Pick the right digital photography essentials for taking family photos. Pick the perfect digital camera and accessories for parents and kids.
This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.
I am personally a Canon girl, so of course that’s going to be my #1 recommendation. If you’re looking to get started with your first DSLR, you can’t go wrong with the Canon Rebel. You can get a great deal on a kit with a kit lens or two, or else just buy the body and select your own lens.
What lens(es) do I choose?
I hate the camera kits that come with two lenses. What parent has time to switch back and forth between lenses? You just need one versatile zoom lens! I love my Canon EF-S 18-200mm zoom lens. I can shoot near and far in a snap. It has been my go-to travel and family photography lens for a decade, just because it’s so easy to use. BUT it has had some maintenance issues (they have been totally covered by Canon, but I have had to ship it back for repairs twice in seven years… ugh!). Also, it’s not particularly cheap.
Not ready to commit to a DSLR?
I get it! They’re not cheap, and there is a learning curve. Go with the Canon PowerShot – it’s compact, budget-friendly, and shoots photos with quality comparable to its large counterparts.
Don’t forget about your smart phone.
The cameras on many smart phones today rival many point-and-shoot digital cameras. Plus, you always have it nearby to capture everyday moments!
Accessories – the Photography Essentials
The Camera Bag
Stop! You do NOT need a camera bag! I repeat, you do NOT need a camera bag.
I’m not a fan of traditional black camera bags. They’re too bulky to carry, and I think they make you a target for theft.
Instead: meet the camera bag insert. This handy bag insert turns any bag or purse into a camera bag. How cool is that?!?!
AND – if you just want to carry your camera, without all of the gear, just pop your camera into a neoprene sleeve to protect it in your bag.
Camera Strap Buddy
No one likes to have a clunky camera hanging from their neck while they are wrangling kids. The Camera Strap Buddy fixes this problem, allowing you to comfortably carry your camera.
Raise your hand if you have memories of Dad pressing the timer button on the family camera and then sprinting back to his spot in the family photo?
Yeah – don’t do that. Buy an inexpensive camera remote instead.
Extra Camera Battery
If you have kids, your life may be a bit hectic. Don’t get stuck on vacation or at your daughter’s first soccer game of the season with a dead battery. Keep a spare. Maybe even buy a car charger, just in case. These are definitely photography essentials!
Look at it this way. You just spent $500-$1000 on a new digital camera. Wouldn’t it make sense to spend $25 to learn how to use the thing? That’s a small price to pay to ensure you get off to a good start with your new investment.
Even if it’s just a quick crop and exposure adjustment, make your photos pop with a little editing. I personally prefer PicMonkey – it’s free and easy to use. That can’t be beat!