People ask me what camera gear I carry when I do candid wedding photography. The camera gear that I have mentioned is something that I like using and recommend to others as well, but it’s up to you to use whatever gear you like. Most of the gear that I have are of Nikon and the equivalent/same applies to other brands as well. Remember one thing – the gear is important but is secondary. Photographer and his creativity will remain in the first place. Else, you will only be another monkey with expensive gear but don’t know how to get the best of images.
Let me start with the gear that I use:
Nikon D600 and Nikon D750 or D800 – Full frame DSLR camera body. Backup camera.
Nikon AF-S 24-70mm F/2.8G ED – Must have lens.
Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VR II – Must have lens. Useful for candid shots.
Nikon AF Nikkor 50 mm f/1.4D – prime lens, 1995 model.
Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8G ED AF-S – wide-angle lens for some shots of the location of the place where the event takes place.
Nikon Speedlight SB-910
Nikon EN-EL15 Lithium-Ion Batteries – 4 to 5 of them.
Maha Charger to charge Speedlight batteries (8 batteries at the same time) which has independent circuits and a display that show the charging of each of the batteries.
Lowepro Transit Backpack 350 AW
Tripod – Manfrotto – MHXPRO-3W X-PRO 3-Way Head – I just carry this just in case.
Few might ask me why use a wide-angle lens for a wedding event? Let me tell you, it is good to include a few wide-angle shots just to that dramatic shots in addition to the regular shots. 14-24mm lens is another expensive lens and I would suggest getting this lens for rent.
The 24-70 f2.8 and the 70-200 f2.8 lenses are a must. If you can buy these two, I would say it’s worth buying. The reason is simple f2.8, has amazing sharpness, clarity, and low light performance. A lens with f2.8 can do magic when compared to a zoom lens which has f4.5 to 5.6.
70-200mm f2.8 is something that I use to get candid shots where I get some natural shots of couples in the event without them knowing anything about me capturing them. You need not stand too close and 70-200 f2.8 is an ideal lens for candid shots.
I use 50mm f1.4 to get that extra blur in the background. Many ask me if I do that in the post-editing. No, it’s just the lens. Another lens capable of capturing crystal clear images, really sharp, has good low light capabilities.
I have a camera body with an APSC sensor, why not use that? This is a common question many people who are interested in getting into this business ask me, but not sure or not ready to spend money on expensive camera gear, I would say go ahead and use it. No problem. You can get amazing shots using APSC sensors as well and need not always go to full-frame. That’s good to start with, also you might consider getting the expensive camera body for rent.
Why do I carry 2 camera bodies? – 1. As a backup, what if one camera fails, what if the shutter stops working, what if the memory card fails. You cannot give this excuse at a wedding event, the event is gone. You cannot ask them to get married again. 2. To get shots from different angles – we usually go for an event with 2 photographers me and my assistant who is also a photographer, who will be standing on the opposite side and doing exactly the opposite of what I do. By doing so we get images from different angles. An example would be the first kiss, tying the knot, etc. No one wants to miss that shot.
Indian weddings usually happen indoors in a wedding hall or in a temple. And most of the time under poor light and colorful background cloth is another thing to keep in mind. Too many people on the stage or the place where the event takes place. At some of the wedding events, you will even find miniature bulbs, odd color lamps, and bulbs. The best is to take two umbrellas or some bright light source.
The worst thing that can happen in an event is power failure which happened in one of the recent wedding events that I went to. It was almost dark inside the wedding hall and luckily someone switched on the backup generators in the wedding hall and power had come back in 10 minutes. But during this time you might miss out on some of the important shots like tying knot etc and this is where I used speed lights / external flash.
I will be writing more articles on my practical experience and lessons learned so that you don’t get into the trouble that I faced. So, like my page on Facebook to get the latest updates. Leave a comment below on what gear you take along with you or planning to for a wedding photoshoot and why. Also, share the experience that you had. Don’t forget to follow me on social media to get more updates on photography and travel.