As wedding photographers will know, in order to produce beautiful images for clients, the work begins days, weeks, even months before the wedding day. Investing in a fully-stocked kit bag and a quality camera and lenses will cost.
Petapixel’s David Stubbs recently made the case for the Sony a9 being the best camera for wedding photography. Its electronic viewfinder is bright and clear and with no delay; it’s also on a flip screen, making you more able to capture ephemeral moments from the most awkward angles. The autofocus performs better than some sports cameras and it features a dual card slot. For a wedding photographer, this is hard to beat; if one card corrupts, you’re primed and ready with another and won’t miss any important shots.
Wedding Photography Tip: Most cameras over 10MP should suffice, but make sure you prioritise a strong autofocus and proven low light performance – they will no doubt come in handy.
If the a9s is a little steep (£4.5k for the body only), the a7s or a7r are fantastic and very affordable options too – there are also plenty of these very cameras to hire in London on Fat Lama. Other solid all-round cameras popular with wedding photographers are the Canon 5D Mk IV, the Fujifilm XT-2, the Nikon D810/D5 and the Canon 1DX Mark II.
Wedding Photography Tip: We hope you won’t have to use it, but it’s essential that you pack a spare camera body. Few camera operators have the luxury of owning two pro-standard cameras, so why not hire a camera peer-to-peer in London for cheap?
Unlike with landscape photography or portrait photography, the skill of wedding photography is to be able to flick between a range of different lenses. Individual or couple portraits and dance-floor snaps, full wedding party pictures and scenic photos will all require a different lens. Pack a 50mm lens for portraiture and a wide angle for group shots. You’ll also want a long lens to make sure you can subtly pick out the bride or groom buried in the middle of the dance floor and to allow you to be as discreet as possible during the ceremony itself.
Wedding Photography Tip: When shooting portraits, opt for a lens with a large aperture in order to effectively blur the background of your shot.
For getting close in on the action while keeping out of the limelight, a long lens is essential for any good wedding photographer. The Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L is a great place to start.
Check out the range of Canon, Sigma, Tamron and Nikon lenses for hire in London.
The Kit Bag Essentials
For a first dance or if the venue is dimly lit, a flashgun is essential. It can help sharpen pictures of your subject in bright light as well.
This Neweer Dimmable 18 Ring Light is a sturdy, easy-to-use ring light. Your clients will thank you for bringing it if the weather’s wet.
Don’t risk it. Pack more memory cards than you can possibly imagine using in a day. For a rough estimate, Amateur Photographer suggests between 10-20GB in 2, 4, or 8GB cards.
Not packing a backup drive is a mistake photographers will rarely make twice. Packing a second drive not only makes more space for images, but it gives you the opportunity to save your snaps to a second location during pauses in the day.
It’s arguably not your responsibility as a photographer to bring umbrellas for the wedding party, but they can be inexpensive and are a solid investment for those days when the weather’s against you. Not only do they keep your wedding party dry and happy, but a colour coordinated set of brollies might provide a money shot of the bride and groom.
You likely won’t be using this all day, but a tripod will allow you to be as discreet as you need to be during the ceremony. The other times a tripod comes into its own is when you’re directing a large group shot or placing a dress or veil. Not being tethered to your camera will allow you to art direct more freely.