“My Camera” – Lolli from Better in Bulk and the Canon 40D

LolliLolli from Better in Bulk lets us peek inside her camera bag and tells the story of her journey into photography.

As a mother of five who works from home as a photographer and blogger, she spends her days on the computer, her afternoons running kids around to activities and helping with homework, and her nights folding laundry and supporting her husband in his language software business.

With her camera strapped around her neck, the van keys in her hand, her iPhone in her pocket, and five kids tagging along behind her, she’s ready for anything. You can find her at Better in Bulk, where she shares everything from family stories and parenting tips to reviews and photography tutorials and being social on twitter as @1momof5.

My Photographic Journey

I remember the day in 2001 that I took my first son (my third child) to one of the mall photo studios to have his pictures taken.

I came home with the single free 8×10 and a determination that I could capture a better shot of my baby boy. The problem was that my ancient film camera was on its way out and, though I had loved it for many years, it needed to be replaced. My sister was taking photography classes at her high school at the time, and she convinced me that I should get an SLR.

I bought me first Canon Rebel 35mm SLR Camerathat year.

I was immediately sold on SLRs. My pictures took on a new dimension. I started taking family pictures for friends, I enrolled in a dark room class and spent hours locked away in my upstairs bathroom, developing photos in my make-shift dark room, and I began my love affair with photography.

In fact, photography is what pulled me out of a year-long post-partum depression. However, as a mom to many little ones at home, it wasn’t the right time for me to get into photography as much as would have liked.

Harper's Ferry cowgirl

Things changed quite a bit when digital cameras became more affordable. In 2003, when my 4th baby was born, I added my first digital camera, a Minolta 4MP Digital Camerato the mix.

I loved the ease and freedom of digital photography, but I sorely missed the quality and speed of my SLR. But I found myself choosing the digital point and shoot over the SLR simply because of cost of film and developing.

It was a happy day when, the week before my last son was born in 2005, my husband surprised my with a Canon Digital Rebel XT.

I had an instant connection with my digital Canon and started taking more pictures again. When my son was a year old, I finally allowed myself to devote more time to learning the ins and outs of photography and improving my skills (because it really does take time and practice!). One of the best exercises for me, in addition to taking lots of pictures and reading as much as I could, was creating photography tutorials on my blog to pass on the knowledge to others.

Through the process of studying and writing my tutorials, I felt like I was putting myself through my own photography school.

Lolli in Washington DC
photo by my friend, Safire

What’s in my camera bag

I upgraded to a Canon 40D dSLR on my birthday in 2009 and have slowly built up a collection of lenses that I love. I spent many years using a kit lens, but once I experienced the difference that a good quality lens can make, I have been on a constant hunt for new lenses (lenses are like candy to me, and if you’ve been to my blog, you know how much I love candy!). My husband (who shoots video) has a Canon 7D which I often use (especially when I’m shooting a wedding) but it’s technically not mine…

Macro drop of dew on grass

Here’s what you’ll find in my camera bag:

red epiphanie belle camera bag

My new Epiphanie camera bag from my recent trip to San Francisco with Adobe is one of my favorite accessories. I also love to dress up with interchangeable camera straps from Etsy and local vendors. My camera is frequently around my neck, so I like to make it look good, too!

Seagull at Golden Gate Bridge

Written by Lolli from Better in Bulk

Lolli is a busy mother of five kids, ranging in age from 5 to 14, and author of the blog Better in Bulk. Her blog has a little bit of everything – parenting, life in a large family, photography, and mom-friendly reviews with a central tie-in: Bringing moms together to learn, connect, and enjoy life.


  1. says

    This was actually a fun exercise to go through–looking back on my journey to “becoming” a photographer. Thanks for letting me spend the day here at 5M4M!!


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