Holiday photography: The basic equipment

Holiday photography : The equipment

We all want great holiday photography when we go away. Why wouldn’t we want to come back with some amazing photos that make everyone say ‘wow, it looks like you had a brilliant time’. Holiday photography is fun! I really don’t feel like I talk about taking photos enough. I went to university and I gained a first class honours degree in photography. It’s my passion and wherever I end up in life, I know that I’ll always be snapping and editing away. I wanted to talk a little bit about what equipment I take away when on holiday. I tend to go overboard and pack almost everything, yet when we actually head out and about in another country I tend to minimise what I take with me. So here are the basics – I will always take this lot with me!

The obvious one: The camera

Obviously to take photos you need a camera – duh. If you haven’t got a camera then you might want to consider going to purchase one before continuing to read this post. Although I’m almost certain that everyone has a camera nowadays? Anyways, back on topic. I pack two cameras, when packing for my holiday photography. Sometimes three depending on how adventurous i’m feeling. I will always take my DSLR, that goes without saying. I use a canon 550D but am looking to upgrade because I feel that my camera is now personally limiting me.

You can purchase a canon 550D with the standard lens (which is absolutely rubbish!) for around £220 now.  The other camera I take with me for holiday photography is a canon EOS 300 which is a film camera. You can purchase this for around £70 on amazon. Film is so cheap these days and the outcome is always so exciting and fun (for photography nerds like me anyways!). If I’m feeling brave I will pack my Diana lomography camera. These are so pretty looking but incredibly hard to use. They take 120mm film and if you’re unsure how to use them, then it may not be the best idea to take one on holiday with you!


It is always (well, mostly) about the lens. Not the camera. The lens! I have several that I rely on but tend to take all of them with me whilst away. When I started to play around with different lenses I fell in love with the 50mm 1.8. This is such an affordable lens (averaging around £100) and so worth every penny. It’ll make you fall in love with your photos and create that ‘blurry background’ that a lot of camera users  long for. It’s lightweight, small and such good quality. If you are still using the kit lens on your DSLR then you are probably not getting the full effect of your camera.

I then upgraded my 50mm 1.8 for a 50mm 1.4 and this is the lens that I use in most of my photos. I will explain at a later date more about lenses and what each one does.  I also use a 30mm 1.4 which is lovely as it isn’t as zoomed in so it’s nice for holiday photos when you don’t want to keep stepping further back until you’ve lost the moment! I then LOVE a good wide angle and for this I use a 10-22mm lens which is wonderful for getting beautiful landscape and also the odd selfie!

A tripod (or two!)

I will pack two tripods. I like to take a basic lightweight tripod at approximately 60 inches high. These start from about £15 and are so handy to have as a photographer. If you are looking at taking some pretty self portraits of you and your family during golden hour then this is perfect. We set up our camera on the tripod in a nice quiet location and then snap away. We also take a GorillaPod with us – it is incredibly ideal to just pop in your bag as apposed to a larger tripod. They also can wrap around almost anything as they have little flexibly joints. We love our GorrillaPod!

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  • Laura Clark says:

    Fantastic tips, thank you. I really want to improve my photography x #sharingthebloglove

  • says:

    Great list, I’m currently trying to get used to using a DSLR, I have a Gorilla grip for my iphone and a tripod. I’m lucky that my partner has them for work. #sharingthebloglove

  • Kara says:

    To be honest we never get to go on holiday but we use our Gorilla Pod every time we leave the house, it is perfect for vlogging too

  • says:

    Ooh you’ve reminded me I need to get a new tripod. I’m no pro so I just had a cheap thing from eBay and then I broke it – oops! Thanks for linking up to #HappyDaysLinky x

  • says:

    I love my gorilla grip, such a handy tool. Thank you for sharing in #HappyDaysLinky xx

  • The Pramshed says:

    This is a really useful post, thank you for sharing this. I have the Canon 600D and we still use the standard lens that it came with. Reading your post has made me think that I definitely need to upgrade the lens, and also get the camera out. I’ve not used it for so long, and we definitely need to capture our daughter more as she’s at a good age. The camera definitely makes the photo. Thanks so much for sharing at #fortheloveofBLOG. Claire x

  • Little Milk Days says:

    This is so helpful as I am determined to get better at photography, tripod is next on the to buy list! #sharingthebloglove

  • says:

    Thanks for sharing. Love the sound of the 50mm 1.8 lens as we too have the Canon 550D #sharingthebloglove

  • chocolateandwineandillbefine says:

    This is a fantastic list! I always find we take less on our holiday when really that is when you want your best photos! We have a Canon 550D too and I also feel very limited but I don’t really have a clue so would love your (affordable) recommendation. I find my best photos come when I have a telephoto lense on… #SharingtheBlogLove

  • says:

    A great list, thanks for sharing. I love the look of the Gorilla Pod, I need to start using our ‘proper’ camera more, I tend to use our compact camera the most as it’s easy to pop in my bag! #SharingTheBlogLove

  • […] quite how much kit to take. I love a nosey at other people’s setup, and  Jodie’s post, Holiday Photography: A Guide to the Basic Equipment, allowed me just that. A bit about cameras, lenses, and extra accessories, without needing to take […]

  • Laura - dear bear and beany says:

    This has been really useful thank you for sharing. I’ve always loved taking photos, but recently I’ve started to look at it differently. I really want a new dslr and a lens to go with it. One for the Christmas list. Thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove X

  • says:

    Theres some great tips in this post, me and my other half are more picture snappy using our mobile phones (sorry! Must be like scratching on a chalkboard for you to hear!) My brother is the photographer in the family and spends a fortune on equipment! #thatfridaylinky

  • Nige says:

    Great products you have highlighted Thanks for linking to the #THAT FRIDAY LINKY come back next week please

  • Emily says:

    Some great tips. I love my tripods! Thanks for joining #ThatFridayLinky

  • Katy - Hot Pink Wellingtons says:

    We love our Gorilla Pod! So perfect for getting shots of us all together as a family. I’ve just bought the 50mm 1.8 lens a couple of months ago and am still getting to grips with it. I love it, but sometimes for trying to capture an undirectable toddler who does like to run ‘at’ you, the zoomed-in-ness of it can be a little tricky! Thanks so much for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove – we’d love to see you back next week!

  • says:

    Wow, you can really feel the passion for your photography in this post. I need to invest in a tripod for sure. My vlogging’s a little shakey at the mo! #HappyDays

  • says:

    I’m really starting to get into my photography so there are some fab tips here! I need a DSLR, currently just using my phone camera and it’s not good enough! #sharingthebloglove

  • says:

    Like Mary in the comments above I am a total newbie and only use my iPhone at present. The only cameras we have are old waterproof digital ones that we bought for taking on holiday round and in the pool so really want to invest in a dslr at some point, there are just so many options it’s knowing where to begin.

  • says:

    I only have a bridge; unfortunately a DSLR is out of my budget at the moment, but I really do need a tripod! Great post 🙂 #fortheloveofBlog x

  • says:

    My husband is a keen photographer. It’s so wonderful to take really good pictures and capture memories of holidays. Thanks for the top tips. Xx #fortheloveofBLOG

  • Winnettes says:

    I’ve been looking at the GorillaPod. I think i will add it to my Amazon wish list.

  • Carolina Twin Mom / Mary Peterson says:

    Thank you for bringing this topic up! I use my cell phone camera only and need to quit complaining. I take the majority of pictures of my kids inside and the light is never sufficient. Would these be the same products you would recommend to a TOTAL beginner? May I add a non-techie sort of beginner? I appreciate your suggestions! #sharingthebloglove

  • Rhiannon says:

    some great links to some really good products, will look into these before i next go on holiday! thanks!! x

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