A question that has always been asked on social media is what gear do you recommend for weddings and why? In today’s blog, I decided to write about the gear I use and why I use them for weddings. I recently did a blog on Preparations to shoot a Wedding. If you haven’t yet make sure to check that blog out.
The most crucial item that is needed for shooting weddings is a camera bag, let’s face it without a camera bag you won’t be able to carry the gear you need to shoot a wedding.
The bag I use for a wedding is the Tenba Roadie Roller 24. I use this bag because of the size been able to fit all the gear I need to bring and use for my weddings, this way I am only bringing one bag to oppose to multiple bags. The Roadie Roller 24 is well designed and can customise the compartments to suit the gear you would like to store in the bag. It is a roller bag making it so much easier to drag around on different locations and constantly been on the go changing locations it is a lifesaver instead of having a large backpack carrying it on your back feeling the weight and pressure. The Tenba bag also has a TSA lock so you can lock your bag avoiding people from accessing your gear, in addition, it also has a locking cable as well been able to tie it against something avoiding people from picking the bag up and walking away with it. The Tenba bags are solid built, they have reinforced sides protecting your gear from damages when the bag has been hit.
Shooting a wedding it is very important to have 2 cameras, one main camera which you will be using the majority of the time and a backup camera. I use the Sony a7iii as my main body and the Sony a7r3 (i have recently upgraded to the Sony a7rIV) as my back up camera. Both these cameras do really well in low at high iso and with fast focusing. Having the a7iii has my main camera due to the 24mp, that way I save on storage as the 42mp you would need to be prepared in having a lot of storage space. The Sony a7r3 I use as my back up for more candid shots due to switching the camera in crop mode if I need the extra reach to capture images of the guest enjoying themselves.
SD Cards –
I currently use the Sony Pro SD cards, I have 64gb and a 128gb. It is very important to keep some spares with you in case one card gets full and need to put in a new card. Both bodies allow having dual SD cards, that way you record on one card and it will automatically backup the images to the second card.
With the 3rd generation Sony bodies they now have the larger Z batteries, unlike the first and second-generation batteries that are a lot smaller. Before I would carry at least 8 batteries and will go through 4 on each body. Now with the Z batteries, I can shoot a full 14-hour day and will have about 6% battery left at the end of the night. With the Z batteries, I can get close to a 1000 shot on a full battery, I do however have 4 batteries.
Camera Straps –
Camera straps I say is a photographer’s worse nightmare. I have been through so many cameras straps and was always disappointed with them. But now I have thrown out all my straps and currently using the Spider Holster Light system, and I have to say the holster system is a lifesaver. Been able to go through a 14-hour day wedding and not have sore shoulders as the camera straps will weigh down on your shoulders and necks giving you pain at the end of the day. I can’t tell you how many weddings and events I have done where I would be in pain due to the weight. Whereas the Spider Holster Light system it distributes the weight around your waist making it easy and quick to access your cameras especially been on the go. I have the Dual Spider Holster Light system, been able to fit 2 cameras on either side of my hip with quick and easy access. The Spider Holster is very easy to set up. I do also have the Spider Holster Light hand strap on both bodies. That way my cameras are well secure in my hand without accidentally dropping. The Hand strap fits very comfortable on your hand, it has a perfect mould giving you that flexibility to changing the settings without restrictions. Use both these combos as made weddings so much easier to shoot, knowing I don’t have restrictions or limitation with camera straps.
Bride & Groom house –
The lenses I use for both bride and groom house are the Sony 90mm f2.8 macro, 35mm f1.4 AF (this lens will stay on my a7iii for the whole day and is used 90% of the time), For my Sony a7riii I will have the Sony 85mm f1.4 GM. I do occasionally use the 55mm f1.8 Zeiss just depends on the space at the house if the 85mm will be too tight. I love to use natural light for the houses oppose to flash as it gives more of a nice natural look.
I love the 90mm f2.8 macro, it is Sony’s sharpest lens and in my books the best for detail shots.
Sony a7rii + FE90mm f2.8 macro. This shot I had my phone torch backlighting the ring and above it, I had my godox v860ii flash set up. The rings were placed in the plastic cup and sitting on top of some bark
The 35mm f1.4 and the 85mm f1.4 I use for when the bride or groom getting ready, this is my favourite focal length to shoot with at weddings. Been able to get some nice wide shots and can get in close to the subject if needed.
During the ceremony, I use the 35mm f1.4 and the 70200 f2.8 GM. A lot of worship places would not allow flash which does not bother me as I love to use the natural light that comes into the church. What I love about the 35mm f1.4 I am able to get some nice wide shots of the bride walking in or some candid shots at a wide aperture especially if the church has low light.
A candid shot of the flower girl looking outside the church at the bride. Captured with the 35mm f1.4 AF lens – ISO 125, f1.4, shutter 1/1250
What I love about the a7r3 + 70200 f2.8 combination is the reach I get to be able to capture nice tight shots of the moments that are happening.
When it comes to the location I intend to just use one camera and one lens. The lens I choose to use for location is the 85mm f1.4 GM. I also will add off-camera flash for the location shoot, which I will use the Godox ad200 with my Magmod Magsphere and MagGrid, sometimes I will use the ad600 with a 27inch beauty dish depending on time and if I have an assistant. I will however at times use the 35mm f1.4 if I want to capture more of a scene with the couple.
For the reception, I will stick with my 35mm f1.4 on my main body but will change to my 24mm f1.4 GM for table shots as the 35mm won’t be wide enough or if I have a second photographer I will have him/her cover the table shots. My second body I will change between the 55mm f1.8 Zeiss, 85mm f1.4 GM or the 70200 f2.8 GM depending on the size of the reception as I will use these lenses to get some nice tight candid shots of the guest, bride and groom having fun. I will try and not use flash if I can but if I end up using flash I have 2 x Godox v860ii flash and will use the Magmod Sphere or Bounce.
Thank you for reading. Do check out my social media pages and my facebook groups below.
Art Of Portrait Photography
Art Of Street Photography
Art Of Macro Photography – https://www.facebook.com/groups/artofmacrophotography/
Sony a7/a9 – www.facebook.com/groups/sonya7professionalseries
Landscape – seascape – cityscape https://www.facebook.com/groups/artofscapesphotography/
Bokeh Group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/bokehliciousphotography/
Art Of Animal Photography – https://www.facebook.com/groups/artofanimalphotography/
Sony A6000 – a6300 – a6500
Sony a77ii/a99ii group
Sony alpha sydney