Blog Resources

I’ve created this resource page to (hopefully) answer the many questions that I receive via email and twitter regarding my blogging platform and camera kit.  If you have any further questions or suggestions for links to add – please feel free to email me at gin [at] gingerandscotch [dot] com. Thanks!

Disclosure: All proceeds from the purchase of items through the links below will be donated to charity.  Please click here for the full disclosure statement.

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Blogging:

  • WordPress - This is my blogging platform. I started with Blogger once upon a blue moon but quickly switched to WordPresss when I wanted more control over the customization of my blog’s look and feel. The platform software is free.
  • Thesis Theme – To further customize my blog, I have purchased and installed the Thesis framework. While there are free WordPress “skins” that can transform the look of a WordPress blog, I found that each time I changed my WordPress skin or updated WordPress, I would lose all the customization that I spent hours creating (ie. link colors, copyright footers, etc). With Thesis, all my customizations are saved in a special file and are carried over to whatever Thesis skin I use. I paid $87.
  • WebHostingBuzz - This is my hosting company. Their interface is cPanel and I’ve been with them since 2007 and have been happy with their generous hosting packages and customer service.

Shared Hosting

  • Namecheap - I’ve used this site to buy domain names. You can purchase a domain name as well as a hosting package from them all in one go but it’s always best to shop around to see what best suits your blogging needs.
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Camera Kit:

  • Body – Canon DSLR 450D (also known as Canon Rebel xSi) – I’ve been a Canon girl since my dad gave me my first camera which was a hand-me-down Canon AE-1 when I was 12 or 13 years old. Unfortunately, it was stolen a year later. I was later gifted a Canon EOS Rebel XS (SLR but non-digital). I’ve owned my current Canon DSLR since 2007 so of course there have been new models that have come out such as this Canon EOS Rebel T1i.
  • Lens: Canon 50 mm f/1.8 – At home, I shoot most of my food photos with this lens. It’s a great lens for $100.
  • Lens: Tamron 28 – 75mm f/2.8 - My all-around favorite lens. I take this lens with me everywhere because first and foremost it is light in weight and has a low f-stop (good for low-light photography like dinner in restaurants) and good wide-angle and zoom capability. I chose this Tamron model over the semi-equivalent Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L because the reviews were great and it was $1500 less than the Canon model at the time of purchase.
  • Lens: Canon 100mm f/2.8L Macro – Scotch bought this for me very recently so I haven’t had a chance to play with it yet but I’ve wanted a macro lens for as long as I can remember.
  • Reflector (22″ 5-in-1) – At home, I use a large white foam board to reflect light onto subjects but for travel, I love this handy compact reflector that folds neatly for packing into my purse or suitcase.
  • Underwater Kit for Scuba Diving: Canon Powershot SD700 IS paired with the Canon WP-DC5 underwater housing. I use this Canon point and shoot for days I don’t want to carry around my DSLR but now I prefer iPhone 4S as an alternative. So if I were to buy a compact underwater camera in the near future, I would go for the Canon G12 with the corresponding Canon WP-DC34 Underwater Housing which is the kit that my Divemaster Micky used in Roatan, Honduras and took amazing wide angle and macro shots!

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Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase using the links.

Even though I have had positive experiences with all of these companies and their products, please do not spend any money on them  until you have researched them thoroughly and feel that they will help you achieve your goals.

All affiliate earnings above will be donated to the following charity:

Care USA

CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. CARE also delivers emergency aid to survivors of war and natural disasters, and helps people rebuild their lives.

Do you recall or know about CARE Packages?

CARE was founded in 1945, when 22 American organizations came together to rush lifesaving CARE Packages to survivors of World War II. Thousands of Americans, including President Harry S. Truman, contributed to the effort.

CARE’s focus today is to fight global poverty. From the CARE USA website:

“We place special focus on working alongside poor women because, equipped with the proper resources, women have the power to help whole families and entire communities escape poverty.

Women are at the heart of CARE’s community-based efforts to improve basic education, prevent the spread of disease, increase access to clean water and sanitation, expand economic opportunity and protect natural resources.”

Ninety-one percent of all donations are used to support program activities (the remaining nine percent goes towards administrative and fundraising costs).

I have worked for this company and wholeheartedly stand behind the amazing work that they do in 84 countries around the world.

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