Gear For Wedding Days

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Today I thought I'd share a "What's In My Bag" type post with you guys! When I was first getting started I didn't know what all I would need to photograph a wedding. I researched soft boxes, flashes, tripods, lenses, and a ton of different camera bodies. Ultimately I settled on Nikon and got my very first camera: the D3200. I love that thing, LOVED it. But as I was doing my research I knew that if I wanted to grow with any type of photography career, especially weddings, that I'd need to buy a full frame body and invest in prime lenses. 

Outside of the photography industry, I don't think most people know just how much gear is needed to photograph a wedding. We shoot for 8 hours (sometimes longer) and are usually carrying multiple lenses in our bag. By the end of the day it's not the wedding that's exhausting, it's the gear that's been on our shoulders all day! Because of that, I try to keep my gear down to a minimum but there's still quite a bit of equipment needed for the day. Since I'm a Nikon shooter, I bring the following equipment:

  • Camera: Nikon D610 (2) - Main body and back-up

  • Flashes: Yongnuo 560 IV (2) - I tried to use pocket wizards with the SB910s in the past but found that they weren't reliable or fast enough to use for receptions. The Yongnuo's have internal systems like the Canon 600 speedlights and they've worked great!

  • Lenses: Nikkor 50mm f.1.4, 85mm f1.4, 105mm f2.8, 24-70mm f2.8, and 35mm f1.4

  • Giottos Rocket Blaster - This is my go-to sensor cleaner and it's super cheap! You can find it at B&H HERE. I also bring a static free lens cleaning cloth.

  • Lightstand

It doesn't seem like THAT much but when you add in things like extra batteries for the flashes, extra batteries for the camera, case of SD cards, card reader, laptop, ipad or tablet, wooden hanger (just in case the bride doesn't have one)... the list goes on with these details, it becomes a lot. Some photographers even create styling boards to bring with them to add a little but more to their detail shots. Although I think that's a great idea, I'd rather not bring anything along that I really don't NEED. Some photographers only bring 2-3 lenses to the wedding and that's fine too! I bring the gear that I bring because it gives me the option of having more variety in my photographs. This gives my clients a greater amount of photos and creates variety in their album as well! 

As I become better at this craft some of my gear may change (certainly the camera body). If you are a beginner, I would encourage you to rent some lenses and test them out before purchasing one. You may not like having to switch out your lenses so primes may not be for you. The 70-200mm 2.8 is a great lens and I've used it but I know that I don't need it enough to carry around with me on a wedding day so I no longer use it. I can use the 85mm to still capture intimate moments during the reception or ceremony. Also, don't get stuck on which brand to use. Canon, Nikon, Sony, etc. They all have GREAT equipment and you can create beautiful photographs with just one camera body and one lens! Happy shooting!

P.S. I got this bag from Etsy and I've loved it since day one!

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