If you’re just getting started in the wedding photography industry and don’t know where to begin when it comes to filling up your camera bag, then look no further than our ultimate guide to wedding photography gear for beginners! We are here to show you what gear you’ll find helpful and necessary to have when running a photography business.
Now, this isn’t your Uncle Bob’s photography gear. The gear we’ve listed is professional-grade equipment that will be the best tools for you to shoot with.
Gear doesn’t make the photographer, however, having excellent quality equipment will allow you to service your couples well and will prepare you for all sorts of shooting environments and scenarios. We hope this list of wedding photography gear for beginners will act as a guide to help you get on the right track!
Owning a camera body might be an obvious thing to have when you’re starting out your business, but what kind of body you choose can enhance or hinder your ability to grow as an artist and business owner. Having a camera body that performs well in low-light and a fast shutter speed will set you up for the best success. We have gathered a couple of camera bodies from Canon, Nikon, and Sony that are all great options for your growing photography business!
Canon Camera Bodies
Nikon Camera Bodies
Sony Camera Bodies
There are different quality levels of camera lenses that vary from the quality of glass, aperture range, and mechanics. Higher quality glass and mechanics allow for sharper images and the aperture range affects the amount of bokeh and focus in the image.
There are more cost-effective lens brands than what are listed below, such as Sigma, but performance consistency isn’t always there. So instead of sharing lenses that might not break the bank as badly but don’t do well over time, we have gathered better options that won’t leave you with a low-performing lens that often misses focus when you’re shooting the most important day of someone’s life!
Prime lenses are lenses with a fixed range. This means that you cannot zoom in and out with prime lenses, but that it only has one distance.
For instance, your natural eye sees its surroundings the same as if you had a 43mm lens on your camera. So anything under 43mm will seem further away and possibly a bit warped, such as a 35mm lens, and anything above it, such as a 50mm and 85mm lens, will seem closer in distance.
Because prime lenses are at a fixed distance, the lens is capable of having a wide f-stop range. The lower the f-stop, the higher the aperture which allows for more light to enter the camera. And that creamy blur in the background? That’s all thanks to the focal point – the higher the focal point, the more blur in your photo due to the compression from the lens.
Okay, that’s a lot to take in. Are you still with me?
If there’s anything you take away from prime lenses is that they make a great portrait lens! And not only that, prime lenses are a great way to teach you to not rely on a zoom lens to get closer to your subject, but rather have you move around to get various shots. Although zoom lenses have their place (we’ll get into that in a bit), they can make for a lazy photographer if relied on them too much.
Canon Prime Lenses
Nikon Prime Lenses
Sony Prime Lenses
Zoom lenses do exactly what you think they do – they get closer and further away from the subject by twisting the lens from left to right. Zoom lenses are particularly wonderful for photographing large wedding ceremonies, ceremonies in churches with strict photography rules, and receptions.
Canon Zoom Lenses
Nikon Zoom Lenses
Sony Zoom Lenses
Camera Flashes and Stands
Indoor lighting can be unpredictable and there’s always the chance of photographing an outdoor wedding at night. Rather than relying solely on your camera and ending up with grainy and blurry images, invest in flashes and light stands so you can control your lighting situation.
Having flashes with a wireless signal will allow your flashes to “talk” to one another. For instance, when you’re on the dance floor and photographing wedding guests get down to Cupid’s Shuffle, the flashes that are fixed on a stand will flash when you take a photo – the flash on your camera talks to the others and they all flash simultaneously.
Having more light will allow you to avoid photos that can’t be saved due to excessive blur, grain, or loss of light.
Memory cards may not have crossed your mind when it comes to wedding photography gear for beginners, but trust us, it’s super important to have the correct cards.
Not all memory cards are created equal. Now, go back and read that again. While you may be tempted to go the inexpensive route and choose a cheaper card, you might be tempting with fate and it could come at a high cost.
Memory cards with a higher mb/s rate copy images more quickly than those with a smaller mb/s rate. What does that mean? Well, while you’re photographing the couple’s first kiss or the father of the bride’s tearful speech, you’ll be trigger happy in trying to capture every moment and not miss a beat. Well, if your memory card isn’t up to speed (literally), it could be slowing you down and not copying every moment you “click.”
Remember, you are capturing precious and once in a lifetime moments, so make sure you have the best memory cards in your camera. The price of paying for more expensive cards that will keep up with you is nothing in comparison in losing or missing images of someone’s priceless wedding day.
Pro tip: think about dating your memory cards and buying new batches each year. It’ll help you keep track of what cards are newer and which ones might need to retire.
Batteries and Chargers
Don’t be caught with a dead camera battery at a wedding. Instead, invest in extra batteries and chargers so you can always be prepared and not miss a beat! Having an abundance will allow you to prep for weddings more quickly (the more chargers you have, the more quickly you can charge batteries), but you can also bring a charger with you to a wedding and charge a battery then if needed.
Canon Camera Battery
Nikon Camera Battery
Sony Camera Battery
Now that you have the best wedding photography gear for beginners, it’s time to find a durable and versatile bag to put everything in. Depending on your preference, needs, and typical shooting location, you will want either a camera backpack or messenger bag. Feel free to explore the options below!
Wedding Photography Gear Checklist
Now that your camera bag is packed with wedding photography gear for beginners, read up on a few tips you’ll want to know before photographing your first wedding!