I’ve been into photography for almost 9 years now and it continues to amaze me how every photographer can use the exact same equipment, but produce completely different images! I was asked a few weeks ago about what I have in my bag for a wedding day. Because after 8 years of shooting weddings, I’ve collected a lot of items but I wanted to break it down into just my camera equipment for a wedding day.
*PSA: It’s okay to only have one camera body and one lens if you are just starting out! You do not need to have all of this camera equipment for a wedding day from the very beginning. This was not something that happened overnight for me. This is something that I have worked for, over multiple years that I was able to get where I am today. Do what you can with what you have and that’s all that matters! *
Truth be told, I don’t really use this and I think I bought it just in case I’d ever be in a pinch where I need a super-wide lens. (Which I guess isn’t too bad of an idea!). I would like to try the 24-70 mm that I can be a little wider than the 35mm and also have the zoom capability with the 70mm. The 35 mm is just a fixed lens and in short, If I want to zoom in I have to be the one to personally move around. A 35 mm is not my “go-to” lens, it’s more of just a “back up just in case” kind of lens.
Examples of when I would be using this lens is definitely if I’m working in a building or a church that has a lot of amazing structure to the building itself. (I’m thinking of the Harrisburg Capital which has an absolutely breathtaking interior, so I would definitely want a super-wide lens that I could capture all of that!) I have also used this lens for ceremonies with all of their guests, detail photos of sanctuaries, and getting ready photos. If I’m in a really tight room when the bride is getting ready, this lens allows me to get the full photo instead of having to be so close to her.
This was actually the first automatic lens that I bought. The first lens that I had was only manual and I think it was a 70-200mm!! I guess you have to start somewhere! haha! So the 50mm has been in my life for a very very long time and is also one of the most common lenses that you will find on my camera. I carry two cameras with me at all times, my 85mm (which is coming up) and my 50mm. I really use this lens a lot because it’s so versatile between getting ready portraits, bridal details, first look, bride and groom photos, and bridal party! (So basically every part of the day). This lens also comes with me on engagement sessions also! I would definitely recommend getting this lens if you do not already have one!
This is hands-down my favorite lens. I love my 85mm so much that I remember the wedding and the exact pictures that I was taking where I instantly fell in love with it. After over 4 years later, it has just been my favorite lens and I have it on my camera 90% of the time on a wedding day. If I have the space to use it, I love it for getting ready images and definitely bride and groom portraits!
I absolutely love this for the vows part of a wedding ceremony and first looks! I especially love it for first looks because I can stand back and zoom in on the groom’s reaction! Another reason is that I also love being able to give them their space and not make them feel like someone is literally standing over their shoulder. For wedding ceremonies, when the groom is saying his vows I love zooming in while also being a “fly on the wall”.
Below is a great example of how I can capture both of these images without moving my feet!!
This lens is like a catch-22. You don’t need it very often, but when you it’s good to have it. Quite honestly, I only use this lens mainly for ring shots or to *really* zoom in on getting ready details (necklace, small diamond earrings, etc.). There is no other lens that would adequately do the job like a macro lens which is why this lens also comes with me to both wedding days and engagement sessions!
I have two of these which are identical and I wear both of them on me at all times for a couple of reasons! The first reason is for easy access! I love being able to have two completely different lenses on both of my cameras at the same time, which allows me to make sure I don’t miss anything! I typically have my 50 mm and 85 mm on me at all times, which also allows me to shoot a little wider or a little tighter from the same position without having to move!
True story, I was at a wedding years ago and the bride was running behind schedule to walk down the aisle. While we were waiting, I was taking pictures of the guests when my shutter broke in my camera. You guys. The bride was about to walk down the aisle any minute!! But because I was prepared, I had a backup camera with me for that exact reason!!
Can you imagine if I didn’t have a backup? That is a recipe for disaster! And if I can be a little blunt (in a loving way) I don’t care how new you are at photographing a wedding; you need to have a backup camera. If you cannot afford it then please rent one (this is my favorite place!) because it is not worth the hassle, trouble or fear of knowing “what if”. You need to be prepared at all times and that is why I have back up cameras available in an instant if it’s needed. (Thankfully that is not the case since then but you can never be too sure).
A few other items I cannot photograph a wedding day without; flash! I have one flash (phottix mitros) on my handheld camera and then two flashes (Nikon SB910 and phottix mitros) off-camera on two different light stands.
I cannot believe how long it took me to upgrade my light stands to these! My old light stands were nowhere close to these – height, quality, stability, etc! I love how easy it is to set up these light stands, not to mention the height that they can reach (up to 12 feet!!).
In order for my off-camera flashes (the ones on light stands) to fire, I use these receivers. So how this works is the flash that’s on my camera with a built-in transmitter, is sending a signal to the receivers where my off-camera flashes are attached to. When I take a photo, all 3 flashes will fire together! Some flashes already have built-in triggers and receivers but mine do not. Therefore, that is why I use these!
FULL DISCLOSURE: I do receive a small commission off of the links to Amazon if you decide to purchase! If you found this blog post helpful, consider using the links when buying the different gear!
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