1. Tripod: having a good tripod is so important when it comes to taking your own pictures. This one is Amazon recommended, has two height settings and it's at the perfect price point! The color is pretty also which doesn't hurt. ;)
2. Diffuser and Reflector Kit: these are hands down one of the best (if not the best) purchase I've made when it comes to blog photography! Using a diffuser is perfect for when you have too much natural sunlight, therefore giving you a ton of shadows. I hate when I'm taking a flat lay image and there's more shadows than white space! Using a diffuser helps soften the natural light that's being reflected onto your image. The reflector is key for adding more light when you don't have enough - so for example on a cloudy/rainy day or when you're not shooting outside. This kit is the answer to perfect photo lighting, all for $17!
3. Camera Ring Light: I talked a bit about this in my girl boss gift guide but it has been a LIFE saver! I've been using this nonstop and for under $30, you should already have it in your cart! It's the perfect portable ring light; it's easy to set up/use and it's been a huge help with lighting.
4. Dual USB Stick: if your camera doesn't have wifi, this is a definite must have; but even if it does you'll still find this gadget helpful! One side fits into Apple products (iPhone/iPad) and the other is a regular USB that fits into a port on a computer. It couldn't be easier to transfer images to and from your phone/computer! Especially if you're on the go or trying to get something posted in a snap - pure genius.
5. Faux Marble: when I shared tips for taking an AWESOME flat lay image, I talked a bit about grabbing some super cheap marble tiles from Home Depot or Lowes; these are great and I suggest them 100%, but since they're 1. very heavy and 2. Are usually 12x12 or 18x18, this faux marble/granite sheet roll is the perfect go-to! I use my marble tiles 90% of the time but sometimes I like to switch it up, or need a bigger space to shoot on - in which case I go to this. There's tons of different styles, washes and patterns and they're very affordable so I highly suggest grabbing all of the ones you like! It's great to have a variety in your collection of props and it really makes taking blog photos so much simpler (and prettier!) when you have an awesome background.
6. Adobe Lightroom: while I know there's cheaper alternatives out there, I always recommend Lightroom and Photoshop to anyone who asks. There's endless possibilities with what you can do with these programs so they're a great investment! You can purchase this version of Lightroom for a one time cost or you can purchase Adobe's monthly plan and pay just $10 per month! I edit all of my photos in Lightroom and sometimes the before and afters are unreal.
7. Camera Strap: I'd like to take a moment to thank whoever the genius was that created this!!! I cannot begin to explain what a huge help this wrist strap has been. It allows you to move freely when taking pictures without worrying about dropping your camera and if you're shooting alone, you know how important it is to be able to take a picture with one hand! This strap also helps keep your hand steady when shooting, making for clearer and crisper pictures.
8. Vinyl Back Drop: these back drops are perfect for all sorts of photography; my favorite is using them for recipe/food posts. They add what looks like texture to your photo and sometimes it's fun to go with something more interesting than a plain/solid background. These are great because they can be used as table top/bottom backgrounds or mounted and used as a background. My favorite tip for using these is temp-taping them to a poster board to easily keep them flat while you shoot!
9. Flash Diffuser Soft Box: this is another version of a diffuser, but this one mounts on top of your camera! SO smart. It fits on the majority of cameras out there and it helps to soften the light around the subject(s) you're shooting. It's only $14.99 and you can be taking better pictures with it by tomorrow with Prime! ;)
10. Table Top Photography Lights: these are the best back lights out there! They're only $35 and they're worth every penny. They're small and compact and can be moved to nearly where ever you need them to be to give you more light. These are extremely helpful if you have to shoot when the lighting isn't great, or even at night. They're super bright and you can easily place them on your desk, table, etc.; where ever you're shooting.