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Shooting Your First Wedding - Equipment You Will Need

A few months ago I posted a thread on shooting your first wedding. This is a followup thread regarding the bare minimum equipment you will need to get the job done as a professional. 

When I shot my first wedding I used my 70 -300mm lens for portraits of the bride and groom and also to capture imitate moments during the ceremony. 

My other go to lens was my 17-50mm. I used this for my most of my wedding party, bridesmaids, groomsmen and bride and groom photos. 

A crucial piece of equipment you will need is an external flash. I'm partial to the Nikon Speedlight such as my SB 910. Since a wedding shoots spans the entire day you will need it for fill flash while shooting outside in the noon and midday sun. You will need it for reception photos since it will most likely be dark inside. Though some artistic shots without a flash with a long shutter time are cool! 

Make sure you have batteries for your camera and flash. I carry 5 batteries at a minimum for my camera and also the charger in the bag. You will burn juice from your camera batteries fast using your flash and due to the amount of frames you will be taking. 

If you have any advice for shooting a wedding please share your thoughts and images. 

Here are some samples of images from my first wedding shoot:

- Chris

It's a long time since I photographed a wedding - pre-digital age in fact. However, one thing I cannot imagine is using a slow zoom for candid and formal group shots. I always used a fast prime - 50mm f1.4 for groups and bridal shots and a 105mm f2.8 for portraits. I required precise control of my depth of field, sometimes even a very shallow depth of field, and I can't imagine obtaining those with a slow zoom (by slow, I mean f3.5 or slower.) While I don't deny the superb quality of some of the new digital zoom lenses, if you can't afford a professional class zoom (Canon "L" series, Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24–70MM F/2.8E ED VR) you will be better served by using a fast prime especially when using a crop sensor camera. A good used Nikon 50mm f1.4 AF-D prime won't break the bank and nor will a 35mm prime. You will need every ounce of image quality that you can get. I advise you to practise on at least five weddings before you commit yourself to being the official photographer on the big day, so that you have some experience working under pressure.

Take my advice.  I'm not using it.Wink


I've shot most of mine using a 24-70 2.8 and a 70-200 2.8. Throw the macro in the bag for ring shots.

The first one I shot with a Rebel, kit lens and 70-300 4.5-5.6, but I was not the main shooter.

All my professional weddings, using 50mm. equivalent. Ed.

To each his own!

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