Wedding Photography Equipment

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.

equipment carried by wedding photographers

“bride” captured by Yıldırım Danışman

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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5 responses to “Wedding Photography Equipment”

  1. Keri says:

    Good list containing pretty much everything I expected apart from DVDs and UV filters. Most people i know ditch DVDs due to their unreliability and slow write speed, you can’t go wrong with a handful of USB drives :-)

    You are the first professional photographer i’ve ever heard say they use UV filters, everyone else i’ve spoken to/read articles by goes by the rule that the lens cost so much money there’s no point putting an extra piece of glass in front of the lens that wasn’t originally designed to be there. I’m assuming they are >£100 filters so high quality but still a damn site cheaper glass than the £1000 worth that is behind it.

  2. Alex M Souza says:

    A very good list.
    Currently in my country professionals of this kind of photography prefer to use the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM II.
    Regards.

  3. YRaj says:

    A most thorough list, maybe too much but better to be over prepared than under prepared, right?

    I agree with the UV filter. It is really for protection…having a $1000 lens protected during the hustle during an event shoot…my equipment gets a bit of rough handling sometimes, not intentionally…but there are times you just have to be ready for a shot and in tight spots, you can tend to bump into stuff.

    I would add extension cords and chargers…and more speedlights possibly, I am currently working on adding some more. Wedding photography is tough but you get to share and capture the special moments and expressions of a precious moment in someone’s life.

    Good luck and thanks for the info.

  4. Len Pugh says:

    What a ridiculous list! No one photographer could carry all of that around during a wedding, and if some equipment is left in the boot of the car what are you going to do when you need something, tell everyone to wait while you run with all your equipment back to the car to get some more?! You have to work fast at weddings, the proceedings won’t wait for you if you haven’t got the right bit with you.

    Do you really need 2 tripods and a monopod?
    Do you really need Stofen diffusers on your speed lights as well as a Strobies flash diffuser and a Gary Fong light sphere. This is overkill.

    It seems to me that you are an equipment freak, who does not know what bit to use for he best so that you have to try everything.

  5. Wendy says:

    100 GB of memory cards? Wow! I thought I shot a lot filling 6 GB in 6 days at my county fair! How in blazes do you sort out what’s worth printing?

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