What's In My Camera Bag | The Best Equipment For Wedding Photography
Today, I’m sharing with you every single piece of equipment, large and small that I use to photograph weddings (and couples sessions). I’ve built up my inventory over the past few years, and I’ve done tons and tons and tons of research of every single one of these items. I’ll give you my honest opinions on all of them and show you exactly how I use them with photo examples. As a disclaimer, if you decide to click on any of the links in this article and purchase any of these items through my links, I do receive a small commission. However, I can guarantee that all of these items are actually in my camera bag, and I truly believe this is the best equipment for wedding photography.
I shoot with two Nikon D750’s on a wedding day. Of all the cameras I’ve used, this one is my absolutely favorite. I love the Nikon D750 and the colors that come out of it. Something that is really important to me, and should be important for any wedding photographer, is dual memory card slots. This means that every time I take a photo, it is saved to two different memory cards. As rare as it is for a memory card to get corrupted, as a wedding photographer, you need to be prepared for any situation without it affecting your client’s images. I have never had a problem with a memory card, but I feel so much better knowing I have another copy of the photos if something were to happen. Another option is the Refurbished Nikon D750. This version is a tiny bit cheaper. One of my D750’s was new, and the other I bought refurbished.
My backup camera is my Nikon D810. I know it might not make a lot of sense for this to be my backup camera considering it’s more expensive than the D750, and thought to be a better camera than the D750. I used to shoot with one D750 and one D810, but I realized I prefer the colors that come out of the D750, and it’s easier to edit images consistently if they are coming from the same type of camera. In addition to being my wedding backup, I like to use my D810 for landscape and travel photos. I used it for all of my Europe photos. The D810 also has dual card slots, but instead of taking two SD cards like the D750, it takes an SD and a CF card.
My second backup camera is my Nikon D3300. This is an entry level camera, great for anyone just starting out with photography. It was my first DSLR. I kept it around to use a a second backup, because you can never be too prepared when it comes to your client’s wedding images. I’m sure you’re probably getting the gist by now that I go a little overboard when it comes to back ups. Better safe than sorry!
My absolute favorite lens is my Sigma Art 135mm 1.8. I use it whenever I can get far enough away from my subject for it to make sense. It provides beautiful compression, creating that nice background blur, and allowing my subject to really stand out in the photo. It comes in handy for ceremonies as well, especially in churches where I can’t stand very close to the bride and groom. I even use it for reception details sometimes.
Ever wonder how I get those close up ring shots? It’s my Tokina 100mm 2.8 Macro. A macro lens is an important addition to any wedding photographer’s collection. I use it for rings, details, and sometimes even for portraits. In my opinion, the Tokina version of this lens is very high quality, but it’s so much cheaper than other macro lenses. I always recomend this macro!
My Nikkor 85mm 1.8 comes in handy when I want a little more background compression than my 50mm, but I can’t quite get far enough away from my subject to use my 135mm.
My Nikkor 50mm 1.4 is by far the most versatile lens in my collection. I use this guy far more often than I use any other lens. It’s on one of my camera bodies almost the entire wedding day.
I use my Sigma Art 35mm 1.4 for large group photos like the bridal party and family photos. I also usually use this lens to capture the groom’s reaction to the bride coming down the aisle since I’m normally standing pretty close to him, next to the first row of seats.
I also find a wide angle lens to be super important. I love my Tokina 16-28mm 2.8. I use this for full room shots of the reception, a wide shot of the entire ceremony, and I’ve also had to use it when I’m in a really tight room where I can’t back up very far but I need to photos of very large groups, like the extended family. It’s also my favorite lens for travel and landscape photography.
For receptions, and other dark spaces, I use two Nikon SB 700’s, one on my camera, and one off my camera on a stand. I use triggers to help the flashes communicate with each other and know when to fire. This helps me to light the room beautifully for a consistent style even in a dark reception.
On my other camera, I use a Yongnuo Flash. This is a great, super cheap flash option. Although I do prefer my SB 700’s.
My secret weapon is my Holdfast Moneymaker. This is a harness that allows me to carry two cameras at once. As you may have noticed above, I prefer to shoot with prime (non-zoom) lenses For this reason, it’s super important that I shoot with two cameras, so I can easily switch back and forth between different focal lengths. In addition to also providing extra backup, it just looks really cool and professional. I get so many compliments on it from guests at every wedding.
Of course, SD and CF cards are important for shooting the photos! I find these SD Cards and these CF Cards to be the highest quality. I used to use cheap memory cards, but it slowed me down so much because I had to stop and wait for the cards to finish writing before I could take more photos. I highly recomend using these cards, because they are the fastest ones you can buy.
You’ll also need an SD Card Holder to protect your cards when you fill them up and need to switch them out on a wedding day. I have two of these, because I use 8 memory cards when I’m shooting a wedding by myself, and 16 when I have a second shooter. This may sound like a lot, but remember, I shoot with two cameras at a time, and they each have dual card slots.
Lastly, this is the backpack that I use to carry all of my gear around on a wedding day.
Leave a comment below letting me know if you have any questions OR tell me your favorite equipment for wedding photography!