I've gotten some questions about what gear I use recently, so I thought I would write a blog post about it for everyone's reference. :) As a hobbyist and not someone who makes any money from photography, I don't have a lot of money to spend on gear, so I generally try to make do with what I have and not lust over too many new lenses and additional gear.  It's so hard, though.  There is so much cool stuff out there, and it's super easy to get caught up in the mindset that more/better gear will make you a better photographer.Speaking of that idea, I want to talk about that for a minute.  It's been said a million times before, but I'm going to say it again anyways:  More expensive camera bodies will NOT make you a better photographer.  They won't.  I promise you.  What will make you better is education and practice.  Just like anything else - learning to paint, or playing the piano, or playing basketball.  Sure, better paintbrushes are nice, expensive pianos may sound better to trained ears, and nice basketball shoes are great, but they don't make you better.  It takes skill.  It's something you have to learn.  It takes time. In the photography world, my gear is nothing special.  And that's exactly why I wanted to write this.  My camera body is almost the bottom of the totem pole.  Several of my lenses are "third party."  I would love a 6d and some "L glass" but it's just not happening right now.  So, I'm a believer in Rocking What You've Got.  And this is what I've got:

1 - Sigma 30 f/1.4  This one changed my life.  The focal length is perfect for everyday shots on my crop sensor and the super fast aperture lets me use it in low light.  I love it.  This one lives on my camera most of the time.

2 - Canon 18-55 f/3.5-5.6  Yup, that's the kit lens.  And yes, I still use it.  I love the wide angle end of it especially.  I use it for landscapes, street photography, and everyday outdoor images.  Kit lenses (those are the lenses that often come in a bundle with the camera bodies) get bashed a lot in the photography world, but the truth is that if you are careful with the variable aperture, you can totally get some awesome shots!  The biggest hindrance for me has been that the aperture doesn't open up as wide as I'd like sometimes, but with landscapes and such, you don't want it wide open anyways.  I realize that it's not as high quality as other zoom lenses, so it isn't as sharp or well built or whatever, but the truth is that it's working for me right now.  (Shown wearing a Lens Leash)

3 - Tokina 100 f/2.8 macro -  My baby.  I love this lens.  Not only is it awesome for macro (up-close) shots, it also rocks portraits.  It's sharp.  It's well built.  And the price is great!
4 - Canon 50 f/1.8 - The "Nifty Fifty."  The first lens I bought after the kit lens that came with my camera, this is the one that is generally recommended if you're serious about learning photography.  It is a "standard focal length" but I found it too tight for my liking, which is why I bought my Sigma 30.  But I keep it around just in case.

Sorry for the not so great iphone snap of my DSLR, but it's the only option I had, besides taking a film shot and then waiting forever to get scans back.  And I didn't like that second option.

5 - Canon Rebel t2i  It's not a $2000 camera body, but this thing can do great things!  The ISO expands all the way up to 12800, and although it has a lot of grain up that high, there has been more than one occasion when I have been thankful for it!  I consistently shoot at 800, and even 1600, and the grain doesn't bother me too much.  (Shown wearing a Phat Straps wrist strap, which I also love)

6 - Canon Rebel 2000  My film friend.  This guy is a super basic film slr, but he has been great for dipping my toes into film without much commitment (actually, without any commitment, because he was a gift. :) )
7 - Opteka Macro Filters  I used these for quite a while before I got my real macro lens.  They satisfied my craving for macro and I got some great shots with them.  I still use them occassionally because I can throw one in my bag when I only can bring one lens with me.
8- Lenspen  I have a bad habit of not using my lenscaps like I should. (I should buy myself more of those Lens Leash thingys) That results in my lenses being smudged and dusty sometimes, so this little thing makes cleaning them quick and easy.  Love it.
9 - Expodisc (neutral)  This one is a fairly new addition to my camera bag, but I love it too.  It's a white balance filter, and it makes my white balance perfect in camera and reduces my processing time by a ton!
10 - Kelly Moore 2 Sues (in Mustard)  This bag is amazing.  It's not too huge, but it fits so much!  Enough room for a ton of photography equipment when you're going somewhere where you need it all, or just enough for my camera and an extra lens and the normal purse stuff for a normal day. I love the fact that it has both a shoulder strap and a crossbody strap.  It's cute, it's well made, and it's a beautiful color.
Oh, and by the way, I shoot in Manual mode 100% of the time and have since I bought this camera.  Don't even bother buying a DSLR if you don't plan on learning Manual.  A DSLR on Auto isn't any better than a point and shoot.  Okay, that's a lie - it is a little bit better, but not much!  It isn't easy, it takes a lot of practice, but your camera is just a machine and it isn't smart enough to make good choices by itself!  It needs your brain!
Let me know if you have any other questions for me - I love to answer them! :)