Must-Have Wedding Photography Equipment

Wedding PhotographyBeing a wedding photographer is a great honor, but it takes skill, patience and talent. Sharing in a couple’s special day and capturing all the emotion and special moments can be very rewarding. However, it’s important to have the right wedding photography equipment for the big day. Having the right set up is vital to making sure the shoot is a success, and there are some key elements that you absolutely need have in your kit bag. We’ll take a look at the must-have wedding photography equipment, and some examples to give your inspiration.

Wedding Photography Equipment: What to Pack


Your kit on the day of the wedding should cover you for every eventuality the event could throw at you. Build your set up around a good DSLR and add lenses as necessary. The more experience you get, the more in tune you’ll be with what you need. Here are your must-haves:

The Essentials:

  • DSLR cameras
  • Selection of lenses
  • Flash
  • Tripod

Accessories:

  • Camera bags
  • Memory cards

This is all you’ll need to have a successful shoot. Read below for an in-depth look at each point and some examples of equipment you could use.

Wedding Photography Equipment: The Essentials


Cameras

Most professional wedding photographers will use a full-frame DSLR for the majority of their shoots. The quality delivered by a full-frame DSLR is rivalled by none; they perform so well in the various situations and lightings you’ll experience at a wedding. They are more expensive than mirrorless or APS-C sensor DSLRs however. Smaller sensors do offer greater magnification for telephoto shooting, but a full-frame is better suited for wide-angle shots. Here are some of our top suggestions:

1. Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Why it’s great:

  • 3-megapixel full-frame sensor.
  • DIGIC 5+ image processor.
  • 30fps full HD 1080p video recording.

The Canon 5D Mark III is a favorite amongst wedding photographers, and for good reason. The full-frame, 22.3-megapixel sensor delivers stunning results, and the DIGIC 5+ processor makes it fast at doing so. The 5D’s autofocus is also superb, with a 61-point sensor that is quick and accurate. You’re sure not to miss a shot with the 5D and it’s one of our top tips for wedding photography equipment. As with many full-frame cameras, this is an expensive bit of kit. It’s worth every penny though, and you may be able to pick up a used one for relatively cheap.

2. Nikon D810

Why it’s great:

  • 3-megapixel full-frame sensor.
  • 51-point autofocus system.
  • ISO 64-12,800 expandable to 51,200

This is another favorite amongst wedding photographers. The Nikon D810’s strengths lie in the quality of the images it produces; the depth of color and sharpness is outstanding. Like the above Canon 5D, it’s quick and accurate with its autofocus so you won’t miss a shot on the big day. The D810 specializes in black and white photographs too, giving a wide range of options for stylized wedding photographs.

Lenses

Next to the camera itself, the lens or lenses you use are of utmost importance. It’s likely you’ll want to use a range of lenses for a wedding shoot; there’s a diverse range of shots you’ll need to make, so you’ll need good glass to help you out. The most common set up for a wedding is to have a 24-70mm f/2.8 and a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens. This covers most eventualities, although some photographers also like to add a wider angle lens, something like a 16-35mm f/2.8. Although ultimately it comes down to personal taste and style, here are some of our favorite lenses for wedding photography:

1. Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM

Why it’s great:

  • Impeccable image capture.
  • Wide f/2.8 aperture across focal length range.
  • Unrivalled build and durability.

This is another of our top picks for wedding photography equipment. The Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM is a serious bit of kit. The optics, construction and features are second to none. The only things counting against it are the price and weight. The f/2.8 aperture across the zoom range means you can keep shooting sharp images in low-light settings. The image stabilization and autofocus are also exceptional.

2. Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM

Why it’s great:

  • A flagship Canon lens with excellent image quality and sharpness.
  • Superb build quality and performance throughout its range.
  • Versatile, delivering in all situations.

In terms of wide angle lenses, it doesn’t come much better than Canon’s EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II. It’s one of Canon’s best lenses and it performs flawlessly in just about every lighting situation. It’s a pricey unit but is totally justified in its cost; the features and build-quality are amazing. For wedding photography this is another must-have piece of equipment.

3. Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro Lens

Why it’s great:

  • 100mm fixed focal length with a maximum aperture of f/2.8.
  • 1:1 maximum magnification.
  • Excellent close-range image stabilization.

The benefit of having a macro lens is that you can get really detailed shots of the flourishes and minute details that go in to making a wedding so special. Canon’s EF 100mm is a great choice of lens for this; its fixed focal length and wide maximum aperture produce high-quality results in both macro shots and portraits. This is a great lens to have in your wedding kit bag.

Flash

A good flash is essential for wedding photography. There are so many situations that call for it, so you need to be confident using it and have confidence in the flash you choose. Here are some options to consider:

Canon Speedlite 600EX II-RT

Canon Speedlite 430EX III-RT Flash

Tripod

A solid tripod is essential for most forms of photography, and it should definitely be in your wedding photography equipment bag. Depending on the situation, you’ll need to balance up sturdiness, portability, and steadiness. Here are some good options:

  • Gitzo GK1555T-82TQD – if money is no object, this is bar far one of the best performing tripods available. It doesn’t come cheap though.Gitzo GK1555T-82TQD –
  • BONFOTO B671A – those looking for a tripod with good performance, without a massive price tag should consider this tripod. It’s excellent and affordable.

BONFOTO-tripod

  • Vanguard VEO 204AB – if you have a lot of shots in various locations, this tripod is portable enough to take anywhere. It’s lightweight and durable.Vanguard VEO 204AB

Wedding Photography Equipment: The Accessories


Once you have your camera bag mainstays, you’ll need to choose the right accessories to carry out a successful wedding day shoot. Your main considerations should be a good camera bag and enough memory cards to cover you for the day.

Camera Bag

Your camera bag will work nearly as hard as you do when it comes to a full day photographing a wedding. Therefore you need to choose something that’s up to the task. It must be sturdy, have enough room, and be easy to access. Here are some examples:

  • ProTactic 350 AW Camera Backpack – this is our favorite camera bag going. It has all the components needed of a solid wedding day accessory; space, sturdiness and accessibility.

ProTactic 350 AW Camera Backpack

Think Tank Photo Urban Approach 15

  • Case Logic DCB-304 – one of our favorite budget camera bags is this one. It’s affordable and offers great performance when carried around all day.

Case Logic DCB-304

Memory Cards

You’re likely going to need a few of these. Make sure you have more than enough for your duties as photographer. If your camera has dual slots, be sure to invest in an SD and CF card so you always have a working backup. Stick to reputable names you can trust:

  • Polaroid 64GB – a close second here, almost as good in every way as the above SanDisk card.
  • SanDisk Ultra Class 10 SDHC for the price, this card is simply excellent. Everything you want from a card except the price tag.

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