What Equipment I Use For Blogging / Instagramming At Every StageApril 17, 2020
12 years ago I began my blog.
At the time, I was a stay-at-home Mom without income, using a hand-me-down laptop from someone’s workplace that would eventually have a broken LED screen that I would hold a flashlight to the edges to try and make out the words and images. My camera was an old canon point and shoot that I got for my birthday in my late teen years.
I saw everyone with these highly-designed blogs, and equipment that made even everyday things look amazing and sure, I was jealous. But, it didn’t stop me from continuing to carve my way into that space.
I would sit up late at night after the kids went to bed and code my own blog. I would create ad space and sell it to small shops and blogs to fund the domain.
It was a full-time job masked as a part-time hobby.
And I adored it.
I don’t remember every step of the evolutions from one stage to the next.
However, I DO remember the stages where it began to get real.
What did that look like? What equipment did I have?
Well, let me walk you through the stages and what equipment followed and stayed along the way.
Level 1: iPhone
I remember clearly getting my first iPhone. It would become my one and only for how I would run the next leg of the journey.
Because after I had forgotten to renew my domain name, and it was bought by an adult website, I lost all that I’d built and spend hours coding and pouring myself into, the millions of pins that I had somehow managed to get even with my scrappy little blog. Starting fresh meant I was only going to work on Instagram for a while. It was new and exciting, and I had an iPhone to get me started.
With great quality pictures and apps that could edit, access to email, and video as well. I didn’t need much more. To be honest, it’s still where the brunt of all my work is done! Since my Instagram has become more of a mini-blog, it helped be the bridge between blogging as a whole and mini-blogging on IG!
I started with an iPhone 4 in 2010 and a decade later am using an iPhone 11 PRO MAX. While there are different levels of the iPhone, I chose the 11 PRO MAX for its battery life, camera abilities, video abilities and a large screen for things like photo editing.
Level 2: MacBook Air
After my marriage dissolved and I was restarting my life, I decided it was time to also restart my blog. I spent several months taking any “above average” tips from my serving job and tucking it aside, $20 here, $40 there. Eventually, I would purchase a refurb/open box MacBook Air.
I wrote my resume on that MacBook, used it for my first career job interview, got the job. I then used it for the more adult things that would come at me in the following years like reviewing legal documents, and a whole lot of more emails, appointment scheduling, online banking, things I’d never done before.
While I did eventually upgrade more recently to a newer version of the MacBook air, that original one is still working just fine, and is currently used by my daughter for school!
With the newer version of MacBook Air, it has all the same qualities I’ve always loved, with just advanced technology. Things like touch ID log-in, and being incredibly lightweight makes it wildly convenient, so it comes with me everywhere.
While I was able to “make do” on just an iPhone for a long time, having a MacBook with capabilities to work alongside my iPhone so well (with things like iCloud storage and AirDrop) I can shift back and forth between devices with so much ease.
Level 3: A DSLR Camera
While the iPhone continues to have amazing camera abilities and how I take a large number of my photos, I wanted something I could set up and trigger a little easier, learn a bit more about photography. At the beginning point of this stage in my life, I was in a career job and was doing well. On top of that, TheBirdsPapaya on Instagram was starting to actually make a bit of money. I figured, instead of just spending it on other things, maybe I should invest it back into my brand, and level up.
So, after literally weeks of research, I landed on a Canon 6D camera. With WiFi capabilities (meaning my iPhone could connect to it and act as a trigger and help me set up, shoot, and model in the shot with ease). I bought the camera again on an open box/refurb deal. I purchased the lens separately, as recommended by all the articles I read, and landed on a Sigma Art 35mm lens.
I still use this setup today.
Level 4: iPad / iPad Pro / Apple Pencil
I’ll be honest, I really didn’t see where an iPad would fit into my business. With an iPhone & MacBook already, isn’t that just a little redundant?
I’m happy to be wrong sometimes!
Because after seeing many creators begin to add these elements into their work like drawing, quotes, and much more – I started to see it’s value, and that creative itch began to grow.
Once it arrived and I got situated, I was really, really shocked at how much I (and we as a family) use it.
From signing documents to school homework, to doing my first artistic drawings (after some help from my friend Briony Douglas). I probably pick up my iPad 3-4x a day.
Not to mention, any time I need a graphic or artwork for something – I can do it now! Using the app Procreate, I’ve been able to level up my content, and I’m not even at full potential.
Note: there are currently FOUR types of iPad’s on the market. Ranging from $429-$1049 CAD. The iPad, iPad Mini and iPad Air, all support Apple Pen First Generation, while the iPad Pro (what I have) supports the iPad Pencil Second Generation.
No matter where you are in your own creative journey, don’t believe you have to have all the levels to start. They’re levels for a reason. Each phase lends itself to the next. Each one will teach you and stretch you and grow you while you take those steps. Trust me, you really can run an entire mini-empire on an iPhone, and then you can add and layer onto all that goodness if you choose to along the way.
I hope this answers a lot of those questions I’m commonly asked, and encourage you to get started on your own creative journey!