Wedding photography is a challenging but extremely rewarding occupation. Putting the photographer’s skill set and experience to one side, it’s paramount they have the right equipment to hand that will help them exceed their customers’ expectations.
So, what are you likely to find in your wedding photographer’s camera bag? In this blog post, we will explore the essential gear that every wedding photographer is likely to need on a typical wedding day.
The camera body is the foundation of the photographer’s toolkit. It needs to be capable of capturing a large volume of high-resolution images (in raw format) in different lighting conditions. Sensors found within professional cameras are more likely to be capable of handling low-lighting situations without producing excessive visible ‘noise’ in the digital image. Unlike sports photography, it’s unlikely that the camera will be required to extensively produce multiple images in seconds but it needs to be powerful enough to not buffer when numerous photographs are taken quickly.
Most experienced wedding photographers will have two cameras on the go at any one time to make the most of having different lenses at their disposal. In addition, wedding photography is an occupation where the photographer will want ‘dual’ memory card slots where images can be written to more than one card reducing the likelihood of image loss.
The camera body alone is useless unless it’s paired with an equally high-quality lens.
Different lenses are suitable for different situations, and a wedding photographer will need to decide on which one is likely to provide the best result. The most common lenses used for a wedding are:
- Wide-angle lens: This lens will allow the photographer to ‘capture’ more in a frame. This is ideal for formal group portraits or venue shots
- Prime lens: A prime (or fixed) lens is typically used for portrait photographs or low light conditions. They typically allow the photographer to use a wide aperture resulting in a lovely background blur (called bokeh).
- Telephoto lens: This lens is perfect for capturing candid moments from a distance during the ceremony or reception.
The amount a flash is used will depend on the photographer and their style. On or off-camera flash will assist in low light conditions, such as the dance floor, or will help to provide a certain dramatic effect. Documentary-style photographers will keep the flash work to a minimum as they prefer a more natural style to their photographs.
A photographer needs to have confidence in their equipment, and this is especially applicable when it comes to memory cards. All the photographs taken by a wedding photographer will be immediately written to one or more memory cards which, due to the size of photographs, can fill up very quickly. Depending on the type of wedding shoot, a wedding photographer can take anywhere up to 2,000 photographs with each raw image being as big as 70 megabytes. Many photographers will prefer to use several smaller memory cards rather than one or two big cards in the unlikely event of a card becoming corrupt. The photographer will then need a suitable memory card reader to transfer the images from the cards to a computer so the post-processing phase can be performed. All of this, of course, should be underpinned by a well thought out back-up process.
Other essential camera bag items will include camera and flash batteries, filters, tripod, sensor and lens cleaning accessories not to forget non-technical items such as itineraries, business cards and of course, the all-important snacks!
A wedding photographer needs to anticipate several potential situations through a typical wedding day to ensure they are ready for any eventuality. Having a bag full of essential professional photography equipment will give the photographer the best chance of capturing the best moments possible for your big day.
Meachen & Shorey are experienced Hertfordshire wedding photographers who offer natural and documentary-style wedding photography. Please feel free to get in contact if you would like to learn more about what we offer.