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11-03-2012, 02:11 PM   #1
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Recommendations on equipment for weddings?

Looking for advice on a list of equipment that would be of bare necessity on a budget for a wedding and advice on what one would charge that would be just starting out. I've never done it before, and although I think it would be alot of work and a bit stressful I think it would be fun at the same time. Any advice would be appreciated from those wedding photographers that are experienced out there. Thank you

11-03-2012, 02:26 PM   #2
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I'm no full timer in the field but I can say from my own experience that you must have both the right equipment as well as the knowledge and skill to be able to use it. There is no correct formula for the type of gear that is right for you or your style of wedding but a couple of bodies with a couple of fast zooms, a couple of reliable flashes (not necessarily PTTL), and plenty of spare batteries are highly recommended.
11-04-2012, 08:59 AM   #3
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not negotiable:-
2 x bodies
2 x dedicated any brand flash lights
1 x 24-70 f2.8
1 x 70-200 f2.8
1 x tripod.
spare cards do not use bigger than 8gb
spare camera batteries
boxes of spare flash batteries , even if you use rechargeable AA bats
sensible bags to back kit in.
signed contact for the job
payed in full



nice extras:
1 x assistant
1 x fast 50mm
1 x fast 100mm
1 x monopod
1 x flash meter
2 x light stands with manual flash and radio triggers
reflectors
plastic sheet for couples to sit on.
sensible huge bag to pack all the kit in.

you need to know :
it goes with out saying your how to use your kit and manual flash
knowledge how to tie bow ties
knowledge how to pin corsages
knowledge how to calm jittery brides
knowledge how to deal with bridezillas
knowledge of the venue and what the h**ll you are going to do if it is p*****g down
special images wanted by the couple. get a list before the event so you can let the couple not worry about their images.
meet before hand and get torn copies of images they "love" from magazines ect.

Last edited by adwb; 11-04-2012 at 11:53 AM. Reason: added some items
11-04-2012, 11:15 AM   #4
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The gear, as mentioned above is critical. Although I have never shot a wedding, I always have carried various lenses, always extra batteries, 2 flash units, tripod/monopod, sd cards, note pad, pen/pencils to where Im going. I'd look for a book for tips on posing. Set up an outline/schedule during the formal shooting at the church, after the church, (prior to the reception). +1 on having someone to assist with your gear. Take control of the shoot, try not to let the newlyweds dictate to you.

11-04-2012, 11:50 AM   #5
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edited my post #3 added somethings
wedding is what I get most of my income from.
Country Studio Photography | Country Studio Wedding Portrait and Corporate Photography

Last edited by adwb; 11-04-2012 at 11:55 AM.
11-04-2012, 06:49 PM   #6
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A battery grip would be nice if you are doing a lot of handheld work for an extended period. I don't particularly have a lot of endurance is my "photographer muscles".

I also find it a lot more convenient to change the grip's battery instead of the body's battery, I use the grip's battery as primary and the body's as a spare. Removing the grip to change batteries is rather cumbersome, I think. The only disadvantage is the change in the tripod thread location.

BTW, I'm not a wedding photographer...not even a pro.
11-05-2012, 08:50 PM   #7
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Great recommendations

Thanks adwb for the detailed recommendations on equipment. If anyone would know I would think it would be you since you do it for a living as a professional. Myself, its more of a hobby that if I were to do it would be just for the fun of it with the possibility of earning some extra cash.

As a professional I'm an Occupational Therapist (think of it as a physical therapist except specializing in upper body injuries, brain injuries, strokes, etc) and there is no relation between the two so I need all the help I can get...lol....so I greatly appreciate your input as a respected professional photographer.
11-05-2012, 08:51 PM   #8
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I was curious to know adwb, why use memory cards no larger than 8gb? That caught my attention as a bit odd, but I'm sure there is a valid reason I'm not thinking of.

11-05-2012, 09:36 PM   #9
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I'm not a pro and I don't have a proper workflow...but that I know of, it's the concept of never leaving all your eggs in one basket, specially for such a critical and once in a lifetime(for some folks) event.

It's better to have a dozen or so 4GB cards and switch them around when full, than having a huge 128GB SDXC...in the former case you'll lose a few shots if some catastrophic unfortunate scenario happens and one card goes dead, in the latter case, you'll lose all your shots. If data gets corrupted (instead of dead), you won't necessarily lose all your shots, but the risk is always higher on the latter case.

I learned my lesson with a cheap Microcenter 32GB card...thankfully the card would intermittently work sometimes and I could recover my data. Formatting your cards once in a while helps, as well as having a decent brand of card.
11-06-2012, 12:06 AM   #10
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SD cards are cheap thesedays, and swapping them not a major inconvenience to avert the risk of losing a significant chunk of your work on a failed card.
Go with genuine SanDisk or other reliable brand.
11-06-2012, 01:01 AM   #11
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All I can add is make sure you can continue if ANYTHING stops working with backups- unlike other situations a wedding won't wait for you but will has greater consequences if you miss shots. I'm a big fan of the 18-70mm/ 50-135mm lens overlap as if one goes down the other can cover the crucial 50-70mm portrait range (x1.5 for FF obviously)
11-06-2012, 02:23 AM   #12
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adwb has the brief pretty much nailed. I have only shot weddings as a guest (backup) photographer, so the pressure has been off, but even then I have taken:
two bodies
two f2.8 zooms (16-50 and 70-200)
ultra-wide prime
fast portrait lens
others like a fast 50 or whatever you are most comfortable with
no flash to avoid clashes with The Man (and anyway, I'm crap at flash photography)

The most important thing is you need to be on top of your game. No one will forgive you if you screw up. This is no place for greenhorns.
11-08-2012, 05:04 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sandy Hancock Quote
adwb has the brief pretty much nailed. I have only shot weddings as a guest (backup) photographer, so the pressure has been off, but even then I have taken:
two bodies
two f2.8 zooms (16-50 and 70-200)
ultra-wide prime
fast portrait lens
others like a fast 50 or whatever you are most comfortable with
no flash to avoid clashes with The Man (and anyway, I'm crap at flash photography)

The most important thing is you need to be on top of your game. No one will forgive you if you screw up. This is no place for greenhorns.
I would likely sub out the 70-200 for the 50-135

good luck

randy
11-08-2012, 05:48 AM   #14
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I think adwb is right. I think the biggest thing that is overlooked when people look at wedding photography is lights. Having flashes and knowing how to use them in various settings. Having a reflector and using it appropriately.

Glass is important too. As others have said, skill of photographer is crucial as well. As to using smaller cards, the last thing you want is a card failure with four hundred of your photos on it and no back up. Smaller cards with frequent back ups just save sweating recovery attempts later.
11-08-2012, 05:53 AM   #15
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Essentials for me is a wide angle and a standard lens with a fairly powerful flash. Back up camera and flash too of course. Lens wise a 17-55 is all i have ever needed. When I used medium format I just used a standard and a wide. The wide is important for those times you cant get far enough back to fit your subject on. I always take lots of spare batterys of course., for both camera and flash.
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