Browse By:

Photography Gear

Books

Video Gear

For Photographers

Travel

Beauty

for HWP clients

Favorites

Curious what camera gear I use, what I'm reading & what's bringing some extra joy and presence to my day? I've got ya covered, pal!

hello, I'm helena!

I'm a creative storyteller in love with celebrating the simple joys of daily life. When I'm not photographing families or traveling the world living an expat life and writing about it in a little notebook, I'm happily at home, cozying up with my sweet husband and foster cat or two!

I wanted a place where you can find all of my favorite things - items that help me live a more simple, intentional, and value-driven life. From travel items I can't live without, photography gear must-haves (I'm a gear minimalist!) and my favorite books, consider this your go-to resource for all things that have helped me elevate my life! Thanks for stoppin' by!

Quick Disclosure: Some of these links happen to be affiliate links which means when you click the link to purchase something on this page, it won't cost you more but I may receive a tiny commission for sharing this with you. Which is great, because it helps me pay my expensive website costs and allows me to continue blogging, making videos and sharing all the goodness I was going to share it with you anyway!

camera

my favorite                                    gear

photography

my favorite                                    gear

photography

my favorite                                    gear

photography

my favorite                                    gear

Favorite Things

photography

my favorite                     gear

photography

my favorite                     gear

photography

my favorite                     gear

photography

my favorite                     gear

photography

my favorite                     gear

photography

my favorite                     gear

photography

my favorite                     gear

photography

my favorite                      gear

photography

my favorite                      gear

photography

my favorite                      gear

travel

my favorite                      gear

travel

my favorite                     gear

travel

my favorite                       gear

travel

my favorite            gear

travel

my favorite              gear

travel

my favorite              gear

travel

my favorite             gear

travel

my favorite             gear

travel

my favorite            gear

travel

my favorite            gear

travel

my favorite            gear

joy

things that bring me 

joy

things that bring me 

joy

things that bring me 

joy

things that bring me 

joy

things that bring me 

joy

things that bring me 

joy

things that bring me 

joy

things that bring me 

joy

things that bring me 

joy

things that bring me 

joy

things that bring me 

joy

things that bring me 

joy

things that bring me 

joy

things that bring me 

joy

things that bring me 

joy

things that bring me 

Spiritual Reads

Fiction Reads

Life Reads

what's on my bookshelf 

Spiritual Reads

Fiction Reads

Life Reads

what's on my bookshelf 

what's on my bookshelf 

Spiritual Reads

Life Reads

Fiction Reads

what's on my bookshelf

what's on my bookshelf 

beauty

I'm allll about the facial oils. Oil is the key to hydration and eliminating fine lines. i slap this natural rosehip oil on my face every morning and it leaves my face feeling like a baby's bum all day.

I use this exfoliate peel once a week, and not only does it smell like pumpkin and Autumn (so hyyge-ish!) , it brightens and smooths my skin every time. It's a massive jar and it lasts a long time.

For those that get mega-chapped, flakey lips during the winter like me, this sugar lips scub is a lifesaver! It polishes and softens my lips every morning and lasts the whole day!

view on amazon

view on amazon

view on amazon

This hair serum is the best smelling serum out there! I've used several different serums to get that nice polish, pulled together look and this one is my favorite! I add a dime size amount when styling and blow drying my hair. A tiny bit goes a looong way!

Dry brushing! One of my favorite magical secrets! Dry brushing  is amazing for blood circulation AND for exfoliating dead skin! When I was looking to lose a few pounds after home lockdown during the pandemic, I started brushing before taking a shower, and I love it so much, it's still a part of my evening routine. 

I put castor oil on my eyelashes, brows and lips every evening! Castor oil helps stimulate hair growth, and can really help your gorgeous eyelashes grow long and healthy! It's also great to put on the ends of your hair!

view on amazon

view on amazon

view on amazon

my video gear

manfrotto befree tripod

vlogging camera

filming lens

dji mavic pro 3 drone

manfrotto mini tripod

I typically film alone, so having a tripod is essential. The travel tripod is lightweight, simple to use place my camera so I can get in the shot! 

I made the switch to Fuji in the fall of 2020, and I'm so glad I did. The color tone is impeccable. I love the Fujifilm X-T4 for its in-body stabilization, a flip out screen and better battery life! 

The best lens for vlogging. This is  a focal length equivalent to 35mm on other camera models. Beautiful bokeh, great in low-light and the best lens for vlogging and filming my sit-down videos.

Audio quality is most important when it comes to creating videos. Rode VideoMicro is the best choice for an affordable microphone with quality sound. I attach this to the X-T4 while filming sit-down videos and also use it for recording voiceovers on my nature films. 

Simple to use with the smoothest ride, the most gorgeous footage and the smart controller makes flying it such a FUN hobby! Getting a bird's eye view of the world is so fun with the controller. This is a steady, solid beast. Pricey but worth it for the quality. 

I use this little compact tripod for vlogging on the go and changing up my angles when filming day-in-my-life videos. Steady, easy to use and a must for any youtubers just starting out!

microphone

view on amazon

view on amazon

view on amazon

view on amazon

view on amazon

view on amazon

FLIGHTS AND TRANSPORTATION

ACCOMODATION

TRAVEL HACKING 

TRAVEL PLANNING

I get so much inspiration from the travel photos on the free Chrome extension Momentum! I love reading National Geographic guidebooks and bring Lonely Planet pocket guidebooks (they have amazing local walking tours!). For Southeast Asia trip planning, Travelfish is hands down the best resource on the internet. Other than that, I let the travel winds take me where I'm meant to go. I find that my most treasured local experiences happen when I don't plan. 

I often get free flights by travel hacking, saving airline miles, using sign up bonses. My favorite cards are Capitol One Venture (highly recommended!) and Chase Sapphire. I have more than 10 credit cards but I only keep 1-2 cards active and set them to auto-pay in full every month. I rarely pay full price for flights, have a perfect credit score and zero credit card debt. There's no need to fear credit cards! You can absolutely travel for cheap without worrying about debt.You can read more on how I do this here.

I use Kayak or Skyscanner to search for flights. I also keep an eye on Scott's Cheap Flights and have snagged many flight deals through their email service (NYC to Paris for $300 roundtrip!). For trains throughout Europe, I search on Trainline.eu and often find super cheap deals when I book a few months out! 

Airbnb is my go-to way to secure housing when I'm living in a city for a few days or living in a new country for 2+ months. Get $30 off your first booking by clicking here. I also like Booking.com. For hotels and guesthouses in Southeast Asia, Agoda is amazing. 

travel resources

get $40 off airbnb here!

look at deals on Scott's Flights!

my favorite guidebooks

my favorite card!

For HWP CLIENTS

Clickinmoms 

albums 

PRINTS: LALALAB

  cards / BIRTH ANNOUNCEMENTS

Whether you want to learn how to photograph in manual mode, build a lucrative business or learn how to take better pictures of your kids, ClickinMoms is the place to be! I learned most of what I know in photography from the forums, classes, workshops and free monthly PDF guides and tutorial videos that are included with your membership. Plus, it's a great way to meet fellow creatives and moms who are passionate about taking pictures of their kids!

Artifact Uprising has the best quality albums. And they are just stunning. I designed my own wedding luxury layflat linen album with them. For newborn and weddings, I recommend the layflat photo album and for family portraits and life memories, the hardcover storybooks are absolutely gorgeous. 

Tangible matters. In a digital world where everything is stored on the cloud or in external drives, where writing is done in a Google doc, memories that are printed and preserved hold deeper memories. I refuse to let my memories collect dust in the bottom of a cardboard box and let my favorite moments live on a hard drive.  I print my favorite travel photos using LALALAB because I love the quality of the prints and the variety of styles to choose from. 

My husband and I order and mail holiday cards every year to our family and friends using either Minted or Basic Invite. I love them so much that I recommend them to all my clients as well! Both companies print gorgeous, high quality cards and support local designers! Whether you're looking for Save-the-Dates, birth announcements, Christmas cards or wedding invites, here's a little code to save you some money! 

get $5 off using code: PGA8GZQ0

20% off Minted: "PHOTOPROHWOODS"

40% off Basic Invite: "HelenaW"

join the community

order a hardcover book

order a layflat linen album

For HWP CLIENTS

Clickinmoms 

photography learning

albums 

PRINTS: LALALAB

  cards / BIRTH ANNOUNCEMENTS

Whether you want to learn how to photograph in manual mode, build a lucrative business or learn how to take better pictures of your kids, ClickinMoms is the place to be! I learned most of what I know in photography from the forums, classes, workshops and free monthly PDF guides and tutorial videos that are included with your membership. Plus, it's a great way to meet fellow creatives and moms who are passionate about taking pictures of their kids!

Artifact Uprising has the best quality albums. Not only are they made with the best quality materials, but they are just stunning! I designed my own wedding luxury layflat linen album with them and I love the ultra thick cardstock pages. For newborn and weddings, I recommend the layflat photo album and for family portraits and everyday life memories, the hardcover storybooks are absolutely gorgeous and a great way to pass down memories to your little ones!

Tangible matters. In a digital world where everything is stored on the cloud or in external drives, where writing is done in a Google doc, memories that are printed and preserved hold deeper memories. I refuse to let my memories collect dust in the bottom of a cardboard box and let my favorite moments live on a hard drive.  I print my favorite travel photos using LALALAB because I love the quality of the prints and the variety of styles to choose from. 

My husband and I order and mail holiday cards every year to our family and friends using either Minted or Basic Invite. I love them so much that I recommend them to all my clients as well! Both companies print gorgeous, high quality cards and support local designers! Whether you're looking for Save-the-Dates, birth announcements, Christmas cards or wedding invites, here's a little code to save you some money! 

get $5 off using code: PGA8GZQ0

20% off Minted: "PHOTOPROHWOODS"

40% off Basic Invite: "HelenaW"

join the community

order a hardcover book

order a layflat linen album

Invoices / Galleries

Editing

Legal Contracts

camera rental

MARKETING & TEMPLATES

Blogging

I have been using Shootproof since i opened my business in 2016. I've played with other gallery systems but Shootproof is so easy and straightforward. Plus, I love that I connect my legal contracts and invoices through the system, keeping it all organized! Plus, the galleries are just gorgeous for my clients.

I use Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop CC for editing. I cull my images in Lightroom using the rating / flag system and making minor color adjustments and then do my main editing in Photoshop, using layers to paint the images. 

When I need to splurge on a new lens or update my camera body, the last thing I want to do is invest a lot of money and not be 100% happy with the quality and imagery afterwards. I love renting gear with Borrow Lenses prior to making that investment because they make the process simple and easy. You pick the lens or piece of equipment you want, tell them how long you want it, and choose how it’s delivered. Plus, they often have a ton of seasonal discounts!

One of my favorite photography business tools, hands down, is Design Aglow. From pricing guide templates to lookbook magazines, they have all the studio stationery items dedicated to the high-end photographer that prides themselves on presentation. I’ve purchased many a thing from Design Aglow, and I particularly love their client welcome packet templates, custom USB drives and photo boxes, session guide templates and client care cards. 

Legal contracts are the last thing I want to think about as an artist! Instead of spending hours with a lawyer, I purchasd newborn, family and model release legal contracts. It's better to outsource on the things you don't want to do!

Blogging has become so easy and doable. It no longer took 5 million hours to put photos together in Photoshop. It's so easy to drag & drop photos to create collages, resize photos for the internet and batch-stomp. I wish I bought it earlier. If you’re a blogger or photographer, GET IT.

business favorites

visit site

visit site

visit site

visit site

visit site

visit site

Every single product recommended on this page is something I personally use, and none are paid placements. Some of the above are affiliate links and I will earn a percentage of the sale if you purchase through them at no extra cost to you. This helps pay for my website bills and keeps my blog running  – so thanks in advance for your support!