I’m one of those photographers who like to be prepared, no matter what. And when I started with wedding photography I wanted to make sure that I had all the gear to shoot my client’s wedding.
Even though I was just starting out with wedding photography, I wanted to be professional and deliver quality photos to my client. This meant that I had to do some research into what gear wedding photographers use.
Join me as I share my list of gear that a beginner wedding photographer needs.
What Gear Do Beginner Wedding Photographers Need?
Let me start off by saying that you don’t need the most expensive gear to shoot a wedding. I shot my first wedding with an entry-level SLR camera, and my client loved the result!
If you’re just starting out, I recommend that you don’t buy the most expensive equipment. Obviously, having quality gear will help, but it won’t make you a better photographer.
The most important item on this list is a camera. Without it, you can’t take any photos. Some people argue that you can take photos with your phone, but if you want to be a professional wedding photographer then you need a proper camera.
If you bought a camera kit then you would already have a lens or two. If not, then you would need to acquire a lens. One lens that I simply cannot go without is my 24 – 70 mm f2.8 medium zoom lens. It is very versatile and it allows me to take a variety of photos in different situations.
Often referred to as a speedlight, an external flash allows you to take photos in low light conditions. Without it, you are forced to increase the ISO on your camera which will result in grainy photos.
4.) Memory Cards
Your camera needs a memory card to save the photos that you take during a wedding. I recommend that you get at least 2 memory cards, and if you can, try to get a class 10 memory card. A class 10 memory card saves photos very fast and allows you to take photos in quick succession when needed.
Your camera will more than likely come with a battery included, however, I recommend that you get at least one more battery. One battery might not be enough to last through an entire wedding, so you would need a backup battery.
6.) Camera Bag
You would need to carry all of your gear with you during the wedding, so you would need a proper camera bag to make sure all of your gear is safe in one place. It is a must when you need to travel and board a plane.
While you will more than likely just be running around taking photos during a wedding, there might be situations where a tripod is needed. Invest in a good tripod right from the start, and it will last you for a long time.
8.) Editing Software
When you get back from the wedding you need to start editing the photos. There are various editing software packages out there, but I highly recommend that you get Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop. Most professional photographers use these software packages, and as a bonus, they are rather affordable.
You should also consider signing up for a Canva account. Canva is an online design platform that lets you make various designs including business cards, Facebook Covers, Youtube Brand Kits, etc. I personally would not use Canva for photo editing, but it is well worth a try if you want to make designs for your photography brand.
9.) Laptop or Desktop PC
You need a laptop or desktop PC to run the editing software that I mentioned above. You really don’t need the best laptop or desktop PC out there, but just make sure that it can run Adobe Lightroom or Adobe Photoshop.
As you gain more experience, you will start needing more gear. While these items are not required when you first start out, they might be worth looking at as you get more experience.
1.) Backup Camera
You would need a backup camera in the event that your main camera breaks during the wedding. A backup camera also comes in handy when you regularly have to switch between 2 lenses. You would then have one lens on your main camera, and the other lens on your backup camera.
2.) Telephoto Lens
Another lens that I often use during a wedding is a 70 – 200mm telephoto lens. This allows me to take quality photos from a distance when needed. I often have this lens on my backup camera so that I can quickly take a close-up photo from a distance when needed.
3.) Flash Diffuser
The light from a speedlight can sometimes be too harsh, and this is where a flash diffuser comes in handy. It helps to diffuse the light and creates a more even and soft light on the subject in your photos.
And there you have it, all the gear you need as a beginner wedding photographer. As mentioned, you don’t need the most expensive gear to shoot a wedding. Better gear won’t make you a better photographer.
I’ve also included a few optional extras that you might need as you gain more experience. These are not required when you first start out, and I recommend that you focus on acquiring the other items on this list first.
Good luck, and have fun!