As much as I love my husband, he is teerrrrrrrible at giving gifts. Like really bad. Like doesn't ever buy anything for birthdays/anniversarys/etc. bad. Ha! 2 years ago for Christmas Joe bought me a gift to make up for all the gifts he had "forgotten" to buy me over the years. The one thing that had been on my list forever... the one gift I had secretly been dying for was given to me. That Christmas he absolutely shocked me, and I opened a box to see he was ordering me my dream camera! I could not stop crying. It was such a perfect present!
I am FAR from a professional photographer, but I have two things I've bought that have made a WORLD of a difference in my photo quality.
1. The Nifty Fifty: You. Need. This. Lens. The Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM lens. I can't even begin to say what a (insert best Donald Trump voice here) HUGE difference this is from the kit lens that comes with the camera. It produces sharp images even with a toddler that is constantly on the move. The images look so much brighter and airy than the kit lens photos. One thing to be aware of: This lens is a fixed lens. It doesn't zoom in or out. At 50mm you do have to stand a bit further back than normal. However, this lens is totally worth it. It's price point makes it a great budget investment!
2. The Lightscoop Deluxe: When I was originally looking at these I couldn't find any unbiased reviews. Everyone that had written the review seemed to receive it for free or be directly on the Lightscoop website. I decided to just go for it since Amazon's return policy is fantastic. This was worth EVERY penny. I cannot say enough good about it. My photos turn out with incredible lighting every time! The camera's flash always gives such an unpleasant blown-out look to photos, and this is the perfect fix. It folds up small enough to fit in a pocket, and I keep it with me at all times. My Grandpa gave me his super fancy canon external flash and honestly I still prefer the lightscoop. It's that good.
Here's some pictures that have used both the lens and lightscoop together. Again, I'm not going to claim to be a professional anytime soon, but I love the way they turned out!