As fun and exciting as it can be to photograph somebody’s wedding, let’s face it, it’s also extremely stressful. This is without doubt one of the most important days of your clients lives, and they have trusted you to be there to capture every moment perfectly for them. Something that can help eliminate a little bit of that stress is by packing your wedding bag ahead of time, and having a check list to make sure you don’t forget anything. Before shooting a wedding on your own, I definitely recommend shadowing another photographer and working on several weddings as a second shooter until you feel comfortable with everything. There are so many unknown variables throughout the day, and you should feel confident shooting in any type of lighting in fast pace scenarios before taking on the challenge of being somebody’s main photographer. So! If you feel like you’re ready to take it on (or maybe you’ve been photographing weddings for a while now and you’re just curious what’s in my bag) read on! I’ll share all the must have gear that I personally use for every single wedding I shoot! (I’ll also leave links to where you can buy all of it!)
First on the list is owning a full frame body. The perks of a full frame are simple: a professional body equals professional features. And for a wedding day I promise that you and your bride are going to want the highest quality images possible. I could go on and on about the importance of using a full frame, but if you want to read more about what’s so great about them click here.
I currently shoot with a Canon 6D (Click here for link) and I always make sure to bring a back up body as well to every wedding I shoot. You never know when your camera is going to glitch out on you and you always want to be prepared for the worst!
Also making sure you have plenty of extra camera batteries charged and ready to go is a must. I can’t tell you how many times my camera has died at an inconvenient time and I’ve had to hurry and swap the battery out!
Next let’s talk lenses. My go to lenses are my 35mm f/1.4 Sigma Art Lens (click for link) and my 24-70 f/2.8 Standard Zoom Lens (click for link). The 24-70 is a great zoom lens and is perfect for wedding receptions in tight spaces when you’re not able to move your feet a lot, and the 35mm is incredible for portrait shots (especially those gorgeous close up shots of the bride and groom that you just know are going to be framed). Between these two I am able to get the variety that I need in my shots and am able to create crisp, clean images for my clients.
I also keep a few other lenses (like my 50mm) in my bag incase they’re needed, but honestly most of the time I am switching off between my 35 and my 24-70.
Indoor weddings and receptions can get tricky as far as lighting goes, and you want to make sure you have equipment to help you out! Here’s what I always bring:
-NEEWER 160 LED video light (click for link)
-Speed light off camera flash (click for link)
-Photography light stands (click for link)
-Flash hot shoe mount (click for link)
-And lots of extra batteries!!!
Bringing lots of empty memory cards is so important too. I make sure to go through and format all of my cards the night before a wedding so I’ll be all ready to go the next day.
This water resistant memory card wallet (click for link) is perfect for keeping my cards safe and organized. As I fill up my cards I place them on the other side of the wallet, so I know which ones are clear and which ones are already full!
I also always try to bring my laptop and external hard drive (click for link) with me to weddings! I will usually have a second shooter with me, and it’s convenient at the end of the night to be able to pull all of their photos off and put them on my hard drive before I leave.
If there’s a break between the ceremony/sealing and the reception I will usually pull all of the photos off from the first half of the day and put them on my hard drive before the reception starts as well just to be safe. Plus maybe edit a sneak peak or two! 😉
Other than everything listed above, here’s what else I have on my pack list:
-Bobby pins and hair ties
-Extra (comfy) shoes
-Small first aid kit
Oh yeah, and where did I get this gorgeous leather camera bag?? It’s from Atlas Supply Co and it’s probably the best thing to ever happen to me. It has enough space for both of my bodies, all of my lenses, and my laptop.. aaaand has so many little pockets and sections for me to store my extra things! I’m telling you guys, it’s a game changer. Go get yours at AtlasSupply.co
Making sure you’re prepared for any situation you or your bride might face on the wedding day is the most important thing, and I hope this blog post helps with that!
Happy wedding season!