A wedding is a significant life event and it’s crucial to be prepared in order to capture the big day as professionally as possible. Having beautiful photographs to reminisce over provides many years of joy for a couple, so it’s important that the photographer does a great job of capturing unique moments from a wedding.
In order to achieve this you’ll need to be skilled in a number of different photography genres and also have everything checked-off your wedding photography equipment list. From a high-quality camera, to lenses and accessories, this is everything you need to tackle any wedding shoot and capture some beautiful images for the happy couple to cherish for years to come.
Cameras and Lenses
At the heart of your equipment list will be at least one camera body and a choice of lenses at various focal widths. It comes down to personal preference as to whether you shoot with a DSLR or mirrorless camera, with the most recent models from both camps capable of capturing professional quality images. A full-frame camera is preferable regardless of whether you choose a mirrorless or DSLR, as full-frame provides a number of key benefits for wedding photographers, such as better low-light performance when using higher ISOs, wide angle lens options without a crop factor and better subject separation, which is easier to achieve with a full-frame sensor.
Look for a camera which offers in-body stabilisation for handheld shooting in low-light, fast frame rates to keep up with any action and subject detection autofocus which is, perhaps, the most advantageous. Mirrorless cameras from Canon, Sony and Nikon all offer human face and eye detection AF, which is designed to acquire and track subjects, keeping them sharp wherever they move to within the frame.
A back-up camera is well worth considering for seamlessly switching to a second lens and just in case the unthinkable happens to your main camera body. The wedding won’t be stopped, regardless of whether uncle John spills champagne over your brand new Fuji camera, so a spare may just save your bacon. This presents a great opportunity to browse for a used camera, which not only saves money over buying new, but can provide alternate features, which your main camera doesn’t offer.
When it comes to lenses, professionals will always bring a few options, covering all of the focal widths required for the many opportunities encountered during a wedding. You’ll need macro capabilities for close-up detail shots, a wide-angle lens for group portraits and a telephoto zoom for more distant shots of the ceremony, for example. Also consider bringing your favourite standard prime lens, such as a 35mm or 50mm, to capitalise on the bright maximum aperture these offer.
Once you have your camera and lenses you then have to consider the right camera accessories. These can make the job of capturing memorable photos easier and also ensures you won’t run out of essentials during the big day. Start off by packing your gear into a suitably sized, extra comfortable camera bag and be prepared to carry this for several hours. Once you have a bag sorted, pick up these essential wedding photography accessories:
Sample image 3, behind the scenes, with Canon EOS 5D IV no EXIF data, © Jeff Ascough
While some photographers work purely with natural light, the majority of wedding photographers will bring some form of artificial lighting to enhance their images. Being familiar with your shot list and scoping the venue beforehand help to inform what lighting you’ll need for each setting. An assistant or second photographer makes lighting easier to manage, particularly in a fast-paced wedding environment, but all of the options we’ve provided can be controlled by one photographer.
A flashgun or compact LED light is the preferred choice for many pro wedding photographers, as they tend to be relatively lightweight and easy to power using standard batteries. Both types of light can be used off-camera with a trigger and mounted on a small light stand, providing flattering directional lighting that a single photographer can control remotely.
Adding a flash diffuser, umbrella or softbox diffuses the light, whereas a collapsible reflector bounces light and can be held by the photographer in one hand, or mounted to a stand. A portable studio background may also be useful depending on the venue and can be set up indoors or out, helping to refine lighting and provide a clean background for portraits.
Sample 4 with Sony a9 camera, no EXIF data, © Rob Pugh
You can make sure every wedding is a huge success if you bring a comfortable bag with space for your camera, several lenses and the best accessories. Anyone can get into wedding photography with some equipment know-how and plenty of creativity. If this is something you’re considering, take a moment to browse our huge range of cameras and find the perfect one to start your journey today.
By Park Cameras on 20/06/2022
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