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celebrating OU seniors and Bartlesville and Tulsa families through photography.

Hey, y’all! 

I’m Melanie, the girl behind the lens at Melanie Foster Photography. Whether you’re getting ready for your upcoming OU senior or your Bartlesville or Tulsa family photography experience, I hope you’ll stay a while, pick up a few tips, and be inspired for your own MFP photo session! 

The Best Camera Gear for Beginners – Oklahoma Photographer


Hi guys, me again!

It’s been a pretty quiet off season, but that doesn’t mean big things aren’t happening! Lots of business development, meeting new engaged friends, and behind the scenes upgrades and updates. All of this might just sounds like fluff to you, but what it really means is that you’re going to get BETTER, more personalized photos and hopefully an even better experience from the moment you shoot me that first interest email!

With that said, I wanted to try something a little new. I’ve had lots of fun conversations with friends about starting a photography journey or business. Whether it’s for Instagram, your travel adventures, a calligraphy business, or a blog you’re starting, you want to up your game without spending a fortune and you want to invest in the right equipment.

So what camera should you buy?

I finally decided to dig in and do a bit of research so that you don’t have to! When I was jumping into the DSLR world, I had no clue what f/4.0 meant or what a cropped sensor was. Those are some details that can come later, but here’s my personal take on the gear worth investing in as a beginner:

(As a side note – I purchase all of my gear brand new on Amazon. Lowest prices, warranty-add ons, easing tracking/purchase review, and fast shipping (Prime FTW!))


Canon EOS Rebel T5i ($548) or Canon EOS Rebel T5 ($398)

Canon EOS Rebel T6i ($599) or Canon EOS Rebel T6 ($399)

Basically, the “i” versions are just fancier – swivel touch screens, extended sensitivity to light (ISO), faster burst shooting, and more pixels in the 6i vs. the 6. Also note that the 6 series both provide built-in wifi, while the 5’s do not. See a further comparison of features here and here.

My personal picks: T5i and the T6. If you’re going to spend $600 on a camera (the T6i), you might as well spend a couple hundred more and upgrade from the rebel series with something like the 70D. The swivel screens are pretty handy, and wifi is a big bonus if you’re looking to shoot and share instantly.

Wait what about the Canon vs. Nikon debate?

Honestly, this is just personal preference to me. I’ve shot Canon my whole life, so my loyalties lie with them! For an in-depth breakdown of the pros and cons of each, visit Ken 🙂


The rebels come with an 18-55mm kit lens. Once you’ve gotten the hang of your new camera and lens, (hint: learn manual mode!) I recommend upgrading to the Canon 50mm 1.8 ($125).

This is hands down the best bang for your buck. It was the first lens I owned outside of my kit lens. The 1.8 number might not mean much to you now, but once you pop that sucker on your camera and play around with it, it will change your life. f/1.8 = the aperture. That’s how big the hole is in your lens when you take a picture, allowing more or less light to hit the sensor. It’s also what makes the subject in focus and the background blurry.

What about the bundles and accessories?

I’m talking about listings like this. If I’m being honest, this looks like a big fat waste of money to me. You’ll definitely need an SD card, but the rest of the gear included in these are almost worthless. Unless you plan to take an absurd amount of selfies, you won’t need a tripod. The filters are pointless as a beginner, you’ll have a built-in flash in your camera, and those lenses are bottom of line CHEAP.

More tips & tricks coming soon, including an inside look at how my editing style has changed over the past two years!

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