Also I'm not getting paid by anyone for this post (I wish... come on Canon! haha) although there are affiliate links. I'm honestly just a Canon user and wanted to share my beginner experience to where I am now in my photography!
Up until the past few weeks I've used a Canon T3i DSLR camera but since purchasing it a few years ago I've been slowly adding to my photography arsenal.
1. Canon Rebel DSLR Camera: The Canon Rebel series (newest T6i version here) is a really great starter DSLR in my opinion. I started out using the automatic settings and then as I learned how different ISO, aperture, and shutter speed settings work, I ventured into different camera modes. Canon cameras have an AV mode which automatically adjusts all of your settings while letting you control the aperture... which is basically the blurry background you see in photographer's images. I still rock AV mode every once and a while, and using it made learning manual mode a little easier. The plus side to the Rebel series is you don't ever have to learn manual mode if you don't want to, and your images will still be beautiful!
2. Lenses: My go-to lens is the Canon 50mm 1.8 lens. On a Canon Rebel camera which crops your photos a bit, the 50mm makes you feel like you're practically standing on top of your subject. It's also a fixed lens so you can't zoom so it definitely takes some getting used to. BUT its such a better lens than the kit lens that comes with your camera and its super affordable! I'd say 95% of the images you see on my blog are taken with that lens.
The only time I use the kit lens (18-55mm) is when I need a wider angle or to zoom from far away. When we went to Europe I only used the kit lens and my images were a million times better than an iPhone photos (even though I didn't edit them much) so don't stress if you don't think you're ready for another lens. You don't necessarily need another unless you just want to take some nicer quality photos of your kid!
3. Remote: I have the Canon Remote and it has been so handy when I'm trying to get into the image. It's a low cost investment and is really easy to use.
4. Memory Cards: My T3i camera does not have a built-in wi-fi, so the Toshiba FlashAir memory card has been a MUST for me. I think the newer Rebel version is enabled for wi-fi though! If you need a wi-fi memory card, all you have to do is keep your camera turned on and your phone will find the memory card wi-fi. Then download the app and save your images directly to your camera roll.If you don't need wi-fi, I like the SanDisk Extreme memory card.
5. Tripod: I don't use my tripod too often but just like the remote, it has come in handy a few times when we want to take family photos. I have the Ravelli light weight tripod which folds up into a small case so its really easy to travel with and set up.
6. Editing: I use Adobe Lightroom for editing and absolutely love it even though I probably only know how to use about half of its features. It's not totally necessary for beginners, but it does help. My editing style is light and bright, so even though I tend to overexpose my images in my camera, I use Lightroom to fix some of the coloring, crop, convert to black and white, etc.
If I'm uploading an image from my camera straight to my phone, Snapseed is my first choice for an editing app, followed by VSCO. I never use any filters on my images.
7. Photography Breakout Courses: When you're ready to step your photography up a notch or just need some inspiration, tips on editing, etc. I highly recommend taking a Clickin Moms Photoschool breakout taught by a professional photographer. They are 100% online and usually run between $35-60 per course. Most breakouts include a huge PDF with tons of information, videos, and a forum where you can submit your own images for review or learn from others taking the course. I recently took the Behind the Scenes Volume 2 breakout and it was SO worth the money! Seriously it was amazing, I learned so much about editing that I could have never learned on my own!
My sweet husband got me the Canon 6D camera for the 30th birthday and its been a bit of a learning curve for me, especially because my old lens needed calibrated with the nicer camera, but I'm getting there!
But I'm still so happy I had the Rebel T3i as a starter camera so I obviously highly recommend, especially if you're expecting a baby, traveling, or if you're a blogger! If anyone has other questions please don't hesitate to ask!