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Wedding Photography Gear

Wedding Photography Gear

As a professional wedding photographer, I know that the search for the best wedding photography gear seems like a never-ending challenge.  I’ve tried numerous different pieces of equipment over the years to assemble a perfect wedding photography kit  for myself and now I’m a good judge on wedding photography equipment must haves.  There’s clearly a lot of choice out there, so check out my recommendations on the best wedding photography gear in 2018.

Wedding photography gear is not cheap, so mind the following photographer's equipment checklist to buy only necessary things.

You can buy a starter wedding photography kit on Amazon to avoid selecting proper camera, lenses and other equipment.

What's Included:

  • Canon EOS 80D DSLR Camera with 18-55mm Lens
  • Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM Lens 
  • Altura Photo Sling Backpack 
  • DSLR Camera Monopod 
  • SanDisk 64GB Ultra UHS-I SDXC Memory Card (Class 10)
  • Altura Photo UV CPL ND4 Filter Kit 
  • Altura Photo Neck Strap + Altura Photo Universal Softbox 13x8” Flash Diffuser 
  • Universal Wireless Remote Control
  • Lens Cap Keeper
  • Altura Photo Cleaning Kit + MagicFiber Microfiber Cleaning Cloth

Wedding Photography Kit for Beginners


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Unfortunately, you’ll not find the best wedding photography gear for professionals on Amazon, so here is our guide about how to choose it right to take amazing wedding portraits.

Best Camera for Wedding Photography

When you are starting your photography way, one of the sufficient wedding photography gear is a camera body. First of all, you should decide, whether it is necessary to have one camera body or two. For beginners, one camera body will do. Of course, it is advisable to have a backup camera if something happens to your first one.

So, have you already decided what camera brand is the best for you?

Nikon and Canon are considered to be the most widespread and quality brands of cameras. Regardless of the fact that there are also various companies like Pentax or Sony, Nikon and Canon are believed to be the best DSLR for wedding photography 2017 if to talk about characteristics and functions of lenses. In the picture below, you can see my pick of the best wedding photography cameras.

Wedding photo editing services from $0,14 per photo or $99 per wedding - make your wedding portraits pop.

Best Camera for Wedding Photography Canon

So, let us go into details about wedding photography equipment. If you’re going to be a wedding photographer, you’ll need the best DSLR camera for wedding photography 2016 or 2017 or mirrorless camera.

starter choice

As you get more experience in this field, you will become more comfortable with buying high end equipment. Here are some budget friendly cameras and lenses that are worth looking into.

It’s a reliable camera for wedding enthusiasts. Even though it is aimed at amateurs, it has a number of features that make it a popular option among photographers. The  model is compatible with a wide range of lenses and the price will leave you pleasantly surprised.

 

1. Canon 80D


Pros+
  • Very easy to use
  • Affortable price
  • Body is rugged and weather-sealed
  • Awesome touch focus
  • Great battery life
  • Plenty of lens choice
  • Dual Pixel Auto-Focus is better than ever
Cons-
  • No 4K vidoe support
  • Single SD card slot
  • Subject tracking when shooting through the veiwfinder is easily confused
 

 

It’s a reliable camera for wedding enthusiasts. Even though it is aimed at amateurs, it has a number of features that make it a popular option among photographers. The  model is compatible with a wide range of lenses and the price will leave you pleasantly surprised.

prof choice

2. Canon 5D Mark IV


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The Canon 5D camera proved to be high quality, reliable and stable wedding photography gear that is popular among many photographers. The series of the Canon EOS 5D is believed to be the most popular cameras nowadays, and Canon EOS 5D Mark IV has definitely become the most long-expected camera in 2016. It is designed for the amateurs and professionals. Its appearance reminds the Mark III camera, but in comparison with its predecessor, the resolution of the Full Frame matrix has grown significantly.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Hands-on Review:

The producers also managed to increase the speed of the Continuous Mode. Video recording can be performed at resolutions up to and including Ultra HD 4K. This camera also includes Dual Pixel autofocus system, an upgraded system of autofocus, support of the wireless standards Wi-Fi and NFC. For all that, the body is protected from moisture and dust. Taking into account all these facts, this camera can be called the best camera for wedding photography 2016.

3. Canon 5D Mark III


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Pros+
  • Excellent HDR mode
  • Low noise
  • Detailed and exceptionally high-resolution RAW files.
  • High tech and modern autofocus system.
  • Control set and features of video mode are highly impressive.
  • Built with magnesium alloy strong body for weather resistance.
  • Snappy as well as responsive operation.
Cons-
  • Complicated AF system
  • A bit pricey
  • Videos mode has less dynamic range.
 
 

Canon 5D Mark III has caused a real furor in the digital photography equipment world. It has impressed everyone with its wide range of capacities for photo and video shooting.

Canon - EOS 5D Mark III Introduction:

It is perfect wedding photography equipment for beginners as well as for professional photographers. With this camera, you’ll have the opportunity to shoot high-quality photos and videos, which will reproduce the natural colors under any circumstances.

 
Pros+
  • Solid build quality
  • Lots of resolution
  • Beautiful viewfinder
  • Very deep color versatility
  • Weather resistance
  • Great autofocusing capabilities
Cons-
  • Lack of Wifi
  • Can only do second curtain flash with Canon flashes
  • Not a lot of lenses can resolve 50MP very well
  • Heavy
 
 

The Canon EOS 5DS camera is famous for its ability to produce the best resolution of the photos. You can adjust the camera however you want due to its great number of customizable settings.

Introducing the Canon EOS 5DS and EOS 5DS R:

Moreover, you have an opportunity to get quick access to the adjustments you use the most often thanks to the quick control screen and different user menus. This will help you at weddings, as you’ll have to regulate the settings very fast.

Best Camera for Wedding Photography Nikon

Nikon is a famous camera brand as well, and it by no aspects concedes to the Canon. Here you will find different variants of Nikon cameras that are worth being in your photography kit.

starter choice

For avid Nikon fans out there, this model is a great choice, if you’re just starting out. The amount of handy features will simply thrill you. The pros that Nikon D7200 has clearly outweigh the cons.

 
Pros+
  • Weatherproof
  • Good image quality
  • Fast, advanced AF
  • Very accurate viewfinder
  • Absolutely packed with physical controls that keep you out of the menu system
  • No need to enable ISO expansion to access the higher sensitivities
  • Excellent battery life has improved still further since the previous generation
  • Dual cart slots
Cons-
  • Non-tilting screen
  • Initial learning curve is quite steep with so many dedicated controls
 
 

prof choice

 
Pros+
  • Full-frame 45,7MP image sensor
  • Sophisticated and proven AF system
  • 7 fps burst mode; 9 fps with battery grip
  • Sturdy, weather-sealed design
  • 4K video
  • Bluetooth and Wi-Fi
  • Nice touch screen
Cons-
  • No built-in flash
  • No more CF slot, replaced with an XQD slot
  • No GPS
  • No MODE dial (no U1, U2 or U3 instant camera-state recall modes, either)
 
 

Nikon D800 series have been considered to be studio cameras until recently. In the case of the Nikon D850, the producer has made a real breakthrough, as actually managed to combine the reportage and studio camera, what makes it the best camera for wedding photography 2017.

D850 First Impressions: Wedding Photographer, Rosita Lipari:

It has 7 fps shooting speed of the Continuous Mode, and 9 fps with the battery grip. The autofocus module is the same as in the flagship Nikon D5. And this is the 153 focus points. It also has 45,4 MP and support of shift-focus. If you’re interested, here you’ll find the first impressions of Nikon D850 from the famous wedding photographers.

D850 First Impressions: Wedding Photographer:

Moreover, the camera is equipped with an inclined touchscreen display, focus-picking function a 4K video resolution. In general, the functionality of this camera is spectacular. It is a piece of wedding photography gear that will allow you to take really unforgettable photos, and it is crucial for the weddings.

 
Pros+
  • Excellent image quality
  • Outstanding dynamic range at low ISOs
  • Good performance from the built-in flash
  • Excellent 51-point AF system
  • Excellent battery life
  • Dual card slots
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
Cons-
  • Wi-Fi remote function needs improvement
  • 1/4000s top shutter speed
  • No AF-On button
 
 

Just like series of Canon 5D cameras, Nikon D700 cameras were high in demand for any wedding photography kit. Nowadays, the Nikon D750 still remains quite popular, as this camera is impressive.

Nikon D750: Product Tour:

It will be effective for any kind of photography, as it is believed to be a multipurpose one. The camera has great characteristics, high resolution of the sensor and an amazing AF system.  In general, Nikon D750 is a great decision for your photography kit, as it will provide you with splendid functions.

 
Pros+
  • Better Image Quality
  • Nikon Skin Tones
  • More Speed: 5-7 FPS
  • Quieter
  • Electronic 1st-curtain during Live View
  • Excellent weatherproof build quality
  • Good battery life
Cons-
  • Poor Automatic White Balance
  • Lacks WiFi
 
 

Take into account that Nikon D810 will work great during quiet moments of the wedding, or portrait shooting. But when it comes to the fast changing of the focal length, this piece of wedding photography gear is not the best option.

Nikon D810 Product Video:

The camera is equipped with a great mirror assembly and the shutter. The level of noise was reduced, and it’s seen in the ISO range. However, it isn’t the best wedding photography equipment if you adjust the shooting speed at 5 and 7 fps, as it’s quite slow.

Best Camera for Wedding Photography: Other Models

prof choice

 
Pros+
  • Built-in Wireless (Wi-fi)
  • Long Battery Life (610 shots)
  • Remote control with a smartphone
  • 5-axis Image Stabilization
  • Articulating Screen
  • 4K - 3840 x 2160 Max Video Resolution
  • Touch Screen
  • Environmental Sealing
Cons-
  • Heavy Body: 650g
  • Mount and certain lenses may allow for dust to get in onto the sensor
  • It isn’t as tight as the a7r III’s
 
 

Sony a7 III can be called the best camera for wedding photography 2017, as it takes all the advantages of the mirrorless camera in comparison with the DSLR cameras, and it has a wider range of capacities than other modern cameras.

Sony A7 III - Product Feature:

Nothing bad can be said about the other cameras from Sony, they are also a pretty good choice for wedding photography gear, but this one is an all-around one, and it will attract real professionals. This camera has a resolution of 24 MP, high ISO option and 10 fps shooting speed. And such speed is available when using the autofocus. The built-in optical system of image stabilization provides 5-axis stabilization. Sony a7 III is also equipped with a long-lasted battery, the 4K video resolution and many other helpful options, which make this camera an indispensable thing among the wedding photography gear.

10. Fujifilm X-Pro2


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Pros+
  • Wide range of customization controls
  • Incomparable viewfinder
  • Excellent image quality
  • Quality, inexpensive prime lenses
  • Weather resistant
  • Compact
  • Great color rendering
Cons-
  • Lacks 4K video
  • Smaller EVF than X-T1
  • Small lineup of lenses
  • Poor battery life compared to DSLR’s (180 per charge)
 
 

The size of this wedding photograph camera and its weight is the same X-Pro1, but the layout of the controls is noticeably redesigned. All the buttons on the rear panel are placed on the right side, so theoretically, it is possible to operate the camera with one hand. The main innovations are inside the device. Fujifilm X-Pro2 is an X-Trans CMOS III and a new processor X Processor Pro. The number of AF points was enlarged, now there are 273 of them. The autofocus system works really fast and efficiently. Focusing speed was doubled. Although this is not a sports reportage camera, in other cases it meets the demands of the photographers.

Fujifilm X-Pro2 x Kevin Mullins:

Are you interested in the review by the wedding photographer Kevin Mullins, concerning this camera? Watch the video below and learn why he chose this one as his wedding photography gear.

 
Pros+
  • Excellent image quality
  • Great ergonomics and build
  • Very compact for full-frame
  • Fast autofocus with great low-light capabilities
  • Very wide sensitivity range
  • Bright, accurate viewfinder
  • Stabilization, Wi-Fi and GPS in-camera
Cons-
  • No built-in flash strobe
  • Quite heavy compared to APS-C flagships
  • Slow startup and buffer clearing
  • Below-average battery life for DSLR
 
 

The Pentax K-1 is a piece of wedding photography gear that is convenient in any situation.  With its help, it will be easy to achieve high dynamic range photo and recover shadows, if it is needed. This camera is especially amazing in daylight with direct sunlight. The system of autofocus is worth mentioning.

Pentax K-1 - Full Frame, Excellence Redefined:

It works intuitively and focuses really fast. However, take into account that this camera tends to go into standby mode, and when it wakes up, it will take some time until it is ready for taking pictures. In such cases, you may miss some moments, if you want to take the photo quickly.

12. Sony Alpha A7R II


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Pros+
  • High-resolution full-frame sensor
  • In-body image stabilization
  • Dust- and moisture-resistant design
  • High-end video features including in-camera 4K recording
  • Silent mode
Cons-
  • Menu needs streamlining
  • Video record button awkwardly placed
  • Expensive
 
 

Sony Alpha a7R II is also one of the best DSLR for wedding photography 2017 produced by Sony. If you compare Alpha A7R and Alpha A7R II, you will immediately notice a number of changes. The body became larger and heavier.

Sony Alpha A7R II:

The camera supports NFC and Wi-Fi wireless modules, and the connection is done via Sony PlayMemories Camera. Sony Alpha A7R II - equipped with the first full-frame BSI CMOS matrix with backlight, without a low-pass filter, which in combination with a resolution of 42.4 megapixels gives excellent clarity at an image density of 350 dots per inch. The shooting speed is 5f / s, which makes this camera really valuable wedding photography equipment.

13. Fujifilm XT-2


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Thinking over the wedding photography gear, you should pay attention to the Fujifilm XT-2 camera, as it is an excellent decision as well.

Fujifilm XT-2 Promotional Video (4K Version):

You can take experiment with different functions and settings. It’s a great camera that will please any wedding photographer, starting with beginners and ending with the professionals.

Best Wedding Lenses for Photographers

Quality lenses are your key to successful shooting. It is advisable to use the 24-70mm f/2.8 lens. And this is only a half of the two necessary lens photography kit for the wedding shooting.

starter choice

1. Canon 50mm F1.8
STM Lens


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2. Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G Lens


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prof choice

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


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4. Nikon  AF-S 24-70mm NIKKOR F2.8G ED


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These lenses will suit perfectly for shooting the whole wedding party on the stage, for taking photos of the newlyweds during the ceremony and important details as well as for common full-length pictures. The wide aperture of this lens will enable you to take beautiful photos in the hall, a wedding chapel, or even at home.

For your collection of wedding photography gear, you’ll definitely need a wide angle zoom lens. You won’t be able to manage without it while shooting the wedding party and the ceremony with the whole family and all the guests. But remember that not all the weddings occur in large ceremony halls. It is better to complement your wedding photography gear with a 50mm lens for shooting in the halls, as well as with lens of 11 mm focal length to be able to take the photos in small places.

5. Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8


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6. Canon 11-24mm f/2.8


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The prime lenses are must-have in your wedding photography gear. With their help, you’ll get splendid sincere photos in low light and HD video. They are also ideal for taking the common formal portrait photos without flash. You’ll have no difficulties in using them, and moreover, they won’t occupy much space in your bag for the wedding photography gear.

7. Nikon  AF-S NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G ED


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8. Canon  EF
50mm F1.4 USM


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What is the wedding photography gear without some macro lenses? During the wedding, it’s important to capture every detail, such as flowers, rings, clothes and even wedding licenses. A lot of macro lenses can also act as a portrait lens, as they often have a perfect focal length.

9. Nikon  AF-S 105mm VR Micro NIKKOR F2.8 IF-ED


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10. Canon  EF 100mm F2.8 Macro USM


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Best Light for Wedding Photographers

Each professional photographer has his style of photography. Therefore, the flash setting is an individual choice. The ideal option for a photographer is the four flash units for lighting settings. If you do not have this wedding photography equipment, then you need to have at least two flash units with a backup. This copy can be used for three-light portraits. Here is a wedding photography equipment checklist, which I would like to recommend.

starter choice

Although great light is crucial for any wedding photographer, the beginner’s lighting kit won’t include fancy flashes, monolights or softboxes for many reasons. A single flash, like Neewer NW-670 TTL Flash Speedlite will suffice.

1. Neewer NW-670 TTL Flash Speedlite


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professional choice

 

Flash is one of the main elements of a photography kit. But you should have several good batteries with a minimum of 500 charges each and quality chargers. The success of your photo sessions will depend on flash greatly. 

Small Location Monolights and Leds

Monolights are high-powered flashes with built-in modeling lights. Your wedding photography kit should include a battery charger, a reflector, and several heads. Monolight is most often used for portrait photos. Profoto flash for wedding photography equipment is one of the best, thanks to the fast performance.

 

Softboxes

Softboxes are also extremely helpful, especially when it comes to capturing the dancefloor. Keep in mind that the closer they are to the subject-the better. When purchasing a softbox remember that it should be portable. Here are the options I recommend:

1. Julius Studio 20 x 28 Inch Soft Box


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2. Neewer 700W 24x24 Inches Softbox 


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Wireless Radio Triggers

Necessary wedding photography equipment is Radio slaves. You can control the camera and flashes remotely. It fits any type of camera. I’d like to show you the most high-quality radio slaves that should be in your photography kit:

 

The Best Drone for Wedding Photographers

Drones are widely used nowadays, mainly for photographing real estate and landscape. I recommend watching a video with a popular photographer from France who will show how delightfully photos can look, taken with the help of the drones.

DJI Profiles – Wedding Photography Reimagined:

Drone, like one of your wedding photography equipment - this is an opportunity to rise to a new professional level and increase your pricing. Drones are very popular and demanded; you will have a large number of orders, despite its cost.

professional choice

1. DJI Inspire 1 Pro Drone


DJI Inspire 1 Pro Drone

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DJI Inspire 1 Pro Drone is the best drone for wedding photography. It gives you the ability to make unique and incredibly beautiful pictures. Such works can be much more expensive than the ordinary photo shoot. This quadcopter can fly for a distance of up to 1 km for 15 minutes. In this case, it is good to have a spare battery. The 16-megapixel best camera for beginner wedding photographer makes it possible to take 60 frames per second.

2. DJI Phantom 4 Pro


DJI Phantom 4 Pro

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This quadcopter can fly for 30 minutes and correctly track the objects.

OSS makes the drone flights safer, which improves the quality of photos and the video session. Best wedding camera 2017 of the drone has 12 megapixels and 2.8 camera lens, which makes it possible to take stunning shots.

This is the best option for a small and powerful drone. It will give you the opportunity to realize many ideas and open up your creativity. A small size complicates its management. Advantages of the drone: range of the transmission system - 7 kilometers, 5 vision sensors and a stabilized camera for clarity of the image. These features make the drone one of the best.

The Best Camera Bag for Wedding Photographers

There are five most popular styles when it comes to camera bags.

Most Popular Camera Bag Styles:

  • Camera backpacks
  • Rolling camera bags
  • Sling camera bags
  • Shoulder/Messenger camera bags
  • Camera bag inserts

I have reviewed such variants for you:

starter choice

As a beginner, you’ll still have to carry all your gear, but there’s obviously no need to buy a huge or expensive camera bag, that a professional would own, as you won’t have that much  of equipment at first. Ritz Gear SLR/DSLR Camera Backpack is an optimal choice for newbies.

1. Ritz Gear SLR/DSLR Camera Backpack


Ritz Gear SLR/DSLR Camera Backpack

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professional choice

2. LowePro Tactic 450 AW


LowePro Tactic 450 AW

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LowePro Tactic 450 AW is not only an elegant but also a compact camera backpack with excellent weather protection. It is a very convenient backpack for professional photographers. The camera bag is a universal, comfortable backpack, which has four access points. Here you will find a compartment for 6-8 lenses, a compartment for a laptop with protection. You can adjust the SlipLock as you wish. Besides, there is a compartment for bottle and tripod. The ProTactic 450 AW is best DSLR camera bag for travel.

3. Manfrotto Professional Roller Bag 50


Manfrotto Professional Roller Bag 50

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If you find camera backpack not super convenient, then I recommend a rolling camera bag, namely Manfrotto Professional Roller Bag 50. It is very roomy, with many compartments, so you don’t need to use additional bags. Your back will feel comfortable with this stylish camera backpack.

Manfrotto Professional Roller Bag 50 is one of the best camera bags for travel. It has a compartment for two digital SLRs, a zoom lens, two flashes, a laptop, a tripod and for additional lenses. In this bag, you will find a lot of pockets for documents and other necessary things. This bag meets the standards of hand luggage. It has three handles for your comfort. If you are planning long-term travel, then this bag is ideal for you.

4. Altura Photo Camera Sling Backpack


Altura Photo Camera Sling

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Sling camera bags are perfect if you need to store a small amount of equipment. Altura Photo Camera Sling Backpack is the best camera sling bag for DSLR and Mirrorless Cameras.

It is the best camera bag for hiking. It is small, light and compact bag that has the special compartments for the camera and accessories. Of course, this bag has a separate pocket for documents.

5. Think Tank Photo Retrospective 30 - Shoulder / Messenger Camera Bags:


Think tank bag

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Think Tank Photo Retrospective 30 is the best camera messenger bag. This kelly boy bag provides quick access to the camera, which gives you the ability to save your working time. The camera bag is worn on one shoulder which is rather convenient.

A very comfortable kelly boy bag with an average-size pocket for the tablet. This bag is suitable for DSLR cameras. Pockets are easily accessible and are opened noiselessly, which is ideal for a wedding photo shoot. It is equipped with a very handy strap.

6. F-Stop ICU - Camera Bag Inserts


f-stop - Pro Large ICU bag

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Many photographers who travel do not choose a separate camera bag but use an ordinary one, supplementing it with the bag insert or a wrap. Camera bag inserts are a safe organizer for your photography kit, which protects it from external damage. F-Stop ICU Series is the best camera bag insert for wedding photographers.

This insert has many pockets for the arrangement of the photo equipment. Pockets are separated by soft dividers, which are adjustable to your wedding photography equipment. All the compartments of the bag are waterproof.

Other Pieces of Wedding Photography Kit

Tripod / monopod must be in the list of wedding photography equipment for beginners. Of course, you can do without a tripod, but if you make a group photo, then it can significantly speed up the process of taking pictures.

Reflector – must be in wedding photography equipment checklist. It is used for portrait photography, and also for photo shoots of wedding rings, flowers, and other accessories. The reflector of a 5-in-1type will give the opportunity to create conditions for a favorable photo session, because it has, white, black, silver and gold sides, as well as a diffuser.

Spare batteries should be in your photography kit. And the more spare batteries you have, the more confident you can be. Usually, wedding photo sessions take a whole day, and you take pictures almost without breaks. Each camera must have minimum 2-3 spare batteries. It is also important to take the charger and spare batteries for flashes and other accessories.

Additional memory cards are absolutely necessary. Modern cameras have two memory card slots. I recommend using one slot for a backup. Sometimes the camera malfunctions, so that backup will save your pictures. You must have at least three large memory cards.

Super staples are the wedding photography equipment that holds cameras, lights, and the rest of the photography kit. If you have no assistant, super staplers are the must. You do not need to take a tripod or other stand additionally. It is used to also to fix lights or flash. Such a tool is really helpful.

Camera strap is a really reasonable investment. You will have to capture lots of important moments, and it is really great to give your hands some rest. There is a great variety of camera straps, so choose the one you really like.

Hopefully, thanks to our comprehensive guide you now know what kinds of wedding photography gear are classed as essential and what you should be packing in your stylish camera backpack. Keep in mind, and if you are a skilled professional, you can compensate for the lack of expensive wedding photography equipment with your knowledge.

 

 


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Hi there, I'm Ann Young - a photographer, photo retoucher and of course, journalist. Here on FixThePhoto blog you can find all of my reviews, photography and photo editing tips, pricing guides, and photography experiments.

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