What's in my camera bag?
This is the beginning of a joint blog series with Sarah from Events by Sarah Megan. We are teaming up to bring you a series of topics, sharing our knowledge of the wedding industry. We wanted to put together some helpful guides for engaged couples navigating wedding planning. We also hope that these guides will be helpful for future photographers, and future wedding planners hoping to join our amazing industry. Also, be sure to give Sarah a follow on Instagram @events_by_sarah_megan
For our first joint post we decided to keep it light, and do a bit of show and tell and show. I photographed each others gear bags, for a wedding day. These are the items that we keep in our arsenal, to ensure that we have our clients needs, and any little emergency situations covered.
This also may be a helpful gear guide for wedding photographers who are starting out, and not quite sure what gear they want to invest in.
Two Full frame DSLR or Mirrorless camera bodies-THE BASICS
Wedding days are a once in a lifetime event. There is a lot of talk that gear does not matter, among photographers that the best camera you have being the one in hand. However, when you are being paid for a professional service, such as wedding photography the gear you carry should yield a professional result. You should also know this camera like the back of your hand, and able to change your settings on the fly. If you are getting started in wedding photography should have at least one full frame sensor camera, with dual card slots for backup file insurance, and a backup second camera for peace of mind. The major camera manufacturers all carry excellent full frame options. Speaking from experience, things will and do malfunction, or break at the most inopportune times. It's easier to have a back-up to eliminate the stress.
I carry and wear two full frame bodies on a double camera harness. I bought a fantastic harness on Etsy that I love, and the vendor provided such great customer service. I'm also a big fan of the Hold Fast gear Moneymaker Harness. (https://holdfastgear.com/products/money-maker-bridle-leather-skinny)
I shoot mostly prime lenses (fixed focal length) and like to have the two variable lengths ready to go. My second shooter alternately carries telephoto lens for the extra reach (for large churches and receptions). If I'm shooting solo and feel it is a necessary need, I will rent or borrow telephoto. Renting is a lens is a fantastic way to test out a lens for viability for your everyday use.
Lens options-wedding day-Prime lenses
I carry four lenses in my camera bag, and I shoot with two of them 80 percent of time, my 50mm & my 85mm. As a buying consideration as a wedding shooter, you will want to buy lens with lower light capabilities (with aperatures ranges of 2.8 and lower)
105mm 2.8 Macro- At the start of the day I shoot the rings, and details with the 105mm. It gives me tack sharp details on rings.
35mm 1.4- I will use in tighter rooms for getting ready shots. This focal length is also great for getting wider shots of the dance floor at the reception and crowds in large receiving lines.
85mm 1.4- This is my most used lens on a wedding day & in my everyday use. I just love the results! I love the versatility of this lens. I use it for the ceremony, portraits, reception. It is gorgeous when shot wide open, producing beautiful portraits with those dreamy blurred out backgrounds. This lens gives breathing space between you, and the guests at receptions, and receiving lines to capture stunning candids without them feeling there is a camera in their personal space. My second favourite would be a 70-200 (2.8 for candids).
50mm 1.4- The nifty fifty. This lens effectively imitates what we see with our own eyes. My go to lens for couple portraits, along with the 85mm. I alternate the two lenses during a portrait session. The combo gives a distinct look, and larger selection of photos for couples. In a future post and video, I will compare the differences of prime focal length results for you to see for yourself!
Accessories & Flashes-
Godox V1 Flash (two) and accessory kit - I thought I would never say this about a flash, but I love this flash! It has a long lasting integrated rechargeable lithium battery. I could probably shoot two weddings on one charge.
Off camera flash remote- This Godox system is simple for set up. I usually set up one flash ready to go for off-camera flash the night before for quick set up. For getting reading shots I will use set the V1 on its stand flash up and find a bounce source for the flash. In particularly dark receptions I will set an off-camera flash for reception or speeches.
Waterproof Hard case for SD Cards & Extra SD Cards- I carry a hip pouch that has all my memory cards in the case and I lanyard the case securely inside the pouch for extra security.
Extra camera and accessory batteries-I'm a better safe than sorry type of gal. I always charge more than I need and several charged batteries to go for a wedding day.
About Sarah Teed
Events by Sarah Megan
Ever since Sarah was a young girl, she has been a planner with a need to know "all the smallest details". She has a passion and a keen eye for organization. She especially loves being a part of your special day! Sarah attended Niagara College receiving a graduate certificate in Event Management, and picked up on all the little details that go into Event Planning. Sarah has proudly been a Certified Wedding Planner with the WPIC (Wedding Planners Institute of Canada) since 2016.