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I’m a DIY photographer… I shoot myself and my kids bc I can’t afford a pro. So, in essense, I continue to learn to become a pro at taking my own pics. I can’t afford anything obviously because if I could afford fancy photography gear I wouldn’t bother taking photos myself and would just hire a photographer. So, I use a Nikon D3100 – which, at the time I purchased it, was like $600, Yonguo flash which was about $30 bucks (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003IT7BLQ/ref=oh_details_o03_s00_i00), a reflector (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002ZIMEMW/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00), a pixel remote control (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0058ITGOK/ref=oh_details_o01_s00_i00), a cheap tripod (also from amazon, but I can’t find the link at the moment) and I use Gimp to edit because it’s free…. all in all, I think I spent like 700-800 total on everything I have photography wise. Everything besides the camera totaled to about $100. And my pics do not come out half bad, really. Here’s my stream: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cristinaspics/
For the Christmas shots, I used a chair as a stand and placed my reflector on it, I put a chair in front of it and laid my flash a stack of books on the chair, and pointed it at the white reflector and the reflector faced us (I’ll take a picture of my setup someday) … Mind you, I’m not a pro at all, and my pics won’t “WOW” anyone…. I’m just a mom on a budget and these are little ghetto things that I do to solve problems I’ve had with my photos without breaking the bank.
The flash I use is not i-TTL so it takes a little work, but I personally like the results.