[Wedding Photography Equipment]
Wedding Photography Equipment
One of the questions I get asked the MOST is what equipment I choose to use at weddings— so I am FINALLY taking the time to sit down and hash it all out.
Before I get started, I think it’s important for me to preface a few things:
1) EVERY photographer is different and has different styles and utilizes different types of equipment. What I share below is simply what works best for me. There may be some weddings I use other equipment, but 99% of the time, this is all you’ll find with me on a wedding day!
2) I want to make sure to clarify that I’ve been at this gig for a long time now. It took me a long time to save and purchase all of this gear. I did NOT buy it all at once and in fact, I rented equipment for a long long time before I owned it all. There is NOTHING wrong with that— renting is great and a solid way NOT to go into debt over buying equipment. (I either rent local or from borrowlenses.com)
Below you’ll find the following categories:
Feel free to scroll & feel free to ask questions!
I shoot with dual Nikon D750s. There are a million reasons why I chose this make and model, but I’ll try to be brief knowing you can ask questions for anything further!
I have shot with both Nikon and Canon but ultimately have chosen to shoot solely Nikon for the following reasons:
1) Durability. I have found that Nikons tend to be significantly more durable than Canon (I mean Disney World uses Nikon and you know those cameras go through a lot, ha!) I do a lot of outdoor adventuring and I wanted to make sure the camera(s) that I invest in can withstand.
2) Colors and tones. Right out of the camera, I found that Nikons have a rich, warm tones which means LESS time editing afterwards.
3) Dynamic range. The dynamic range is essentially the cameras ability to gather up the information/data from the shadows and the highlights within the same photo. In my experience, the exposure on the Nikon is spot on, whereas with Canon, there was more post processing to fix under/over exposing in the same photo.
Ultimately, I really won’t debate whether Canon or Nikon are better or worse, because they are both incredible brands and I’ve had success with both. This is simply just showing the reasons I’ve chosen to go the direction that I have!
Here are some of the reasons I’ve specifically chosen the Nikon D750:
1) Low light capability. This camera is a BEAST with low lighting and rarely adds “noise” despite a high ISO, which is super ideal for wedding receptions when you’re avoiding OCF and don’t have a lot of light to work with.
2) File size. The 24 mp that the D750 offers is still GREAT without going overboard on file size. Some of the other Nikons have twice the mp and are twice (or more) in file size, requiring bigger (or more) memory cards and external hard drives for back ups.
3) Body size. For me personally, and especially since I shoot with TWO cameras, the size and weight of the D750 works really well for me. Some of the other full frame Nikon cameras are HUGE in my hands and really heavy to carry (especially with big lenses!)
4) Video capability. Since this is specifically a post for photo I won’t go into the analytics, but since Clay and I also do a lot of video, I wanted to make sure to have a Nikon that could get some beautiful cinematography and this camera does an incredible job.
5) Price. I truly believe the D750 was the best bang for my buck. Especially because I bought two of these suckers brand new!
Make sure to do the research and check it out for yourself! Click below to see more details of the D750 and the battery grip I shoot with. Let me know if you have any questions!
Check out the Nikon D750
Check out the Nikon Battery Grip
1. Nikon 50mm 1.4
For the lenses I bring along to weddings, first things first: The nifty 50! You can buy this lens in three different f/stops (1.2, 1.4 and 1.8).
If you’re just starting out and are looking for a new lens to shoot with, this is the #1 lens I (and most photographers) will recommend. I would encourage you to start out with the 1.8 f/stop, as it will be a more cost effective purchase for both Nikon and Canon users, but still offers a beautiful depth of field.
If you’re looking to go pro, definitely consider purchasing the 1.2 or 1.4 f/stop. I choose the 1.4 (it’s a little cheaper) for many reasons that mainly have to do with qualms with the 1.2, but for the sake of keeping things concise I want to focus on the focal length of the 50mm.
This lens is like a straight up swiss army knife. You can use it at each point of the wedding day. It’s a great lens to use for details, getting ready shots, ceremony, and especially for portraits!
Check out more details & a photo taken with this lens below!
Check out the Nikon 50mm 1.4
2. Sigma 35mm 1.4
This is absolutely my MOST used lens. As you saw above, I shoot every wedding with two camera bodies and this is the only lens that NEVER leaves one of my camera bodies.
It gives a wider angle, so if I’m ever in a situation where I need to get the full picture or want to get more details/scenery/etc. this lens is perfect.
Quick example: when shooting newborns in the hospital, sometimes the space can get tight— this lens is a life saver for still getting the full picture, even in that tight space.
I also can’t be without this lens at any point during portraits, too! It’s truly such a versatile lens and I’ve been calling it my favorite for 5 years now.
I chose to get the Sigma Art version of this lens for many reasons, but ultimately it was more affordable and comparable. Nikon and Canon also make this lens, so it’s really up to preference.
Check out the Sigma 35mm
3. Nikon 85mm 1.8
This lens made it’s permanent way into my wedding line up because of the incredible bokeh/creamy background it creates.
I love having it for smaller ceremonies because it allow for a closer shot, without having to get up in people’s space.
I use it mostly for the ceremony & bride and groom portraits.
Check out the Nikon 85mm 1.8
4. Nikon 105mm 2.8
The final lens I always bring with me to weddings is the Nikon 105mm.
I believe it’s important for every wedding photographer to have a longer lens with them in case you’re not able to get close to the front of the ceremony AND to grab some good candids at the reception without getting all up in people’s dancing space!
I chose the 105mm from personal preference. I had been deciding between the MASSIVE 70-300, the 135, and the 105.
Ultimately, the 70-300 was way too expensive for how LITTLE I needed it/utilized that much of a focal length. It’s also incredibly heavy. I do want to mention that I still rent this lens every once in awhile when I’m shooting a ceremony and I have to stay in the choir loft (for example) but I just didn’t use it enough to justify the purchase.
For the 135 vs. 105, I just felt the quality of photo I get with the 105mm is always consistent. I am also able to get some really pretty bokeh from the 105 that I just couldn’t get with the 135. That’s really it!
Check out the Nikon 105mm 2.8
I shoot with two SB-700 Nikon Flashes and ONLY USE Enloop rechargeable batteries.
I can’t say enough good things about these batteries. Believe me when I say: not all batteries are created equal. I use to roll through disposable batteries like crazy through a wedding day— but this set of two easily lasts me an entire wedding. HIGHLY highly recommend these puppies.
Check out the Nikon SB-700
Check out Enloop Rechargeable Batteries
This was one of the BEST investments I ever made in regards to my camera gear.
If you shoot with two cameras, I can’t recommend a double harness enough. This has saved my back and neck immeasurable pain!
I had this one custom made and can’t find the same designer, but i’ll link below the most popular one in the photog world that’s essentially the same as what I shoot with!
Leather Double Harness Camera Strap
Okay, here’s one of my quick “hacks” for wedding day photography!
When taking detail shots, you should be using a macro lens, however, if like me, you don’t want to bring a whole different lens for macro photography, you can buy these which are macro filters!
They are seriously amazing and make for some dreamy photos. Feel free to ask me any questions about them!
Check out the Macro Filters
Another hack is to buy a WATER PROOF case for your memory cards! I have a case just for CF cards, and this one for primarily SD cards and three CF cards.
These have worked beautifully for me and have kept my memory cards completely dry during some heavy rain.
Check out Water Proof Memory Card Case
OKAY, last items you’ll find in my camera bag on a wedding day?! My Swell water bottle & Larabars. It’s always important to hydrate and have a solid snack just in case the day moves fast and you find yourself 4 hours past lunch!
Thanks to all of you for tuning in. I hope this has been helpful and informative!