Dear DiaryGet Creative

So let me start by saying Jo and I are both also rookies in a way. We have no formal education in photography, very poor terminology (we use a lot of hand motions to communicate), and we’re still learning everyday, shoot by shoot! Upgrading to a new camera and learning how to use it properly was super daunting at first, but it has seriously turned our photo game on its head, and we’re so thankful that we took the leap. To save you a bit of time and energy, we wanted to share some of the knowledge we’ve picked up over the past few months.

First up? A whole bunch of knitty-gritty details about our new Nikon D7200 DSLR Camera!

Model name: Nikon D7200
Megapixels: 24.2
AF points: 51 with 15 cross-type sensors
Shutter speed range: 1/8000-30 sec, Bulb
ISO range: 100-25600 (expandable to 51,200 and 102,500 equivalent in black and white only)
Video file format: .MOV
Built-in flash? Yes
Card type: Dual slot SD/SDHC/SDXC
Ports: High-speed USB, HDMI, accessory terminal, stereo mic input
Shots per charge (CIPA): 1,110 (stills); approx. 80 minutes HD footage
Wireless capabilities: Wi-Fi/NFC
Dimensions and weight: 5.3 x 4.2 x 3.0 inches; 1 pound, 11 ounces

THE PERKS (compared to our old model) //

-High image quality in natural & low light
-well-suppressed noise at high ISO- allows for low-light & indoor shooting (still print quality images even at 3000-4000 ISO)
-fast continuous shooting – buffer capacity increased in this model to produce a burst of 100 large/fine JPEG images or 27 continuous NET/raw images.
-Longer battery life for all day shoots – a single charge now supports up to 1,110 shots!
-double memory card docks for maximum photo adventure time



Nikon 35mm 1:1.8 G

We use a 35mm instead of a 50mm because we take so many outfit photos – it can be hard to fit a whole figure in the frame. The 35mm allows for flexibility between outfit shots, product shots and recipe details.



-In the words of one of my favourite bloggers WishWishWish: “The lower the aperture number, the lighter your images will be, as the hole that lets in the light will be larger. I aim to keep my aperture as low as possible, allowing for bright images with a dreamy background.”

-The higher the number the faster the shutter speed – 1/250 means 1/250th of a second. The higher the number sharper the image will be.

– never let your shutter speed fall below 1/100 – 1/25 or 1/50 however can create some cool motion blur effects

Studio Settings (still objects with a dreamy depth of field in natural light)

ISO 600-800 F 1.8 – 2.5 1/250 – 320

Outfit shots (moving subjects in direct sunlight)

ISO 100-200 F2.5 1/1000 – 1/2000

Outside Sunny General

ISO 100-200, 2.5-3.5, 1/2000


Shoot RAW! this allows more control in the editing process as well as the largest-format photos and highest quality results. You can make lens corrections and fix any white balance or exposure issues. It takes up more room than a JPEG but its worth the space.

Try to air on the side of underexposed rather than overexposed – it can be hard to get details back during editing.

The lower the Aperture number the more shallow your depth of field meaning the blurrier the background – make sure you choose a focal point that makes sense both with your narrative & composition!








If you have any other questions you can shoot us a message, or turn to your Nikon guide book.

Dear Diary

You guys might not know this, but Johanna and I are total rookies when it comes to photography and cameras. Neither of us have any formal experience, and for the past three years we’ve been shooting with an 8 year old camera that sadly went out of order at the end of our California trip. What we have learned has been the product of a LOT of trial and error combined with the help of our talented friends, and so here we are, making it up as we go.

When constantly “invest” in fun props, coloured backdrops, and sugary treats in the name of RAOP, but until our finicky old D40 called it quits we hadn’t really thought much about investing in better tools. I’ve been a dedicated Nikon user since day one, so brand didn’t really come into question, but having never actually purchased a camera before I had no idea where to start.

And so the research began. We started by asking some of our favourite photographers what they use, then spent an afternoon on the Nikon website making comparisons. In the end the D7200 was our winner- with a high dynamic range, crazy fast auto focus, a larger sensor (aka more fits in the frame), video capabilities, and a massive increase in image quality, it’s everything we need and more. It’s also mid-range when it comes to pricing, so it seemed like a good fit for where we’re at right now.

By some magical stroke of luck, Nikon ended up liking our pastel photography so much that they sent us the camera plus a AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR lens, and we are constantly in awe of the amazing change we’ve seen in our shots already. Spots in our studio that were once to dark to shoot are now easy to capture, and the depth of field in our outfit posts is next level. So far we’ve only been using our classic 35mm prime Nikon lens, but we’re working on mastering the new lense so we can get awesome wide frame shots of our apartment to share!

Our only regret? Not upgrading so much sooner!








Thanks again to Nikon for our amazing D7200 and AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR lens! Post about how we take our bright pastel photos coming soon.