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.

Resources for Bloggers

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!

Product Recommendations.

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.

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.

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.

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).

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.

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.

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Resources for Bloggers

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