Every now and then I get asked what exactly I shoot with and what do I bring to a wedding, so I thought I’d do a helpful little blog post of what’s in my kit bag.
So I thought I’d start with the obvious which is the kit I actually shoot with on a wedding day. The lenses I bring with me are:
Canon 35mm 1.4 L Series
Canon 50mm 1.2 L Series
Canon 85mm 1.2 L Series
Canon 100mm 2.8 L Series
Canon 17-40mm F4 L Series
My 35mm pretty much stays on one of my camera bodies all day, I could shoot an entire wedding on my 35mm if I really wanted to. This is the lens that’s almost solely used for things like couple portraits and confetti shots. I generally don’t use any other lens for those shots.
My 50mm probably doesn’t get as much use as it should, mainly because I stick to my 35mm a lot. It occasionally comes out for individual portraits and couple shots though. It’s always in my bag anyway as a great back up lens to the 35mm.
My 85mm is my heaviest lens by far and it is such a beautiful piece of glass. This lens also generally stays on one of my camera bodies for the majority of the day. It’s great for candid shots as I can usually stay far enough away from the subject that they don’t know they’re being photographed. This lens is super sharp and goes all the way down to F1.2, which, if you know anything about photography, is beautiful but also slightly impractical.
My other lenses, the 100mm and the 17-40mm generally get used at every wedding for some very specific shots. The 100mm is a wonderful macro lens, so this is a brilliant lens to use for any close up shots. It usually gets used during prep, to get any shots of jewellery and later on in the day if I do a shot of the wedding rings. The 17-40 is really in my bag for one reason, for big group shots. I generally only use prime lenses because they’re sharper than zoom lenses (also there’s the argument that using zooms is lazy!). Having this lens in my bag is incredibly handy though as often there isn’t enough space for me to back up to fit everyone in frame with my 35mm so I just need a lens that’s that extra bit wider. After the group shots it gets put back in my bag and stays there because I refuse to go as high as F4 for any other reason.
I have two camera bodies on me as standard at every single wedding. These are two Canon 5D Mark iii’s. I usually have a wide lens on one and a tight lens on the other. They also act as a back up for one another, if one was to fail mid shoot.
Batteries, I always have more than enough on me and they’re always all charged. I only use official Canon batteries as these generally last longer than any knock off brands. I get through more batteries in winter than in summer, cold can drain batteries quicker and if I have to use flash this will use the batteries quicker too. I also keep my battery chargers in my bag just in case.
I have three flash guns on me at all times. I’m primarily a natural light photographer but I will use flash when I really need to. This usually comes out during the dancing!
Spider Holster: This is the funky thing I have around my waist at every wedding. I have something attached the to bottom of my cameras that means I can slide them into this holster. I also have a lens holder and a memory card/battery holder on the holster too. The spider holster is an absolute life saver for my back. My cameras are pretty heavy so carrying them on my hips rather than my shoulders makes complete sense. There’s also the added benefit of being told I look like Lara Croft/a cowboy at a lot of weddings!
BITS & BOBS
I always keep some paracetamol in my bag just in case! I can’t run the risk of getting a headache while shooting!
A water bottle, it’s amazing how many photographers forget to actually drink on a wedding day! Wedding hangovers are a real thing. I always try and carry a bottle of water on me to prevent them.
Cereal bars, these are always handy to keep me going, usually after the ceremony.
Ear plugs, for when the dancing starts. It’s definitely not very rock n roll but hopefully this way I won’t be deaf by the time I’m 40!
And lastly, cash for the bar. I’ve shot at a few venues out in the sticks that don’t accept card so cash is always handy for buying drinks through the day.