Need to know your essential wedding photography equipment? Here’s the kit that pro shooter Brett Harkness uses and some standard kit for you to consider.
Essential wedding photography equipment: The camera
A proper DSLR is essential for achieving professional quality results. Anything over 10MP is fine but a decent AF and low light performance can really help you out.
Brett uses: Canon EOS 1Ds MkIII & EOS 5D MkII
Consider: Canon EOS 7D, Nikon D700
Essential wedding photography equipment: Standard Lens
For your wedding photography you’ll need a range of focal lengths at your disposal. You’ll need a wideangle for group shots and a 50mm equivalent or longer for portraits, ideally with a large aperture to blur backgrounds.
Brett uses: Canon 50mm f/1.2 L, 50mm f/2.5, 16-35mm f/2.8 L, 24-70mm f/2.8 L, 15mm fisheye
Consider: Sigma 10-20mm, Nikon 50mm f/1.4, Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8
For getting close in on the action while keeping out of the limelight, a long lens is essential for any good wedding photographer.
Brett uses: Canon 70-200mm IS L f/2.8
Consider: Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8
Essential wedding photography equipment: Flashgun
Even when working in bright daylight, using a flashgun can help your subject stand out. This can be essential for getting a sharp shot during the speeches or later in the evening.
Brett uses: 3x Canon 580 EXII flashguns, and four Pocket Wizards plus stands
Consider: Nikon SB-900, Sigma EF 530 DG SuperEssential wedding photography equipment: Backup drive
One reason for backup drives is the risk of running out of card space, but when images are as precious as with wedding shots you’ll want to double up your image-saving and keep both.
Brett uses: Epson P5000 Hard drive
Consider: Epson P-3000
Essential wedding photography equipment: Studio flash
If you’re forced to work inside due to bad weather, studio lighting can really save the day. Sets with battery packs could even be used outdoors too.
Brett uses: Elinchrom Quadra kit
Consider: Interfit EX150 Mk II two-head kit
Essential wedding photography equipment: Reflector
With the sun behind your subject, a well-positioned reflector can be more effective than a flashgun at lighting your subject and can be a very controllable light source – especially if operated by an assistant.
Brett uses: Lastolite Tri grip reflector
Consider: Lastolite Tri-Flip 8:1 kit
Essential wedding photography equipment: Memory cards
It sounds obvious but make sure you have enough card space to cover the number of shots you are likely to take. As an estimate, aim for between 10-20GB in 2, 4, or 8GB cards.
Brett uses: 8GB & 16GB Lexar 300 speed cards
Consider: Sandisk Extreme cards
Essential wedding photography equipment: Stepladder
In the absence of anywhere high enough to stand to get a group shot, a stepladder can come in very handy.
Essential wedding photography equipment: White umbrellas
If it starts to rain then using a set of colour co-ordinated umbrellas can keep the subjects dry and even add to the shot.