Recommendations | What I Use Behind the Scenes.

I created this recommendations page as a way to summarize a list of products, services, and tools I use to run the blog. I have personally used each one of these products / services / tools listed below so I can attest to their quality. Feel free to send me an email if you have any questions about them, and would like to know more.

Blogging Tools & Favourite Resources: Recommendations | What I Use Behind the Scenes.

My Product Recommendations

I aim to update this page as often as I can. Since I’ve also written a few posts on the topic of blogging, you can always learn more over on the Blogging page. I have included a section towards the bottom that summarizes some of the resource-heavy post so you can quickly access it!

Disclosure: Products / tools linked below may contain affiliate links which goes to further support running this blog! I only list items that I have personally used and would never share something I don’t believe in. If you aren’t sure about a purchase, send me a note at stephanie@thefantasia.com! Happy to chat and share some of my experience!

Photography Equipment


Camera: Nikon D5100 16.2MP DSLR Camera
I love the Nikon D5100 DSLR camera as it is an excellent mid-level model that is easy enough to use for beginners but will still be great to use once you’ve had a solid 2-3 years of experience with it. This is a camera model that you can grow with so it’s a much better investment than buying an entry-level model only to upgrade. I shoot in manual mode which is something I highly recommend learning. I bought the original kit from Henry’s. A fantastic equivalent is from Canon – my sister has and uses the Canon T5i which I’ve tested and found to be fairly comparable to the D5100 from Nikon.

Read More: Behind the Blog | Photography for Bloggers.


Lenses: Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S DX VR Nikkor Zoom Lens, Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G Lens, and Nikon 55-200mm f/4-5.6G ED IF AF-S DX VR Zoom Nikkor Lens
For most of my beauty posts, I use the Nikon D5100 camera with two lenses, the 18-55mm and 35mm lenses which I switch out depending on the lighting and feel that I’m trying to achieve. For the most part, I use the original 18-55mm lens that comes with the original D5100 kit. I originally purchased my kit at Henry’s but have found that Amazon has better pricing on lenses and equipment, which is where I bought the 35mm, and 55-200mm lenses.

When I travel, and for most of my travel posts, I rely heavily on the 55-200mm and occasionally the 18-55mm lens for closer shots.


Extra Equipment: Insignia 52mm Camera UV Filter, SanDisk Extreme 32GB Memory Card, and Velbon EX-430 Tripod
All of my lenses are protected with 52mm lens filter / protectors (which you should always get considering they cost only $5-10 to protect your $$$$ investment!)

I also use the SanDisk Extreme 32GB Memory Card which transfers raw photos really quickly, and conveniently. My tripod of choice is the Velbon EX-430 which is available for $70.

Read More: Behind the Blog | My Must Have Blogging Tools.

In summary, here are the links to purchase products mentioned above (Yes, they are affiliate links – thank you for your support)!

  1. Nikon D5100 16.2MP DSLR Camera
  2. Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S DX VR Nikkor Zoom Lens
  3. Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G Lens
  4. Nikon 55-200mm f/4-5.6G ED IF AF-S DX VR Zoom Nikkor Lens
  5. Insignia 52mm Camera UV Filter
  6. SanDisk Extreme 32GB Memory Card
  7. Velbon EX-430 Tripod

Editing & Props

Photo Editing: iPhoto / Adobe Photoshop
I’ve found iPhoto to be really great for organization and keeping my pictures archived properly. Photoshop is my go-to choice for photo editing. I use the CS5 for all my editing.

Props: Marble Contact Paper and White Foam Board
My photography props is incredibly simple – I use a combination of marble contact adhesive that I apply on a white foam board, and the occasional blanket or books. This is the beauty bloggers’ best kept secret.

Photography Classes: GTA Photography
Based in Toronto, this has been my go-to photography school. I have taken the Photo 101, Photo 201 classes and Travel Photography Workshop so as you can tell I am very happy with the quality of service and coverage provided through the offerings.

Read More: GTA Photography Review

Website

Domain/Web Hosting: NameSilo & ThreeWords
I have been in the world of blogging and website development for over 12 years so I have a few contacts who I rely on for domain and web-hosting. My domain is hosted through NameSilo which provides an automatic privacy protection (i.e. they don’t share your contact info on WhoIs) for free. A few notable names in the industry for domain hosting are: GoDaddy and Google (i.e. via Blogger platform).

Read More: Free Travel Planning Resources

I am hosted with ThreeWords who runs an incredible web-hosting service since 2012. I haven’t had any issues, downtimes or any major issues in the last four years. The plans are slightly more expensive than a larger-scale company like Bluehost, which starts at $3.95/month for 50gb of space and unmetered bandwidth! Their support team is very good and they offer a comprehensive website hosting service from domain registration, hosting, and getting started with WordPress or WooCommerce.

SiteGround also comes highly recommended from me – it’s one of the best (technically speaking: uptime, speed, and security) hosts and their plans are often on sale.

Start a blog today for as little as $4/month!

CMS: WordPress
Wordpress has been my platform of choice for the last 12 years and it’s never let me down! I love the flexibility I have with the back-end code and myriad of beautiful themes to choose from. The plugin options are limitless so you can literally create anything and everything with a WordPress blog. My recommendation is to go with a self-hosted WordPress site if you’re looking for flexibility and control over your entire website. Note that some plugins / themes don’t work on the WordPress’ hosting site so!

Additional Recommendations

I have written a number of posts covering the topic of blogging and sharing a lot of resources a long the way. Whilst you can easily review those posts when you go over to the Blogging page, I thought it would be helpful if I share some of the most popular and resource-intensive recommendations so you can find what you need faster!

  1. Google Publishes Best Practices for Bloggers.
  2. Blog Tools I Can’t Live Without.
  3. 10 Helpful Websites Every Bloggers Need to Bookmark.
  4. SparkSessions 2016: Canada’s Fashion & Beauty Blogger Conference.
  5. 18 Best Free WordPress Plugins Every Blogger Needs.
  6. 17 Best Free Resources For Bloggers.

Pin for Later

Blogging Tools & Favourite Resources: Recommendations | What I Use Behind the Scenes.

@voxielle on Instagram

theFantasia.com © 2017 · Stephanie L