My Photography Gear: What I Use, Love, Hate & Recommend!

Hello lovely people of the internet! Today I’m going to answer the most popular questions surrounding my photography gear as I’m still receiving daily questions about what gear I use for my photos on the blog, photos on social media and videos on my Youtube channel. To answer as best as I can I’ve gone for the overall approach here – answering not only what gear I use (listing every single piece of equipment), but also which products I love, hate, and those I’d totally recommend. Here we go!

Olympus OMD - the perfect Travel Camera

Photos for my blog

Lets start here on the blog because it only seems logical given that is where we are right now! For all of my photos on my blog I use my most expensive camera (both in terms of camera body and lenses I use), the Olympus OM-D EM5 Mark II (yup, its a mouthful!)

By way of lenses for this camera, I use a 12-40mm f2.8 Pro Lens for every day use, an 8mm pro fisheye lens when I’m feeling creative and an M Zuiko 7-14mm F2.8 pro wideangle lens for cityscape shooting and landscapes.

Love, Hate, Recommend? I absolutely love this camera and would totally recommend it to anyone looking to take their blogging photography or travel photography more seriously. It is still a great camera for beginners who are slowly learning the ropes but also gives you plenty of room to grow as you learn more. By way of lenses, I most often use the 12-40mm pro lens but really love to play around with the fisheye lens for something a little more fun (though it is quite an investment). Thus I would most recommend the Olympus OM-D EM5 Mark II with a 12-40mm pro lens.

Travel Photography

Photos for social media

I tend to approach social media in a very last minute, whatever-i-feel-like-at-the-time kind of way, so it probably comes at no surprise that I use a few different methods when photographing for social media. Firstly, I mostly use my iPhone for food photos as it is discreet and I always have it somewhere near by for those on the spot photos. Secondly, I use my camera (Olympus OM-D EM5 Mark II) if I’m shooting landscapes, typical travell-y type photos and especially for photos I am in (you can read how I take my solo travel photos here). To transfer my photos from my camera to my iPhone for uploading, I simply use the wi-fi function of my camera and edit within the Instagram app or if the photo requires more editing (i.e. low lighting situations), I upload the photos to my laptop, edit, and email them to my phone.

Love, Hate Recommend? iPhones are great as they are multipurpose (what don’t they do these days?) However I would totally recommend investing in a camera if you want to be more creative with your photos and try your hand at the post-editing process to really allow your photos to come to life.

Protecting your Photography gear overseas

Videos on Youtube

Now here’s a pocket rocket I would totally recommend to everyone and anyone looking to give vlogging (video blogging) ago. For my videos on Youtube I use only the Olympus PEN E-PL7. It is a small camera

For lenses, I nearly always use my 17mm lens.

Love, Hate, Recommend? This is by far my favourite piece of camera equipment from Olympus, even though it is the cheapest and most compact! I always always always recommend this camera to people in person (blog readers or not) and would honestly keep buying them without a second thought if mine ever became damaged (still on my first one, touch wood!) 

Brooke Underwater aka Mermaid

Underwater & Action sports

For all of my underwater shots I use a GoPro Hero 3+ with an underwater housing. Perhaps the best trick I have learned with this is the simplest one – to lick the screen before you submerge the camera as it prevents water marks from appearing (and totally ruining) your shots.

Love, Hate, Recommend? If you’re a patient person and don’t mind stuffing around for quite a while before you actually get “the” shot, then I’d totally recommend purchasing a gopro and taking the time to play around with the camera to understand how it works and how to get the best shots out of the camera. If you aren’t patient, on the other hand, I wouldn’t recommend it as these cameras take a bit of practice and patience! 

My Fuji Instax

Happy Snaps with Friends

The last item on my camera shelf that can’t go ignored is my little Fuji Film Instax camera that I bought myself in Berlin (after falling head over heels in love with instant photos thanks to the local photomats!) I mainly take this camera to outings with friends or holidays with my boyfriend as I find it a lot more spontaneous and fun to capture moments that only we will share.

Happy Snapping!

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    March 28, 2016 at 12:14 pm

    Thank you for this!! I am doing my first solo trip in a couple of months! I’d be lying if I said you weren’t a big inspiration 😀 Can’t wait to use your photography tips as well. You rock!

    February 10, 2016 at 3:09 pm

    Also love the Olympus Pen! Pretty much everything on my blog is shot with that little beauty. I love how compact it is, but without compromising on quality. I have a 25mm F1.8 lens that is my go to, though the kit lens the camera came with is nice to. Great system!

    February 10, 2016 at 2:33 pm

    I love the Pen E-PL7! I bought mine last year mostly for shooting videos for YouTube but ended up loving the photos it takes as well. I recently took this camera to Europe and shot most of photos with my Pen and the 25 mm lens. Check out the photos on my blog if you want some examples! Thanks for the recommendation Brooke 🙂

    February 2, 2016 at 11:01 pm

    This post is just what I needed, thank you so so so much for sharing..

    Sophie |

    February 2, 2016 at 5:44 am

    I haven’t converted to the mirrorless cameras yet, I’m still using my DSLR but I’ve been eyeing them for a while now! I’ve also toyed with the idea of getting the instax mini, but not sure if my purse can take yet another camera

    February 2, 2016 at 1:15 am

    love the instax fuji cameras! they are just so cute. i have a gopro but haven’t quite figured out how to use it yet – great recc’s!


    February 1, 2016 at 8:08 pm

    I just bought an Olympus Pen E-PL7!! It came in yesterday. Really looking forward to try it out and make great pictures during my travels!

    Alice Rose
    February 1, 2016 at 1:09 pm

    Oh, awesome post! I’m looking to upgrade from my used Canon Rebel that I bought a couple years ago. It gets the job done, but definitely looking for something to explore with a bit more!

    xoxo Alice Rose

    February 1, 2016 at 12:22 pm

    I have been eyeing the Olympus OMD EM1 for a while now. Olympus has been making really great mirrorless systems.

    February 1, 2016 at 9:29 am

    I’m a Canon girl but there are great recommendations. I love the instax. It does add an element of fun and uniqueness to it.

    Rebecca Sharp
    February 1, 2016 at 4:39 am

    I’m the proud owner of the same Olympus Pen camera and I absolutely love it!

    • Brooke Saward
      February 1, 2016 at 10:29 am

      HOW GOOD ARE THEY! I feel like only people who have one can understand my crazed obsession with them haha!! xx

    February 1, 2016 at 3:26 am

    This is great, honestly I only use my iPhone most of the time, I probably need to invest… Does anyone have like a really good , not too expensive, point and shoot (I know nothing about cameras and need one I can just, well, point and shoot!)

    February 1, 2016 at 1:41 am

    I totally agree with you on the go pro! I can’t tell whether I love it or hate it and I have had it for over a year!

    January 31, 2016 at 10:41 pm

    I looove all those stuff but I always got the feeling to bring to much photos stuff during my holidays ! 🙂

    Nice to read that though !


    Gabi @ Books & Trips
    January 31, 2016 at 8:58 pm

    Great information, thank you for sharing! Looks like I have a lot of saving to do until I upgrade to a good camera, but until then, thank Goodness for the iPhone!

    January 31, 2016 at 8:32 pm

    I have been wanting to invest in a couple new lenses for a while. Thanks for sharing !
    Holly X

    Kathrin Deshotels
    January 31, 2016 at 6:02 pm

    I swear we are in-sync with one another. 🙂 Yesterday after selling my lovely and very much adored Vespa Primavera (due to upcoming trips) I went out and finally broke down to buy your “Olympus Pen 7”. I had been wanting this camera since February of 2015 after reading your blogs and finding out what you use to take such good photographs. I played with it last night fell in love more, however I woke to reading this blog of the OM D10 being your preference. Now what’s funny is that my boyfriend got this camera in June or so and I didn’t know how similar they were until at the store last night. Nonetheless I really just wanted to write to say that after reading most of your blogs and your book “A Year To Myself” I find a lot about you that I can relate to which brings me to reading everyday. Thank you for the inspiration!!! I am a 25y old American girl who’s been leaving in Spain traveling throughout Europe for 1.5y. I am leaving in a month for Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia … Before heading to Australia for one year on a visa. I read once that you are allergic to wheat. I have Celiacs and I’d really like some tips and to know what exactly you ate while in SE Asia. Keep up the good work. xx Kathrin

    January 31, 2016 at 2:17 pm

    great post.