3 Things Every Wedding Photographer Needs
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There's an endless array of gear that you need to photograph a wedding.
But if you ask me, there are some basic essentials that are absolute must-haves if you intend to make a career out of photographing the most important day in someone's life.
Rather than bombard you with a giant list of must-have gear, I've narrowed it down to three wedding photography accessories that will make your life much, much easier.
Without further ado, here's the short list of my recommended wedding photography gear.
A 50mm Lens
There are many great things about a 50mm lens that makes it a must-have for wedding photographers (or any photographer, really...).
For starters, an f/1.8 50mm lens is extremely cheap, yet gives you excellent performance for the price point.
An f/1.8 lens is sharp, fast, and versatile, so you can use it during the ceremony in good lighting, in dim lighting at the reception, and pretty much anywhere in between.
Additionally, you can use a 50mm lens for portraits of individuals, the happy couple, or the entire wedding party - you just have to zoom with your feet to adjust the distance between you and the subject.
On top of all that, a 50mm lens produces gorgeous bokeh, so your wedding day portraits will have a gorgeously blurred background that helps separate the subject in the frame.
These lenses are also very small and lightweight, so you can work with ease and not feel like you're carrying a ton of weight around attached to your camera.
Now, if you're a Canon shooter, the f/1.8 version of this lens is a bit on the loud side, so it might not be most appropriate for shooting during the ceremony.
But, by and large, whether you choose an f/1.8, f/1.4, or f/1.2 50mm lens, you'll have something that's a solid workhorse that will more than pay for itself over the years.
A Great Speedlight
Though it would be great to have perfectly lit scenes over the course of the wedding day, it simply isn't going to happen. There will be times when you need artificial lighting to help your camera get a well-exposed shot.
The ideal way to do that is with a quality speedlite.
For me (and many other photographers), it's tough to beat the Yongnuo YN560 IV speedlite.
Not only does this thing perform very well, but it's also incredibly inexpensive.
It supports wireless slave functionality and multiple trigger synchronous mode, too.
You can save custom settings and it has a lightning-fast charging recycle system as well.
In other words, this thing has just about everything you need to take improved wedding day photos. I'd add a wireless flash remote and a flash diffuser for good measure, and you'll be good to go!
Get more details about the Yongnuo YN560 IV speedlite in the video above by ZY Productions.
A Great Camera Harness
As important as it is to have the best gear for wedding photography, you also need to have a means of carrying your gear and do so in a way that's both comfortable and functional.
The Holdfast MoneyMaker certainly meets those criteria...
I've had the pleasure of having a MoneyMaker for a number of years now, and I have to say that it's one of the best investments I've ever made in photography gear.
Aside from the fact that this thing is absolutely gorgeous, it's also incredibly durable.
That's because the bridle leather that Holdfast used to make my MoneyMaker is tough and strong, and has more than stood up to the task of long days shooting over the years.
In fact, with time, this thing has developed a personality of its own, with a few scrapes and scratches here and there that tell the story of my life as a photographer.
Something else that's gotten better with age is the fit. It's always been comfortable for me to wear, but with time, the leather has adapted to my body, so my MoneyMaker fits me like a glove.
That level of comfort is extremely important for wedding photographers because if you aren't comfortable, it's really, really hard to concentrate on your job.
Additionally, the MoneyMaker allows you to carry two cameras right on your body (and a third one at your chest with an adapter) so your gear is easy to access.
That means no awkward lens changes or going back and forth between your camera bag to get a different camera body. Instead, you have what you need, where you need it, all right at your fingertips.
And that's important for any kind of photography, but particularly wedding photography in which you have to be prepared to take the shot at a moment's notice.
In other words, the Holdfast MoneyMaker is the perfect means of carrying the gear you need so you can stay on top of your wedding day photography tasks.
Like I said earlier, there's tons of other gear you need to photograph a wedding, but a great lens, a quality flash, and a superb camera harness are good places to start!