Wedding Photography is a very popular, lucrative, and incredibly challenging specialty in the Photo World.
It puts a creatives mastery of multiple Styles to the ultimate test in an unrepeatable, high stress, emotionally charged environment where the expectations placed on you are higher than ever! This is why it’s important that you not only know your style and have a plan (that’s a WHOLE other post that could go on for days), but you have the gear that’ll let you do your job to the best of your abilities!
Here’s a list of some of the most recommended pieces of gear in a wedding Photographers Arsenal.
It’s said that the Nifty-Fifty 50mm is the closest focal length to how we actually see. This may be why it’s so popular with photographers and why it should be a standard lens in any lens kit. The Near-human sight focal range matched with the amazing wide aperture offered by the Canon’s f/1.2 will allow you to shoot in much lower light situations and still capture beautiful images than it’s competitors. The only challenge will be nailing the focus at that 1.2 mark, but when you do, it’s like fireworks go off!
It’s kind of amazing that simply dropping your fstop requirement from 1.2 to 1.8 will save you this much money! It’s probably the cheapest lens you can get, but it’s still one of the best and favorite of a wide selection of photographers out there! While you can’t get the super bokeh that you can from the 1.2/1.4 versions of this lens, it still pretty amazing and capable in low light situations, and one of the best lenses any photographer should get regardless of their level.
The most popular all-around telephoto among knowledgeable wedding photographers, providing seamless wide-aperture coverage from wide to telephoto. Its long reach is perfect for capturing intimate details and interactions at a distance and is also ideal for head-shots of individuals, couples and candids, in both indoor and outdoor settings.
The shallow depth of field at the widest apertures and longer focal lengths lets you capture classic portraits with a traditional “large format” look that’s very much in demand.
I have used the Nikon, Canon, and Sigma versions of the 70-200 f2.8 with VR, and at this point in the game, the quality difference is negligible until you start doing hardcore testing and nit picking! The Sigma 70-200 is an absolutely stellar lens at nearly 1/2 the price point of it’s “named-brand” competitors. For the seasoned or emerging pro, you can’t ask for more bang for your buck!
Morning, noon, or night weddings…it doesn’t matter, the reception halls are dark! Or at least darker than ideal for great photos. The Canon 600EX-RT Speed-light is a compact and powerful Light for your setup in any setting. Most times you’ll want 2-3 additional Lights for a quick dynamic setup, but the bottom line is having 1 or more speed-lights will allow you to quickly and comfortably capture your moments with either direct or bounced flash. No more blurry and dark shots!
The Yongnuo brand of speed-light offers most of the same power and features of the bigger “name-brand” accessories out there but at a fraction of the cost! I’ve met several people who use these speed-lights in combination with their “name-brand” ones without any problems and swear by them. For the photographer on a budget, this is the portable light solution for you!
How many times have you been at an event shooting with a wide angle lens, only to see something awesome happening a stage length away from you with no time to swap out your lens or cameras from the bag? Well now you don’t need to struggle! These Double Camera Slings will allow you to not only have both of your cameras and setups securely available at literally, an arms length, but also in style! Function + Style = a win for the wedding photog!
The Budget brand camera strap may not have the same stylish-flare as the leather version, but it still has the same function and bonus’ to your shooting on location! Quickly reach your cameras to shoot long, or wide with ease and the comfort of knowing your gear is secure, at your side, and just an arms length away.
When you’re at a wedding, no one should look better than the bride! But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still look your best while getting the job done! These kit bags are the perfect blend of function and will make sure you don’t look like you’re on your way to class while shooting the most important day of someones life.
One of my favorite perks of the Undfind brand of bags, is not only do they look great and fit all your gear extras, but the liner of the bag covers act as a micro-fiber cloth to clean your lenses with on the fly! AND, you can also swap out the covers to match the color/theme/mood of your day!
Probably the most overlooked, but most important tool in your wedding gear arsenal, is SPARE BATTERIES! The official battery grips will provide an extra slot for 1 (or more batteries depending on the model) to ensure you have the juice to last the entire day. These grips also give your wrists a much needed break by allowing you to shoot comfortably when swapping from landscape to portrait style shooting.
When matching your brand of battery grip doesn’t matter and all you need is the extra power, well the off-market brands are the way to go! Usually you can find these at 1/2 the cost or less of the named brands, and they offer most (if not all) of the same function perks. The only down side is these units do tend to be a lower quality material so you’ll have to be careful with these. From personal experience I can tell you that bouncing these around can cause the plastic to crack pretty easy compared to the Canon/Nikon versions, but they are also often lighter, and still provide all the same features as the more expensive versions.