Photography Gear List
Here’s the ultimate list of photography gear for shooting weddings + elopements. I like to travel light, and my photography style requires minimal equipment. I also believe that, yes you need quality equipment, but you really don’t need the most expensive equipment to deliver quality work. To make sure you’re prepared, you should have two of everything as backup. Great places to buy camera equipment/gear are B&H Photo and Amazon.
People are always asking where I got my camera bag. I have the Lyra backpack from Kamrette. It’s stylish, has all the compartments you need, and it’s great for travel. It’s well padded so everything inside stays protected. Also, it hooks on to my suitcase so I don’t have to carry it all the time. The backpack style doesn’t hurt my shoulders like some of the one-shoulder bags I’ve had in the past because it distributes the weight better.
I have two camera bodies, and they’re both full frame. The Nikon D750 is my absolute favorite! It’s known for having a great focus system and is one of the most popular Nikon cameras for wedding photography. I also have the Nikon D810, and it has a few different features than the D750. The D810 allows you to bring the ISO all the way down to 64, and has the advantage when it comes to shutter speed, flash sync speed, and shutter durability. That being said, there isn’t a huge difference in image quality between the two camera bodies. I personally prefer the D750.
Sigma 35mm f/1.4
Nikon 50mm f/1.4
Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8
I use my 35mm most of the time, especially with elopements. It’s my widest lens and is amazing for landscapes and large groups of people. My 50mm is what I use to capture details or if I can’t get up close to my subject. I toggle back and forth between my 35mm and 50mm for wedding ceremonies. The 70-200mm is barely used, and I originally bought it for a safari in South Africa. In hindsight, I would have just rented it or bought an 85mm lens instead. People rave about the 85mm, and it’s much more practical.
Off Camera Flash:
I have the Nikon Speedlight SB-800, and it does the trick! I use flash as little as possible. It’s usually just for indoor dancefloor photos at night. Usually I’ll push the ISO on my camera body until about ISO 3200 or until the photos look grainy on the back of my camera. After that, I’ll use flash.
Extra Tip: Make sure you always have new spare batteries with you.
A flash diffuser attaches to your flash, and it makes the light less harsh. It helps the light look more natural. I use the Gary Fong Lightsphere, and it’s great!
LaCie Hard Drives:
Backup, backup, backup. It’s that important. I’ve always used LaCie hard drives, and I back up all the photos on two hard drives. The last thing you want is to lose someone’s wedding photos.
I use Sandisk Ultra or Sandisk Extreme Pro memory cards. It actually makes a huge difference to have high quality memory cards. I didn’t realize that when I started and bought the cheap ones. I literally thought my camera was broken because it kept freezing up. I second shot for a photographer, and they told me it took a ridiculously long time to download the images from the memory card to their hard drive. That’s when I found out my memory cards were the problem. Look for the number in the tiny circle- it should be 10. Do yourself a favor and DO NOT buy the ones that have 4 in the tiny circle (aka the blue Sandisk SDHC cards).
I like to play music at engagement sessions and elopements. I don’t usually need it for weddings, but I occasionally do during bride + groom sunset photos. I explain why and how to use music on my How to Make Couples Feel Comfortable blog. There’s also a link to they type of speaker I use.
You can also carry a rain cover for your camera, a card reader, lens wipes, etc. It’s good to be prepared, but I don’t like carrying an excess amount of equipment. Everyone is unique, and you may require different gear depending on your style and clients. Hopefully it’s helpful to know what I use. If you have any questions, feel free to slide into my DMs on Instagram at @emilykiddphoto.