So you want to be a wedding photographer. Question is, what camera gear do you need?
To answer that, let’s take a look inside the camera bags of hundreds of top wedding photographers from around the world.
Though each of their kits is unique, learning about what equipment they use and why is a great way to start (or upgrade) your own wedding photography kit.
If you’re completely new to wedding photography and want to make it your profession, here’s something you should know: you can do a lot with very little.
Besides your camera, the most important tool to have in your bag is creativity (well, maybe a spare battery!). Remember that for the client, the most important thing is that you capture the emotions and unique moments of the day.
That said, a better quality camera will help you nail more usable shots – especially if you find yourself shooting in low-light situations or trying to capture fast-paced action.
That’s why most of the wedding photographers featured here opt for high-quality DSLRs or full-frame mirrorless cameras.
You’ll also notice that most have more than one body in their wedding photography kit. This is for several reasons: if something goes wrong with one camera body, you should always have a backup. This wedding is not going to happen again!
And secondly, you can have a different lens attached to each, allowing you to quickly switch between focal lengths.
Some wedding photographers prefer to kit out their bag with prime lenses, opting to embrace the creative limitations of a fixed focal length. Others are content with a bag full of zooms.
One of the big deciding factors in gear is the style of wedding photography you want to shoot. On one end of the spectrum, you have perfectly posed wedding photography.
This type of wedding photography favours engineered “moments”, posed wedding portraits, and magazine-worthy photos of settings and details.
On the other extreme is pure documentary: a wedding day captured with all its raw emotion, awkward family interactions and drunk dancefloor shenanigans kept intact and unadulterated.
Realistically, the majority of wedding photographers shoot some combination of the two. Their preference for one or the other will, however, have some influence over the gear they choose.
Documentary wedding photographers, for example, will go for more discreet equipment: lenses with longer focal lengths that allow them to keep a distance from the action, natural light over obtrusive flashes, and silent shutters that don’t break the tension of an emotion-filled moment.
Beyond cameras and lenses, you’ll find that our featured wedding photographers’ kits include a whole range of intriguing bits and pieces.
Drones are becoming more popular as an additional wedding photography tool. Speedlights, gels and modifiers for after sundown. Ergonomic camera straps or harnesses for long days of shooting.
Comfortable shoes. Earplugs. Snacks.
(We’ll say it again: you can learn a lot from other people’s mistakes!)
If you love weddings and find fulfilment in being able to immortalise people’s most emotion-filled and precious moments, this is definitely a genre and career worth pursuing.
Finding the right gear is just the beginning. But it makes all the difference to becoming the best wedding photographer you can be.
Get inspired by checking out the wedding photographer features above.