This Saturday will be my first wedding of 2015! So this week is full of getting ready and prepping for Katie and John’s wedding. Since I am rounding up all of my gear, cleaning it, and getting everything organized; I thought that I would share what I bring with me on a wedding day!
This first post is all about the gear. What camera bodies I have with me and what lenses I choose to use at certain parts of the wedding day. I’ll be sharing later this week a few things I bring along that help make the day run smoothly. Things that you wouldn’t necessarily think a wedding photographer would bring on a wedding day. 😉
I have the Nikon D600 as my backup camera. Just incase anything would happen with my D800, I have this camera to turn to. I also bring the D600 out sometimes during ceremonies. If I know the ceremony will be super short and I won’t have a ton of time to change lenses back and forth, I’ll have both of my cameras on me with different lenses, so I can quickly alternate viewpoints. I love that they are built similarly and it’s easy and comfortable to go from shooting with one to the other.
The Nikkor 50mm 1.4 is probably my most used lens. This guy is on my camera for the majority of the wedding day. If you are just starting out in the wedding photography (or portrait photography) world I would recommend the 50! It’s super versatile and quick to focus. I could just about shoot an entire wedding with just this lens if I had to.
My next favorite is my new 35mm 1.4 Sigma Art Series. I knew I wanted a 35mm lens but was torn between the Nikon and the Sigma (especially after hearing all the love people had for the Sigma Art Series). I decided to rent both of them and test them out myself. For me, personally, the Sigma felt faster and the photos appeared sharper, so I decided on that one! This lens is great for the overall venue shots, for large wedding parties, and it is also great for portraits and getting close for details.
During ceremonies I primarily use my Tamron 70-200mm 2.8 lens. I try as hard as I can to remain unseen and not be a distraction during the ceremony (especially if I’m restricted to the back of the sanctuary). So this lens allows me to stay farther back but not sacrifice any close up images of the couple.
I LOVE my macro lens! Ring shots are definitely possible without a macro, but it’s certainly more difficult and you can’t get as close! It definitely takes a little getting used to but I love the detail that I’m able to capture when I’m using this lens!
Nikkor 17-35mm 2.8 – This lens I’m pretty unsure about. It is a great, high quality lens, but I definitely don’t think it fits my style of photography. I prefer to shoot with prime lenses (at a fixed distance) and this one just solidified that preference for me. I still bring it along with me incase I need a super wide angled lens (often times in tiny spaces when the bride is getting ready), but a lot of times it will distort the edges of the photograph or make the people in the photo seem taller and stretched out. That’s why I prefer to only use it if I absolutely have to.
Nikkor 24-85mm 3.5-4.5 – This lens came with my D600 camera body when I purchased it. I’ve only used it a few times myself, but keep it in my bag incase my second shooter wants/needs to use a lens that can zoom in a bit. Between my 35 and my 70-200 I’ve never found myself needing to whip this guy out.
I consider myself a natural light photographer, but on a wedding day there are going to be times that we are shooting indoors (i.e. on a rainy day or during the reception) and I will need some added light. I have three Nikon SB-700 speed lights. I use two during the reception (one on camera and one off camera on a light stand) and have one as a backup.
I hope this post gave some insight on what I shoot with on a wedding day! I’m by no means saying these are what everyone should shoot with. There are a ton of great lenses out there, and these are the ones that I have found work for me and my style! Next on my list is the 85mm.