5 ways to save for your DSLR

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Lets face it

Nothing will give you beautiful crisp photos of your sweet creations like a digital camera will. Camera phones can pump out some good images and even if you switch your phone into manual, the pictures will pale in comparisson to what a DSLR can do.

Digital cameras are exspensive, starting around the 300’s for an entry level camera going up into the thousands for full frame and gear if you let it. Don’t let that discourage you however because there are a ways to not spend a fortune and get the gear you need to capture your beautiful cakes.

save dslr

Before you start saving

You have to know what you are saving for. On average, if you are continuously learning your camera, the average photog will outgrow theirs by the third year. Husbands rejoice, I am not endorsing your wife’s desire for an upgrade every 3 years. You will want to purchase something you can be happy with for at least three years and hopefully more! Because a DSLR is an investment, you should consider it a long term purchase, meaning, getting an expensive point and shoot to hold you over until you can afford one isn’t the wisest of solutions.

I currently use a Nikon D3400 and have been for the past 2 years, my husband got it for my birthday/ our anniversary because they are both just 2 days apart. The first thing that I learned when I started to use my camera was that kit lenses that came in the bundle were terrible. They are very slow to let in light and didn’t produce the sharpest of pictures. Because of that, I’ve found buying camera bodies and lenses seperately to be a better financial decision. However, if you are looking to invest in a camera bundle , I’d recommend reselling your kit lenses to invest in a 50mm lens to start.

Don’t shy away from buying used cameras or gear. The second camera that I purchased was a Nikon D7000, another crop sensor but built like a tank. Sure it was old but it was actually superior to my D3400. Generally, used cameras suffer nothing more than cosmetic damage but it is important to buy your camera and gear from a reputable source. My favorite online shops are KEH and B&H.


Getting the necessary gear before getting trinkets, bells and whistles is important so you can take good care of your camera once you finally save up for it. For the most part, I skip the camera dealers when getting the smaller stuff because it costs a lot less and head straight to Amazon. Here is a list of the things you need to get started with awesome cake photography. Between these 5 things that I bought new, I spent around $550.00

  • Camera body, Nikon is my favorite. After doing research, I found Nikon gear to be slightly cheaper than Canon and allowed that to determine the camera brand I went with but Canon is great also. Shop around to decided the best fit for you.

  • 50mm lens AKA nifty fifty is a must. Prime lenses as opposed to zoom lenses produce sharper, brighter images and will also have a better bokeh effect.

  • Tripod

  • Camera bag

  • Speedlight

  • rechargable batteries

Now that you have determined your goal and set a budget, it is time to figure out how to come up with the money. When I bought my second camera, I ended up having to raise the money myself. Granted it wasn’t almost $600, but my husband wasn’t thrilled when I said I wanted another camera so I had to put some things together on an individual basis. Hopefully you will find these helpful as you save up for a camera to take better pictures!

  1. Ask for money for your birthday intead of gifts, or an even balance because gifts are nice also

  2. For holiday gift ideas, ask for a gift card to the seller/ store you plan on getting your camera from

  3. Host a bake sale using the tools and items you have on hand so you don’t have to spend ( a lot of) extra money to put on your bake sale

  4. For every cake order you sell, put $20.00 away, after selling 5 cakes, you will have $100 set aside!

  5. Shop for your camera and gear on holidays that save you money like Presidents Day ( February) , Prime Day (mid-July) , Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Hopefully purchasing a camera to help your cake business doesn’t seem so intimidating knowing there are simple steps you can take to grow your money stash. Overall, commitment and patience are the key to reaching the goal. In the meantime, you can rent a camera for use on your cakes or just to get familiar with how they work. You can also look to build a partnership with a photographer who reflects your style. Don’t let either one of those options throw you off track though! Over time, renting a camera adds up and shouldn’t be a long term solution. On the same token, if you partner with a photographer, make sure to be respectful of their talents, time and business. Just as you invest in your cake business and want others to appreciate the effort, talent and money put into each cake, the same goes for your photog friends — cake and social media tags/ exposure don’t pay bills. Nonetheless, building money little by little, you will soon have a camera and the ability to take your cake photos to a new level of professionalism.