Looking back at my first wedding event, I am so grateful I wasn’t the only photographer available. I had with me my canon 600D (which is not bad for a start) and my kit lens (18-55mm) and 270 EX II speedlite (and that was where I got it wrong). The lighting in the room was bad and I was really struggling.
By the time I looked at the other photographer’s equipment, I knew I wasn’t ready for the business. My only consolation was that she had been in the business before I started.
But that taught me to “Do what I can, with what I have, right where I am”.
So, as a wedding photographer what do you need?
1. Camera and backup camera: We all know that photography gears are expensive but for a start, as a canon user I would suggest Canon 60D or Canon 70D then as the business grows, it can serve as a backup camera and then you can go for Canon 5D Mark II or Canon 5D Mark III. Having a backup camera is important because you can have two different lenses for different purposes on both cameras and not have to worry about changing lenses.
2. Lenses: Base on experience and exposure, the key lenses every wedding photographer must invest in include Canon 50 f/1.4 but if you can’t afford that, 50 f/1.8 would still serve you well, 85 f/1.8, 24-70 f/2.8 and 70-200 f/2.8. Some wedding photographers also include Canon 35 f/1.4 but I haven’t used one so I can’t say much on it.
Canon 50mm: Is a focal length that every photographer must have. The field of view it captures closely approximates to human vision (on a full frame camera). It works well for detail shots, getting ready shots, all sorts of portraits, first dance, and dancing shots. It is so versatile and it works well in any situation.
Canon 85mm: It is a very fantastic portrait lens. It’s super flattering, and does a great job at isolating your subject.
Canon 24-70mm: If you are into zooms, though a short zoom lens, it is a good one to cover up for a lot of prime lenses.
Canon 70-200mm: This lens is important for wedding photography, especially for ceremony shots. There’s so much emotion going on, it’s the perfect time to really focus on their faces. The long end of the 70-200 lets you do this, with enough flexibility from zooming that you can get the right framing even if you’re limited in where you can stand.
a. Flash: After my first wedding experience, a flash was the next thing I invested in. I got Canon 430EX and it has really served me but if you got enough cash, would recommend you go for Canon 580EX.
b. Flash diffuser: There are situations where you can’t bounce flash (like outside, or extremely tall ceilings) flash diffusers help soften up direct flash.
c. Memory cards: You can’t have enough of memory cards. It is better to have enough than to run out of cards.
d. Camera bags: I use a Lowepro Fastpack 250 Backpack Camera bag and it contains my flash, 3 lenses , my DSLR with a lens attached to it and also a 15’inch laptop. So this serves as both a camera bag and a laptop bag.
e. Tripod: This is useful for shots that require slow shutter speeds. it can also be used for detail shots in a dark reception hall, or photos of the venue at night.
Before you start getting worried, no one is asking you to have all this before you can start the business. When I started, I didn’t have all this and after two years into the business I still don’t have all the gears at least, no backup camera and no 85mm and 70-200mm lenses. Grow your business and don’t run into debts.
I have learnt to make the most of my available gears.
Great day ahead.