When I first started getting into photography, I followed a lot of other photographer’s blogs and I was always curious to read what they had in their camera bag. This helped me to decide which lenses I should invest in first in order to come up with great looking photos.
I find that clients often ask me what equipment I use and it’s a very good question. I believe that the equipment is important, however I also believe that 90% of the final image is due to the photographer’s skill level. When I first started out, I had some great equipment, but my photos did not look as good as they look now. I had many underexposed, blurry images despite my high quality gear. Over time, and with lots of practise, my photos have gotten progressively better. Things like learning to focus, expose properly and frame a photo nicely take time to figure out… Especially on a wedding day when things are hectic and fast paced.
I have a variety of lenses and each lens works well for a certain situation during a wedding day. I have several prime lenses as well as several zoom lenses and I switch them throughout the day as the circumstances change. Below are some examples of situations where I use each lens…
The photo above is from my Nikon 24-70mm F2.8. This is a good all around lens that has a wide aperture so that it’s also good in low light situations. It’s zoom ability makes it very versatile so I use it quite a bit during a wedding day. I like to take detail shots with this lens and it’s also great for catching candid moments.
My Nikon 70-200mm F2.8 is a massive lens! It’s fantastic in many situations including the ceremony and reception. It allows me to keep my distance while still capturing the intimate moments throughout the ceremony and priceless candid shots at the reception.
The Nikon 50mm F1.4 is a prime lens and it was the first high quality lens that I purchased You can see that the lettering is slightly worn off the lens due to lots of use. Even though I’ve had it for a long time, it’s still one of my favourites as it is great for portraits and details. Due to the wide aperture, it is useful for extremely low light situations.
My Nikon 85mm F1.8 is my favourite lens. It is a portrait lens and it was the second lens that I purchased. The focal length isn’t too long, but it’s long enough to create that beautiful blurred background. It’s very flattering to use for outdoor portraits and it’s also great in low light situations like the reception.
I figure that I should also let you know what camera bodies I have. I have two full frame bodies and they are the nikon D810 and the nikon D700. It’s important to have two bodies at weddings for backup. Just in case my main body fails, I will always have a backup body with me.
I addition to the equipment above, I also bring lighting equipment to every wedding. I have a Nikon SB-910 flash, that I mostly use during receptions when there’s minimal available light. Finally, I always bring two studio strobes to weddings just in case we need to take group portraits indoors. I prefer to take photos outdoors with natural light, but sometimes that just isn’t possible. Have the studio strobes handy makes it possible to light up a large number of people for family portraits. Last but not least, I have a set of extension tubes to capture small details like rings.
So there you have it! That’s what’s in my camera bag.. If you have any questions about my equipment or how I use it, please post a comment… Thanks!