So, you’re starting your wedding photography business… HOORAY!!! Welcome to the best job in the world 🙂 We can’t wait to help you grow!
There are lots of options out there for equipment… how do you know where to start? Here are the five pieces of gear that we recommend you buy FIRST when starting your wedding photography business.
1. Full frame camera body, preferably with two memory card slots.
It doesn’t matter which brand you pick (Canon, Nikon, Sony, etc.) as long as you invest in a full-frame camera body! In contrast to crop-sensor cameras, full-frame cameras have a larger sensor that can detect more light in the environment. They are perfect for any lighting situation!
If your budget allows, we highly recommend choosing a camera with two memory card slots for weddings. In our opinion, wedding memories are too precious to risk being lost due to a corrupt memory card! Set your camera to record duplicate images to both memory cards at once; this way, even if a card fails, you already have a backup.
2. Computer capable of handling a lot of data
To handle large image files and run editing software, a fast computer is a must! We edit with Adobe Lightroom and recommend investing in a Macbook Pro or an iMac desktop computer. They are made for creatives and have the capacity to handle all your files with ease! We also recommend storing your images on external hard drives, rather than using precious hard drive space on your actual computer.
3. Prime lens (the 50mm is our favorite!)
We love using prime lenses for weddings because of their capability to shoot at wide open apertures (f/2.5 and below). Shooting with a wide open aperture takes practice, but once you’ve nailed the technique, you’ll love the bokeh (creamy background) you see in your images! The lower your aperture, the more light floods into your image- so you’ll be able to shoot beautiful images easily in indoor settings. We recommend your first prime lens be a 35mm or a 50mm, because they are the most versatile.
4. Zoom lens (the 70-200mm f/2.8 is our favorite!)
A high quality zoom lens is a MUST for capturing weddings! Your zoom lens will allow you to capture closeup emotions during the ceremony and reception without standing too close. When choosing a zoom lens, look for one that can stay at a fixed aperture (for example, 2.8). Some of the cheaper zoom lenses can zoom in extremely far (as far as 400mm), but force you to increase your aperture to 5.6 or higher as you get closer. This makes it difficult to use in a low light setting, like a church ceremony!
Trust us… you never want to show up to photograph a wedding without a flash! Most likely your new full-frame DSLR doesn’t have a built in flash; but it does have a spot on top of it to put one! Your setup doesn’t have to be fancy, but you should have at least one flash that you can attach to your camera and use at the reception.
(Want to learn more about how to use flash at a wedding? We have tons of resources elsewhere on the blog and also in our shop!)
In addition to these five items, you’ll also need to spend a little bit of money on memory cards (we shoot on 32gb, 64gb, or 128gb cards) and a camera bag to transport your equipment safely. Then you’re ready! Whether you’re heading off to your first solo wedding or your first opportunity as a second shooter, we can’t wait to see how you do!