Photographing weddings can be a huge task. You need to capture all the special moments between the bride and groom, and their friends and families–and you only have one chance to get it right. To lessen your stress level, professional wedding photographer Moshe Zusman provides a rundown of the necessary equipment you should have in your camera bag so you can capture the best shots on the big day:
Moshe Zusman’s Wedding Gear Bag Essentials
- Canon EOS-1DX Camera Body
- Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II Lens
- Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II Lens
- Canon EF 14mm f/2.8L II Lens
- Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L Lens
- Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Lens
- Canon EOS 5D Mark III Camera Body (backup)
- Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT
- Canon ST-E3-RT Transmitter
- PocketWizard Plus III
- PocketWizard FlexTT5
- Impact Large Clip Clamp
- Harbor Digital Colored Gels
- SanDisk CompactFlash Memory Cards (16 or 32 GB)
- Extra Batteries
Recommended Lenses for Wedding Photography
To ensure he has the proper equipment for any situation, Zusman carries five different lenses to shoot weddings.
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II
This versatile lens captures everything from wide shots to close-up portraits, making it a good choice to keep on the camera when photographing the couple and the bridal party.
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II
This longer lens is the one to choose when you need to capture the couple’s special moments at the alter, but need to stay at the back of the venue. The extensive zoom allows you to capture great portraits from a distance, so you don’t have to worry about invading the couple’s privacy when you snap a shot of them kissing.
Canon EF 14mm f/2.8L II
This super wide-angle lens is an excellent choice for photographing crowds, and Zusman suggests using it during the reception. A wide-angle lens is great for capturing the entire set up of the reception room, even if you’re in close quarters.
Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L
You knew the ol’ “nifty 50” would make an appearance in this list, right? Perfect for capturing portraits, this lens allows you to shoot with a shallow depth of field to create an image that really focuses on the subject.
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L
This macro lens is exactly what you need to capture all the little things that make each wedding unique. From the topper on the cake to the sparkle of the wedding ring, the 100mm allows you to take crystal-clear photos of the smallest details.
Zusman’s Tips for a Successful Wedding Photo Session
Using the right lens for the situation is half the battle, but there’s more to creating the ideal image than simply snapping the picture. Zusman shared a few tips to help you capture the memories the couple will want to remember forever.
- Don’t leave home without a backup camera. Regardless of whether you’re a single or multi-camera photographer, you should always pack a secondary camera in case of emergency.
- Use a flash that can be mounted elsewhere. A camera-mounted flash is good, but it may not always give you the exact style of lighting you want. Using a separable flash that can be triggered by a transmitter will open a whole new world of lighting options for you.
- Small tools can have a huge impact. Zusman loves his speedlight clamp because it is such a versatile piece of equipment. Attaching to virtually everything, the clip clamp can provide extra light from a myriad of places, allowing you to exercise more creativity in your shots.
- Balance light temperature with gels. Many weddings take place indoors, so you can never count on lighting that is consistent with the daylight temperature of your flash. Rather than changing all the light bulbs in the venue, you can make your flash temperature match the indoor lighting by attaching a gel, resulting in a unified lighting temperature that will give you a better overall image.
The wedding day can be a lot of fun, but it can also be stressful for the bride and groom. As a photographer, you have the ability to help them relax, have fun, and capture those happy moments.
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