending on the brand. 


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Good sturdy tripod

You want one that’s sturdy and secure, one that won’t wobble on uneven surfaces with good swivel head. It should also let you switch between horizontal and landscape modes effortlessly. For a true pro grade, expect to spend upwards of £200 but for an enthusiastic amateur, we like this budget Manfrotto model.


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Wireless memory card

Download your photograph to your phone, iPad, computer without having to take your card out of your camera or fiddling with cables! Several options up there – Eye-fi, Flash-Air, or Transcend – the way they work with your devices may differ slightly from one to another so worth reading up before you buy…ehm…point Santa that way

And finally, a little cheeky plug for ourselves – if you do have a camera and love taking photos of your kids but want to get more out of your camera and get more thoughtful and more creative with your photography – do check out our courses – online or face to face – now both available with 2 advancement levels.

 

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Your camera’s best friend

Your camera’s best friend is your camera bag. It needs to do just one job – keep the camera, the lens ( or lenses) and other accessories safe and snug and resistant to bangs, bashes, drops and biscuit crumbs. And for most part, this is where the camera producers have stopped when it comes to making them and the vast majority of camera bags are black, nylon and 10 shades of ugly. Recognise this ? black camera bag

Luckily, with increasing numbers of female photographers, I’m seeing more and more brands embracing the style as well as functionality and there have been some gorgeous designs coming out from companies like Epiphanie, JoTotes or Cheeky Lime. Their camera bags look like stylish purses and handbags with the added benefit of being designed to fit the camera in. I tend to leave their websites open on my hubby’s laptops and tablets around the time of my birthday or Christmas but the hints remain unanswered as yet 🙁

 

Here are a few beauties I’ve had my eye on for a while now – no black monstrosities in sight! These are sold by a UK firm Cosy Cameras who specialise in feminine camera bags (this BTW is a completely honest endorsement – I am receiving not a penny or for this!)

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The downside to their beauty is as with everything – their price. Though some are more affordable than others, on the whole expect to pay from around £90 upwards.

For the more budget conscious of us, you may want to hack your way to a cool camera bag. I would recommend buying a padded, separate camera insert which you can then pop into another bag that you already own. These are altogether more affordable – you can pick one up from around £7-£10. I would recommend getting one that fits snuggly inside the bag you want to use – you don’t want it knocking about too much. Depending on how your bag closes, you may also want to get one that has an additional flap or a draw-string top to keep it safe from the elements ( the elements being potentially your kids, pets, squished raisins and the aforementioned biscuit crumbs).

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So there you go – no reason at all not to give your camera a stylish home! And with a great bag, there’s simply no excuse not to go out and shoot more!

Enjoy!

Ania x