How Many SD Cards Do You Need For A Wedding?

If you’re a beginner wedding photographer then I’m sure you have a lot of questions to ask. I also had a lot of questions to ask when I was first starting out with wedding photography.

One question that many people ask is how many SD cards are needed to shoot a wedding. You don’t want to get caught off-guard during a wedding and get stuck with insufficient space to store your photos, so it is good to do your homework first.

Well, I’m here to help so join me as I give you a few concrete answers.

How Many SD Cards Do You Need For A Wedding?

It is recommended that you take at least three 32 GB SD cards with you when you’re shooting a wedding. During an 8-hour wedding, you might end up shooting up to 64 GB worth of photos, so two 32 GB SD cards should cover it. The third SD card will serve as a backup in case one of the other SD cards breaks or gets lost.

I always like to be prepared when I’m shooting a wedding, so I often take quite a few SD cards with me. If your budget allows for it, get as many SD cards as you can and take them with you when you’re shooting a wedding. You will often see me taking six SD cards with me on my way to a wedding.

How Many Photos Will A 32 GB SD Card Hold?

A lot of variables come into play when determining how many photos a 32 GB SD card will hold. It depends on whether or not you’re shooting in RAW, and the picture quality or megapixels of the photos that you are taking. If you are shooting RAW and these images have 22 megapixels then you can expect your 32 GB SD card to hold around 1000 photos. If you’re shooting JPEG, which you shouldn’t, then your 32 GB SD card can hold around 4000 photos.

What Type Of SD Card Is Needed For A Wedding?

You might be asking why I’m only talking about 32 GB SD cards while bigger SD cards are available. Wouldn’t it make more sense to use 64 GB SD cards instead?

Well, not really. Let’s say you shoot the entire wedding on a 64 GB SD card. You return home and discover that the SD card is corrupted, which can happen. Every single photo that you have taken on the day would be lost.

But let’s say that you used two 32 GB SD cards instead. If one of them is corrupted then you at least have half of the photos you have taken, as opposed to no photos.

I highly recommend that you get class 10 32 GB SD cards to shoot a wedding. Class 10 SD cards save photos much quicker which can be very beneficial during a wedding. 32 GB is an ideal size because it mitigates the risk of corrupted or lost photos if one of your SD cards is corrupted.

How Many Photos Does The Average Wedding Photographer Take?

The number o photos taken during a wedding will differ from each wedding photographer, but generally speaking, the average wedding photographer will take between 2000 and 4000 photos during 8 hours of wedding coverage. So, as you can see, you can easily fill up two 32 GB SD cards on the day.

Shooting RAW vs JPEG

As a wedding photographer, you should be taking photos in the RAW image format. This gives you more freedom when editing the photos afterward. JPEG photos are smaller in size, but this means that they are of less quality.

The drawback of RAW photos is that they are fairly large in file size when compared to JPEG photos, so you need to take that into consideration when determining how many SD cards you need.

The standard size of a RAW file is around 30 MB, but in some cases, it can be more. As a rule of thumb, you can fit around 1000 RAW photos on a 32 GB SD card, and during a wedding, you might take anything from 2000 photos or more, so at least two 32 GB SD cards are needed.

Conclusion

As you can see, it is a good idea to take at least three 32 GB SD cards with you when you’re shooting a wedding.

You can end up shooting 64 GB worth of photos during a wedding, so the first two SD cards should cover it. The third SD card serves as a backup in case one of the other SD cards is faulty, or if you simply need more storage space.

With all that said, take as many SD cards with you as you possibly can.