? Get The Gear || Taking Your Own Blog Photos ?

If you follow me on Instagram, you are well aware that I have been in the process of turning my studio apartment into a blog studio. It has been a LOT of work but so worth it as we get into the last 20% left with everything.

Part of turning my apartment into a studio has been getting it photo-ready at all times. Though I should be talking about my messiness {i like to blame the creative process}, I am talking specifically about lighting.

A goal of mine for 2018 is to shoot at least 80% of my photos. I am obsessed with Colette Prime {aka the amazon babe!} and her instagram aesthetic is DEAD ON and super modelesque. Even more impressive? She shoots everything herself. Following her on instagram made me realize how attainable it actually is & inspired by her, I made some of my first purchases

Over the past 2 weeks, my credit card has gotten quiiiiite the work out on Amazon. Everything arrived this weekend and LET ME TELL YA, I’ve gotten more content done in 2 days than I have all year!

In fact, Erik and I have been joking with “I love shooting with Erik BUT….”

& well, there sure is a lot of thing after that but.

I love shooting with Erik but

  • I need the flexibility to shoot whenever I want, wherever I want, especially with his work schedule
  • shooting myself has really gotten me aware on how to pose & I can get immediate feedback
  • I can do it in half the time and have instagram content immediately {seriously!}
  • I can act out a vision while it’s fresh in my head vs waiting and not exactly nailing it
  • I have FULL CONTROL over my aesthetic
  • It sets you apart from other bloggers as this world gets more saturated by the second & makes you a triple threat
  • Honestly… It’s empowering as hell to shoot your own photos

PS – SO thinking of calling this series of shooting my own photos {as I know I will talk ab this a lot in the future} “I love shooting with Erik BUT….” LOL

Really though, this list has been getting bigger and bigger. I’m just using Erik as an example since he takes 90% of my blog photos & none of this is personal to him at all. In fact some of my favourite photos were taken by him. Check them out here, here, here, here, & here.

I’ve been sharing everything I’ve gotten on Instagram, but I have gotten SO many questions that I figured a blog post would be best!

I cannot reccomend any of these products enough especially for fellow blogger babes. One thing I got asked often in Instagram was why I chose the items I chose. Every single thing I chose was heavily researched, cost effective, a referral of a friend, or a mix of all of the above. If something is pricey, I wanted there to be a reason – that said, everything is on the affordable end of things.

To make it all better, everything is from Amazon so you can get all these babies as soon as 48 hours!

< ONE >

studio lights


These lights were recc’ed to me by my #WCW, youtuber / sommelier Cristie Norman. I was desperately looking for some high quality studio lights but a lot were in the $100’s range. I asked Cristie what she used and she sent me these and they are only $60ish! I bought these the second she sent me the link and they are amazing. They really lighten & brighten up my studio but what was really amazing is when the sun set, I took some videos on my phone of my apartment to test the lights and you would of thought it was in the middle of the afternoon. These lights are VERY powerful and can give you flattering light 24/7.

< TWO >

flexible phone tripod


As I ramp things up socially, one thing I’d really like to provide are some instagram lives, iphone vlogs, & cooking tutorials. This little octopus looking tripod will do the job! The legs are completely flexible and as long as you have a place to put it, you can literally hang it anywhere. This also comes with a blue tooth remote to make picture taking a breeze. Oh, I don’t have one but it also is GoPro compatable! FWIW- I took this photo with my rainbow prisms on my window {post for another day} and I had the tripod wrapped around my bar cart LOL


camera tripod

BUY HERE {60 inches} or HERE {50 inches}

If you buy one thing from this list, this is it. Erik actually got this for me and it has been something I don’t understand how I’ve gotten away without using it. This tripod will instantly become your instagram husband. Seriously. All you need to do is screw your camera on and set it for the height and angle you want it & with your self timer {I do 10 seconds}, you are golden baby. To make it even better, the top part of the flexible tripod above can screw on so you can use it for your phone too with the remote! Basically, I got this photo taken, edited, & posted on instagram in a matter of 20 minutes. If you see a girl walking around the Marina with her tripod and taking photos of herself, come say what’s up – HA! FWIW, I have the 60 inches one.

< FOUR >

camera ring light


One of my favourite times to shoot is sunset {not golden hour, but sunset} – the skies are very much my aesthetic with shades of purple, blue, pink… dare I say holographic?! 😉 Anyways, also at that time, it does get pretty dark so I need some external flash help. Ring lights are extremely flattering on the skin, so this gives me a natural brightness and I love using the warm filter on it to emulate the sunset. This one uses AA batteries and super lightweight.

< FIVE >

wall mount support


I’m currently transforming my kitchen / dining area into a photo area. Basically, on the wall, I have this installed and this holds various background papers. So now, instead of a kitchen, I have a mini staging area. This is helpful for product shots, clever #ootds, clothing shots for resale website, and even a great place to stage food photos. This is a bit extreme but I wanted to mention this as it’s a great option to shoot an outfit when the weather isn’t great. I can do a full post on this entire set up if interested? This is something I kind of winged so it would of been helpful to me to have a full post from someone on this lol…. that said, I did choose this one because it’s the exact one a blogger I LOVE uses – seriously, huge girl crush on her.

< SIX >

picture perfect posing book


One thing that has been helping me a LOT to get more comfortable in front of the camera is to subscribe and watch both model’s vlogs & their agency youtubes. I was watching a video on youtube of a modeling agent giving advice to aspiring models and this book on posing was on her list. I bought it immediately. It is VERY in depth & explains so much, from spine movement, to eye movements {aka you never want to see too much of the whites}, to how to pose couples. What I love about it is that it really explains how to move the human body vs just telling you what poses to do.

That’s all I got… so far! I imagine more things will get added to the list so anything that rocks my world I’ll add here or make a part II if there is enough of them.

Also! Every photo in this post was all pictures I took myself on my iphone over the weekend. To do this, as mentioned, I screwed in the top part of the iphone tripod to my camera tripod {basically set it up like it was a photo} & instead of the self-timer, I used the blue tooth remote that I have hidden somewhere in these photos! FWIW – this was my first go in taking my own photos with my camera & tripod. They turned out a little blurry {it was my first time!!} so I added a 90s style film filter to it. Practice makes perfect 🙂

I love that every one of these products really work in synergy with each other.

ALL RIGHT – that’s all I got for today! On a personal note, I know I haven’t been as active as I normally have been on the blog. For the next few weeks, I will be down to 1 – 2 posts a week since things are so crazy over here but I will be back on track & harder than ever in about a month…! 😉

OKAY SO what else do I need? Bloggers / Youtubers – anything else I should add?! Send me some links!! Would you want a series on taking my own photos? Let me know your questions and I will answer.

xo Shannon

< follow me on instagram :: @shannonsilver >



  • XLB me, please 🥢🥟✨ #momentswithsunday #slseat #slssf
  • more than ever, this Texan is so thankful to call California home 💘 #slssf
My heart goes out to all those affected by the fires. I’ve been trying to find ways to help from SF & here’s what I could find. Anything else, please let me know:
⚜️ donations for hygiene kits for firefighters via @simplythebasics
⚜️ @rocketdogrescue is accepting respirator masks & looking for foster families
⚜️ @reedandgreenough in the Marina is donating 15% of sales tomm 11/17 from 4-7 to the Red Cross
⚜️ @hitopssf in the castro is donating all sales tomorrow 11/17 to benefit victims of Camp Fire
⚜️ #MaskOakland is giving n95 masks to the homeless and need volunteers to help distribute
⚜️ @overheardmarinasf is posting what local bars are giving  back and they have a link to donate in their bio
⚜️ @kellymoorepaint is giving away masks while supplies last
⚜️ @sf_octavia in pac heights is donating $1 per cover to California Community Foundation
⚜️ @wckitchen is accepting donations to feed first responders and evacuees
⚜️ @halohalocollective is hosting a clothing drive in SOMA on Sunday from 12-3 to help fire victims - contact @msnerriss for more info
⚜️ text CAWILDFIRES to 90999 to make a $10 donation to the @americanredcross
⚜️ @sanfranciscospca is accepting donations for emergency shelter and vet care & trying to help owners find their pets
⚜️ @livermorevalleywinecountry is donating 10% of all proceeds this weekend to benefit fire victims
⚜️ @watchmesip started a donation page to raise funds for victims
⚜️ @sierranevada has a camp fire relief fund and donating clothing to those who need
⚜️ @airbnb is helping displaced residents and relief workers find a place to stay for free
⚜️ @sudwerkbrew is hosting an event tomorrow at Davis Senior Center to help all affected. Entry = a gift card of any amount to a store that sells groceries, housewares, or clothing {like target, cvs, safeway, etc}
⚜️ 100% of funds donated to @northvalleycf will go directly to victims
.... any others, please share 🙏🏻 stay safe y’all x
{ 📸: @lilywolfephotography ✨ one of my favs from our shoot last month }

#sanfrancisco #bayarea #campfire
Here’s why: For November, they are celebrating Japan and it’s so dope. The drink menu is styled like a manga comic, & they have some of the coolest sakes I’ve ever had. Even though I’m just drinking wine here {@royaltokaji the oddity dry furmint if we’re being a specific, #hipster I know - dope winelist, you will love, get something craycray}, but after this glass I had this one sake that blew me away... you might have seen it in my stories: basically “rosé sake” and it was one of the coolest things I’ve ever drank... and I’ve drank lots of things in this life of mine lol 😇
Anyways, it was called AMABUKI GIN NO KIRENAI JUNMAI • @amabukishuzo_official. In the glass, it was PINK, and tasted slightly sweet & fruity. It got its colour from using ancient black rice. If you see this, you have to get it and shoot me a DM while you’re at it so I can have some sake fomo 😅🍶✨
#slsatx #sake #austintexas #visittexas
  • so many decades in one Instagram lol 📟 ps if you go to Austin, you HAVE to shop at @prototypevintage - easily one of the best vintage shops I’ve ever been to & where this FAB dress straight outta the 90s is from. Kinda half clueless half gossip girl, right? ⚜️ #slsatx #90sstyle #retrovintage #thedriskill #austintexas
  • just a Texas girl in a Texas world 🐎 #slsatx #thedriskill
  • got the goods 💰 also this Texan kinda confused why kolaches aren’t a thing in California? The sausage + cheese + jalapeño ones are my favvvv 👅✨ #slsatx #czechstop #kolaches
  • when roadtripping from DTX to ATX, loading up on kolaches at the Czech Stop is a must! If you know, you know 🛣⛽️✨ #slsdtx #slsatx #czechstop

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