Professional Photography Wedding Gear
Okay- so this blog post has been long in the making. I frequently get asked what I shoot with. Primarily from other photographers, but also from prospective wedding clients. It really is a valid question. When you looking to hire a New England Wedding Photographer – you want to make sure they are worth their price. So what goes into pricing anyway? Well, a bunch of stuff really. For starters, those wedding photographers who have experience, education, professional equipment, insurance etc… will most likely cost more than those just starting out. We have to consider taxes, overhead, continuing education, and the cost of those amazing albums! Ultimately, though- you should be in love with your photographer and their work. Pricing should be a factor- but not a priority. (You get what you pay for right?)
Starting Your own photography business?
Good Photography isn’t just about the equipment…
Before I get started, I really want to stress a few facts. I believe, that there is so much more to photography than just nice equipment. However, that is not to say your New England wedding photographer shouldn’t have good equipment. I will get into what I use, but first, I really wanted to clarify a few things. It really doesn’t matter how awesome your gear is if you don’t know how to use it. If you don’t know how to use the gear, the pictures rendered won’t be any better than those from any ole’ point-n-shoot camera. It isn’t the awesome gear that makes beautiful imagery, it’s the photographer.
If you don’t know how to use the gear, the pictures rendered won’t be any better than those from any ole’ point-n-shoot camera.
It isn’t the awesome gear that makes beautiful imagery, it’s the photographer. You see, if we just sat the camera on the table and waited for it to take awesome pictures… we will be waiting an awfully long time. It’s the photographer who understands lighting, composition, posing. Then the photographer knows what camera settings to use (White balance, aperture, shutter speed, ISO etc) and how to make all those elements come together to create the vision. The picture… The art.
This may be cliche, but it’s really no different than having a kitchen with all the high- end “things”, (not sure what term to use here.. utensils, appliances, organic ingredients etc haha!! Clearly I’m not a cook. LOL ) Let’s just say that this kitchen has all the bells and whistles. Truth be told, if I were standing in the middle of this Auh-Maz-Ing kitchen and I was asked to create a gourmet meal… well I probably wouldn’t be able to. (Nah… I’m pretty certain I couldn’t! ha) Sure I could follow a recipe, and use the tools provided… but without the education and the “know-how”, my meal isn’t going to be anything spectacular. Figuratively speaking….My meal could be compared to the “snapshot” created by a photographer with all the latest and greatest toys… but without the “know-how”. Make sense?
See these beautiful Cookies that just came out of the oven? (Yep, made by yours truly! ) Anyone interested in having me bake your wedding cake? I can offer you a package deal- so much lower than the Bakery could! I’ll call it… the “Have your cake and eat it too” collection. It includes all photography AND the wedding cake! (made by me!) What a deal!!
So… when searching for a photographer ( or a bakery!! ha!), keep that in mind. Just because they have a camera (or an oven), all the greatest gear, and a Facebook page with tons of fans… it doesn’t automatically make them a photographer. (or a good one at that….) No more than if I started my own FB page promoting my sub-par bakery. ( no business license, so I don’t report taxes on my income, therefore my prices can be sooo much lower- and to show for it- you get a ton of awful cookies or one massive lopsided cake.)
With that said, and before I get to the good stuff. One thing I really want to say is … Even though I’m really comfortable with my gear and I’m educated in photography, I’m still ALWAYS learning. I reach out to photographer friends for advice when I’m stumped. I attend classes to learn. (I’m actually gearing up to attend another intensive three-day workshop in February! I’m super pumped!! haha ) So I definitely don’t have all the answers, but I do have the drive, and I’m willing to learn… as much as I possibly can.
What’s in My bag?
Alrighty!! Back to the point of this post….. So what is in my bag?? (or my Pelican cases!? )
I shoot with my Canon 1DX Mark II (Not pictured) and a Canon 5D Mark IV, and a 5D Mark III. I absolutely love these cameras. They have full frame sensors. Of course I shoot in full manual. When you do that- you have complete creative control. The 1DX is actually absolutely freakin’ incredible! This is a beast of a camera with an amazing dynamic range and a tac sharp sensor! Auh•Maz•Ing! (pics taken here were shot sooooo long ago… updated pics coming )
Now for my lenses. I only have 5- and that is all I really need. I guess if I were to get another one, I would opt for the Canon 24-70mm f2.8L II. But at this point- I really don’t need or want it.
Every photographer has their favorite… and I do too! My favorite lens is the Canon 70-200mm f2.8L is III. (pictured below is the 2nd version- which I recently traded in for the new 3rd version!) Other than when I’m in a dark reception venue- this lens is pretty much always on my camera.
My next favorite lens is my Sigma 50mm 1.4 Art. This lens is tack sharp. (especially at its sweet spot of 2.2) . This lens is on my camera when I’m working in lower light situations or if I’m looking for a more creamy bokeh.
The next lens shown is my Canon 100mm f2.8L Macro lens! I LOVE this lens for my close up bridal portraits and detail shots. (like rings and such.) Actually, in the ring shot below, I’m also using my video light.
To take a quick detour from lenses here is that video light that I mentioned above. Also pictured here are two of my three flashes. Depending on the desired look for my portraits, I may use off camera flash. (OCF). Or if I’m shooting a wedding reception in a dark barn, I use OCF. What’s great about the Canon 600 Ex-rt’s, is you do not need any wireless transmitters to trigger the slave flashes. It’s all built in. I’m now shooting with 4 600 Ex RT’s
Another lens that I don’t use much is my Canon 24-105mm f4 L. I will throw this baby on when I’m working with larger group shots, or I desire a wider angle. Pictured here is one of the pictures created from my session with The Ticket band. (if you haven’t heard them play- you really should check them out! They are fabulous! I’ve worked with them at some weddings and danced along to their tunes when they played at Waxy’s. (In Keene NH) Actually- the picture below, I used OCF. I had one on camera, one camera left and one behind the band.
Well, that’s it for my lenses. Now I’ll show you some odds and ends. Pictured below are two of my camera straps. I LOVE my Black Rapid Sport. A new addition (Not pictured) is my Holdfast Money Maker Two camera strap and my Holdfast One camera strap! Man . . . these babies are purdy, and they mold to your specific body which makes them soooo comfy!
Actually- every season I send my gear out to get inspected and spruced up. Being that I’m a member of CPS (Canon Professional services) I can send in my gear for these 18 points inspections free of charge. (Well I pay a membership fee- but it’s well worth it. )
Memory cards. I also have a ton of CF and SD cards. Why? Well each wedding I photograph, I automatically shoot to both a CF card and an SD card. (My camera reads to both simultaneously ) That gives me an instant back-up in case one card becomes faulty. (times that by three cameras- well there’s 6 memory cards per wedding) . Additionally- I also have C-Fast Cards… which is what my 1DX uses as a second card in addition to the CF.
I also do not delete any weddings off the cards until those images have been safely backed up in various locations AND delivered to the client. Also pictured below is my cleaning kit and my expo disk. (Expo disk is excellent for setting your custom white balance!)
I do have some other things that I didn’t post pictures too. Some of those items are my tripod, my reflector, and my Pelican cases, low pro rolling camera case, 12 White umbrellas and my wedding day emergency kit!! So I hope that this post will answer some questions!
And I hope you enjoyed reading!
For more information about wedding day coverage for your upcoming event- just Contact Me.