I have a suitcase and bags full of equipment staring at me in my home office. But what gear is most essential to take with me when I’m going to photograph a wedding?
The truth is, it depends on a few things. Variables include, but are not limited to the role I’m playing on a wedding day (am I the lead or second photographer), the amount of coverage that’s included in the couple’s wedding collection, and the time of day the coverage spans.
But, aside from those variables, there is gear I always take with me, no matter what.
I will always bring one, if not two, full frame camera bodies with me to a wedding. If I’m the lead photographer on a wedding day, I will bring two camera bodies – one as my main camera and the other as a backup. I hope to never be in the situation where my main camera body suddenly stops working in the middle of a wedding, but if it does, it won’t be the end of the world.
If I needed to, I could photograph an entire wedding with my 50mm lens. The 50mm is a standard telephoto lens and in my opinion, the most versatile lens out there. It’s a wonderful lens for taking portraits and detail photographs.
In addition to a 50mm lens, I always bring a 35mm lens with me to weddings. The 35mm is a wider lens than the 50mm and comes in clutch if, for example, the bride or groom is getting ready in a tight room. The 35mm is also pretty darn versatile and I use it throughout the day for group photos, couple photos, and getting a wide shot of the ceremony.
Even if I’m second shooting for another photographer, I’ll bring along my macro lens. They might ask me to take detail photos of the ring and without a macro lens, it’s next to impossible to get a true close up, detailed image. The 100mm Macro doubles as a fantastic telephoto lens, too. I prefer to use prime lenses – and I hate how heavy the 70-200mm lens is – so the 100mm is often one of my go-to ceremony lenses.
Even if I’m photographing a brunch wedding and there’s no risk of the sun setting, I’ll still bring a flash with me just in case I need it. Sometimes getting ready rooms are dark or we need extra light to properly expose everyone during family photos. You just never know when you’re going to need more light.
Having extra batteries and memory cards on hand is just plain smart. Batteries die and memory cards sometimes fail. Plan for the worst and you won’t be caught in a bad situation later.
Of course, I have a lot more gear than just this. In fact, I’ve written an in-depth blog post on everything that’s in my bag. But if you’re just getting started photographing weddings, this is the list of gear I suggest investing in first.
There was a chunk of time in our wedding planning when we thought we'd go without a professional photographer to save on cost (terrible idea!) but once we met with Lauren, we knew we'd be in good hands. She checked in often and asked questions that got us thinking about other parts of the wedding that we probably would've missed. Lauren captured exactly who we are as a couple!
Lauren and her team are so much fun to work with! She made us feel so comfortable on the day of our wedding, providing both silly and helpful cues to help us relax and be ourselves in our photos. Lauren’s background in dance is super helpful in recognizing simple posture changes that make a big difference, too. Oh, and the photos we got are just stunning!
My husband and I looked FOR MONTHS to find the perfect photographer and after meeting Lauren we knew was the best fit for us. She made our day so much fun and easy. She found little opportunities to make the perfect photo all with a calm ease that comes from someone who has an artistic eye along with experience in understanding the flow of a wedding.
I've been in several weddings and have worked with a multitude of photographers and I never felt as confident as I did with Lauren. I love how professional she is. She helped with the timeline way in advance and we stuck to that timeline the day of. She was also able to professionally and firmly keep unruly family members settled and focused and navigated family drama beautifully!