One of the most popular questions I get is what gear I use for photography! Everywhere I go, I am approached by strangers who ask about the harness I wear, and my social media is always flooded with messages about what lens or body I used for a particular image. I am always happy to share my experience, so I figured the best way to do so would be to create this super efficient blog about my must have photography gear for wedding photographers!
When I first dove in to photography, I spent hours upon hours researching gear and compiling lists upon lists of what I needed to buy. In all honesty, I wish I had found a blog like this one to show me everything in one place so I could get a clear idea of how much I would need to invest to start my business. I’m here to tell ya that running a photography business is far from cheap, and the work that you produce goes so much deeper than the gear that you use!
That being said, here is my must-have-can’t-live-without list of gear!
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. This means that, as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases at no cost to you. These are my honest opinions and all gear was purchased with my own money.
Camera Bodies and Lenses
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Full Frame Digital SLR Camera Body: https://amzn.to/2HO4vgN
I have two of these so I can shoot with two lenses at once! I LOVE this camera more than life itself. The dual memory card slots, touch screen and live view are some of my favorite features.
Canon EOS 6D Mark II Digital SLR Camera Body: https://amzn.to/3cMkkzO
This was the camera I started with and it was a great way to learn! I don’t use it too often these days, but I love having it as a back up incase something were to happen to one of my 5D’s. Back ups are so important if you’re shooting a wedding. It’s an extremely important day for that couple and if your gear fails then there are no re-do’s.
Sigma 35mm F1.4 Art DG HSM Lens for Canon: https://amzn.to/3n7vHao
My holy grail lens! This is on my camera 90% of the time. It’s truly the perfect portrait lens. I do plan to upgrade to the Canon 35mm in the near future, but I will always keep this lens as a back up. Some people tend to have focusing issues with this Sigma, but mine was resolved after being cleaned and calibrated at my local camera store.
Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM Lens: https://amzn.to/34dHBa4
This beautiful, creamy, bokeh rich lens is one of my favorites! This is almost always on my second body and I am always looking for opportunities to use it! I love it for landscape shots with mountains in the background. The compression is just absolutely beautiful and makes the mountains tower behind the subjects. When I can, I like to use it for details too because that bokeh is just drool worthy.
Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Lens: https://amzn.to/3cMseJA
Another beautiful lens that I love for ceremony’s and detail shots!
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens: https://amzn.to/3jmnSvg
So, this lens is not perfect, but it is great for beginners! I started with this “Nifty Fifty” when I purchased my Canon 6D body and it was great to start with. I don’t ever use it these days, but if you’re looking for something less expensive to experiment with, this is it!
Rose Anvil Dual Camera Harness: https://roseanvil.com/collections/camera-harnesses/products/bandit-camera-harness
The most ergonomic harness I have ever worn. Also, it’s beautiful. I get compliments on this allllll the time.
YONGNUO YN600EX-RT II Wireless Flash Speedlite: https://amzn.to/33lYYX3
I have two of these babies and love them!
Neewer Dimmable 176 LED Video Light on Camera LED Panel: https://amzn.to/3ihRw3z
I had no interest in a video light (because hello, I’m a photographer, not a videographer) until I saw another wedding photographer vouch for this little guy. I thought, what the heck, it isn’t expensive so let’s try it. I LOVE IT. I only use this during select times because wow it can be bright and in your face, but it is a life saver for certain shots. It’s dimmable, has a rechargeable battery and comes with a clear and an orange filter. The orange makes skin look so warm and beautiful!
SanDisk Extreme PRO 64GB Compact Flash Memory Card: https://amzn.to/3jkgEI4
Love these. Super fast which is great because I can get a little trigger happy when shooting!
SanDisk 64GB Extreme PRO SD Memory Card: https://amzn.to/2Sj6iwo
Same as above! Fast and reliable. I always date my memory cards with a sharpie so I know how old they are. I replace them annually to avoid any possible failures.
UGREEN SD and CF Card Reader: https://amzn.to/30rGMcN
Portable, lightweight and reliable!
WD 5TB Elements Portable External Hard Drive: https://amzn.to/2SfEpW3
I love this little thing! It’s super fast and I have never had an issues with it. Hard drives scare the crap out of me if we’re being honest. The possibility of one failing (or of me dropping it and corrupting everything on it) is terrifying to me. I have multiple external hard drives that I back up EVERYTHING on to. I seriously do not mess around with back ups. They are so important.
Beeway Memory Card Case Holder: https://amzn.to/2GosaUr
One of my favorite little accessories. It’s so sturdy and I love having the peace of mind that all of my cards are safe while tucked away in my 10,000 pound backpack. It also has a clip so you can attach it to your harness if you’d like!
Portable Bluetooth Speaker: https://amzn.to/3nh9nvh
A game changer. I use this for every session. I clip it to my belt loop, put on some sappy, romantic love songs (or ask the client what they want to hear) and it truly helps create a mood. It also creates some background noise to fill those silent gaps, and it helps so the client’s can’t hear my shutter clicking away which can understandably make people nervous.
2 Pack Replacement Battery: https://amzn.to/3cNNP4e
Batteries. I have.. so.. many.. of these. I tend to shoot in live view on my camera so my battery life drains very quickly. I keep extras handy at all times!
AmazonBasics 48 Pack AA Batteries: https://amzn.to/3n67AJ7
Once again, SO MANY batteries everywhere! I keep extras of these for my flashes.
AmazonBasics 60-Inch Lightweight Tripod: https://amzn.to/3jxWFpi
Lightweight, portable and functional tripod. I take this with me whenever I travel and use my backpack to weigh it down.
Nanuk Waterproof HardCase with Foam and Dividers: https://amzn.to/34dAC0Z
When my gear is at home, I store it in this beauty. This way, everything is protected from moisture or if something were to fall on it. I have yet to take it traveling with me, but it is an approved carry on size for flying!
Microfiber Cloth 10 Pack: https://amzn.to/36pcxqs
Can’t have enough of these. A staple for every photographer.
Waterproof Backpack Rain Cover: https://amzn.to/2EUdU5o
So, I live in San Diego. We don’t get much rain. But when we do, you’d better be prepared for it! I don’t have a waterproof backpack, so this cover provides extra protection and peace of mind. I also took it traveling with me to New Zealand where it unexpectedly rained for a week straight. All I can say is LIFE SAVER.
Kattee Camera Insert Bag: https://amzn.to/3cO7dy5
I bought this when I first started photography and didn’t have a huge arsenal of gear like I do now. It’s great for beginners or for times when you only need to travel with one body and one lens!
Camera Rain Sleeve Cover: https://amzn.to/3l5WbYc
These puppies are good for so much more than just rain! Although this could work well to protect your camera from rain, I actually bought this to take to the desert and protect my camera from tiny sand particles flying through the air. If you’ve ever been in a windy, dusty desert, you know that there is sand EVERYWHERE. You don’t want to get sand inside of your body or your lens. Save yourself the hassle of trying to cover your camera with your hands or t-shirt and use this cover!
Blue Light Blocking Glasses: https://amzn.to/33kMTkP
Oh sweet relief providers. Usually by the end of the day, my eyeballs are burning out of my skull from sitting at a computer for 10 hours. Avoid the migraine, get some blue light blockers. PRO TIP: Be careful while editing and wearing these. Any blue light glasses will have a yellowish tint so make sure you pull them down to check the color of your photos before moving on.
1.5″ Chiffon Silk-Like Ribbon: https://amzn.to/34dwuOx
This 3 pack of cream, nude and sand ribbon comes with me to every wedding. I like to unravel it for flat lays to add an extra “oomph.” It is so elegant and beautiful.
Clear Bubble Umbrella: https://amzn.to/3iivqhb
Once again, not much rain in San Diego, but when it is here, you’d better be prepared! Sometimes rescheduling is not an option and you don’t want to have to tell your clients, “Well damn, Jackie, I can’t control the weather!” (If you get that reference then let’s be BFFs.)
Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 Instant Camera: https://amzn.to/349vhaI
Okay, this isn’t a MUST-HAVE. But, it is fun. I like to bring this to weddings or sessions and give couples a polaroid or two to take home at the end of the night. It’s just a little gesture to say thank you for working with me!
Fujifilm Instax Mini Instant Film Value Pack – 60 Photos: https://amzn.to/2Sguwav
Well, you need film for that polaroid, right?
And that’s it (for now)!
My gear list will always be changing and growing along with my career and experience. I will be sure to update this post as that happens. I hope this list of must have photography gear for wedding photographers was helpful! Lastly, I just wanted to say that when it comes to photography gear, don’t go cheap. It’s is usually cheap for a reason. And also, don’t compare your gear to someone else’s who is much more seasoned than you are and has had more time and money to invest in high quality glass. Sometimes when you are forced to work with what you have, you learn A LOT more and grow much faster!