Best camera equipment for shooting weddings – an overview of what’s in my camera bag
One of the most frequently asked questions I got from my students during my photography classes is: what kind of equipment do you use for shooting weddings? In this post, I want to talk about what’s in my camera bag and why I choose to use that gear.
I always carry in my bag 2 full frame Nikon camera bodies: at the moment I have a Nikon d850 and a Nikon d750, two of the best cameras on the market. Even if a lot of photographers are switching to mirrorless cameras I still prefer to shoot with my DSLR. One of the reasons I still don’t want to switch to mirrorless cameras it’s their size: they almost disappear in my hand! (I have to say that mine is quite big!). In addition, I am a romantic person and I still love to hear the mirror sound when I shoot… For the next wedding season, I am planning to bring with me a film camera with some rolls. I am pretty sure that I will bring my Canon AE-1, that is the camera that belonged to my grandfather Rolando.
In my bag, there are 4 lenses: 24mm, 35mm, 50mm, and 85mm. For the next wedding season, I am planning to carry also my 105mm macro for ring shots and details shot. They are all prime lenses and there are several reasons why I prefer prime lenses instead of zoom lenses:
While shooting I have my left hand free, in this way I can communicate with my subjects using gestures. Every lens and camera is well balanced so I am very comfortable while shooting.
Final image quality is much better than zoom lenses. It is well known that prime lenses have better quality because there is not extra glass moving inside for zoom.
If I want to take a different shot I am forced to move my feet. This is a plus for my photographic approach because I can focus on subjects and on framing. In the beginning, I had only zoom lenses and I realized that I was always pulling the focal length back and forth, in search for the right shot: while doing this I lost the right moment to shoot. Now I choose the right focal length in advance and the 35mm is my favorite one at the moment. I shoot 70% of every wedding with this lens in fact. At the beginning of the photoshoot, I have my 35mm mounted on my Nikon d850 and the 85mm lens on the Nikon d750. I use my 85mm mostly when I can’t get close to the subjects, especially during the ceremony. 24mm is used just for the group shots with many people and 50mm just sometimes during the couple portrait session.
In addition to cameras in lenses there are few other things that I always carry in my camera bag:
- A Nikon sb-700 strobe. I use strobes usually only during dancing moments with very low light. Even if I love to shoot exclusively with natural light sometimes I am forced to shoot with strobes, that is when I mount my sb-700.
- A lens cleaner and a wipe. I use the anti-static filter cleaner from Lee Filters and it works great.
- Battery charger with 4 extra batteries. You never have enough of these…
- 4 aa rechargeable batteries for strobes
- Sideburns: I personally use the one from Barbershop bags, an Italian manufacturer specialized in camera straps and bags. I have to say that this item is not properly in my camera bag because I wear it right at the beginning of the wedding day. I have to say that this item helps me a lot during the day because it allows me to rest my back and my hands from time to time without putting away cameras in the bag.
- 2 waterproof cases plenty of sd cards: like batteries, you never have enough of these!
One more special thing…
There’s another very special thing I carry in my bag for every wedding, very lightweight but much more important than every single piece of my camera gear… it’s more than 15 years of experience in shooting (not only weddings). A lot of photographers, especially the beginners, think that is all about cameras and gear and social media and promoting and branding… but it’s absolutely not like that! Good cameras and lenses help a lot, as well as a good marketing strategy, but they are not the most important thing. If you have the best camera equipment in the world but you don’t have a visual culture or any experience in shooting sounds like having a Ferrari without having a driving license, isn’t it? If you landed on this page you were probably looking for some pieces of advice for the best camera equipment for wedding… My advice is this: experience counts much more than any other thing so focus less on cameras and lenses and invest more on learning/training/shooting.