I was shooting an ‘out of area’ wedding last week (to me that is a wedding more than 20 miles from my home), went to pick up my camera bag and nearly had a hernia. It weighed so much that it reminded me of being back in the Army with your life on your back. And that is just what my camera bag is – everything I need to shoot a wedding, or portrait or just people when I am away. A portable studio in fact ready for every eventuality.
As a wedding photographer, make sure you have the equipment required in your bag, or in the car, to cope for any shot you may want!
Typical Wedding Photographer’s Kit (Canon User):
- Canon EOS 5D Mark II with 24-70mm L f2.8 (with UV filter)
- Canon EOS 5D Mark II with 70-200mm L f2.8 IS (with UV filter)
- Two Canon 580EXII speedlights, with Stofen diffusers and mounts
- Two spare 5D Mark II batteries
- Four sets of rechargeable batteries for the speedlights
- One set of graduated filters for those (less and less used) creative moments
- 4 large waterproof plastic see though bags – just in case it rains
- Gary Fong light sphere attached to the outside of the bag
- Strobies flash diffuser in a case attached to the outside of the bag
- Manfrotto monopod strapped to the outside of the bag
- One small bag containing ‘hair scrunch’ with sparkly bits and champagne cork for adding to the ring shots. (Makes them a bit more interesting!)
- Manuals for both camera and flash units – well you never know!
- Leatherman tool in a case on the shoulder strap
- Several climbing karabiners on the bag – come in handy when you need to secure stuff to tables / chairs
- One blower
- Two cleaning cloths
- Bottle of cleaning fluid 3 sensor swabs
- 100Gb of memory cards
- 320Gb external HD
- 100-business cards
- 25 marketing brochures (for those guerrilla marketing moments!)
- 5 x 1Gb USB memory sticks
- 2 x 5Gb DVD-RW
- DVD marker pen
- Hi-Vis vest
- Roll of gaffer tape on the outside
- Lightweight tripod strapped to outside of the bag
- Manfrotto tripod and joystick ball head on the outside of the bag
Small vanity case – I always carry hairspray, hair grips, brush, comb etc. It is much easier to make sure the bride looks perfect before the photograph is taken than in Photoshop afterwards.
Laptop Case – Sounds obvious but it makes good sense to back up the photographs as and when I can during the day. I also carry a portable 320Gb Hard Drive giving me three sets of the wedding photographs. Set 1 is on the memory cards. Set 2 is on the portable HD and set 3 is on the laptop. Needless to say all three are usually in different place with the memory cards kept in my pockets all day. I also use the laptop to show off a selection of quickly edited photographs to the happy couple and their guests.
Data Projector – if there is space at the venue then this is a great tool. Connected to the laptop I can show off the wedding photographs, usually during the evening, to guests ad evening guests.
It may seem a lot but as a professional it makes sense to ensure you have all the kit you will need rather than saying “Sorry – I need xxxx for that shot and it is in the studio.”
About the Author:
Andrew Miller has been taking photographs for many years and shooting weddings and taking wedding photographs for nearly 15 years. He is a preferred supplier to the Cwrt Bleddyn in Usk so if you are thinking about getting married.
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