Coming up with a comprehensive wedding photography checklist can sometimes be a head-scratcher for every professional. Usually, most photographers take the easy way out by getting substandard gear without even considering the consequences when the wedding date comes. After years of shooting weddings, I’ve prepared a list of photography equipment you should have for that big day.
This right here, folks, is the very heart of a wedding photographer’s kit – the camera body. What you should go for is a camera with blazing autofocus speed and can deliver images in any lighting condition. At the same time, a rugged body that can take abuse and intuitive ergonomics are also a must-have in a professional wedding camera.
Now, there are a lot of options out there in the market that can satisfy your needs. Whether it’s a traditional DSLR or a mirrorless camera, you won’t run out of competent options.
And don’t forget to get yourself a backup camera too. You’ll never know when your current body might fail so it’s imperative to have a camera ready to back you up in your time of need.
A Set of Lenses
Normal: This kind of lens is a default choice for your wedding photography checklist and the one you’re gonna use the most. Anything that falls within the 35 to 50mm range is considered normal and it’s best for capturing a wide range of wedding images without any distortion. With this lens in your arsenal, you can be ready to shoot portraits, details, and all the important moments right away.
Telephoto: Normal lenses can sometimes be limiting during a ceremony wherein you can’t get closer to your subject. When that occurs, a fast 85mm or a 70-200mm lens is your best bet to capture those shots without any intrusion on your part. Plus, you can be sure to capture flattering portraits that isolate your subject from the background with utmost clarity.
Wide: Of all the lenses a wedding photographer can use, a wide one is utilized the least. Although that’s the case, it doesn’t mean it’s less useful during a wedding. In fact, a 24mm prime lens can come in handy when you need to shoot large groups of people in tight spaces. Better consider this one if you want to cover all the bases when it comes to the essential equipment for wedding photography.
Macro: No matter what everyone says, a macro lens is a must-have for professional wedding photographers and their creative process. How can you ever give justice to that large diamond engagement ring or the intricate details of their wedding invitation if you don’t have a macro lens in your bag?
Flash: What would you do if you need to shoot wedding reception images when the sun has gone down and the lights are horrendous? Get a flash for your wedding photography checklist, that’s what. Once you’ve got one, set it properly, and go about your job in covering the big day.
That’s right. With a flash, you need not worry about bad light or the lack of it anymore. Just make sure to bring extra batteries so you won’t shoot in the dark.
Slave Flashes: Sometimes, images shot with a flash can be far from what you’ve envisioned. When that happens, get some some additional flashes you can slave with a wireless trigger and an assistant to help you out. You can get more creative with your shots and have more options when the lights go dim and people are dancing the night away.
Video Light: What may seem unconventional is rather practical when you get to use this. Just imagine having a steady and reliable source of light to illuminate your subjects softly. Compared to a flash, images shot with a video light look more natural.
Memory Cards: Get the card with the biggest amount of data you can afford. It’s always better to have too much memory than running out of it during a crucial time. Plus, choose a card with a fast read and write speed so you won’t need to wait that long when copying your files.
External Hard Drive: Backing up images is a responsibility every professional constantly does in his/her wedding photography checklist. And there’s no better tool to do that than a reliable external hard drive. Make sure to get the largest external hard drive you can afford. More space is always the best.
Post-Processing Computer or Laptop
When gathering wedding photography tips, using a competent computer or laptop is one of the top answers for every professional. That’s because you’re gonna use this machine to sort and edit countless images. It’s important to choose a laptop or computer that can handle those tasks so get one with a good processor and large amounts of RAM for your needs.
If the professional wedding camera and the lenses are the main attraction of your equipment, the batteries, chargers, light stands, bags, cases, and cleaning materials are the support system it direly needs. Having multiple batteries will save you the hassle of charging during a wedding while light stands can be helpful in positioning your slave flashes for that once-in-a-lifetime shot. Furthermore, using various cleaning materials can extend the life of your gear and having a reliable wedding camera bag can of great assistance if you need to move to a new location in a moment’s notice.
Not all photographers are the same when it comes to their equipment. Some prefer one camera brand while others are staunch advocates of a specific lens that suit their shooting style. If you want to add something to our wedding photography checklist, go ahead and let us know by commenting below folks.