Oh goodness the list is endless, there cannot be another profession so neurotic as the photographic business – we do tend to take the kitchen sink just in case the end of the world should occur when we are out on a shoot.
Ok, batteries – I carry with me enough batteries to power a small power station should the need arise. I also carry enough memory cards to hold several copies of War and Peace. Sorry, it just comes with the job – no photographer wants to find themselves part way through a wedding without power or memory. Oh and of course the battery chargers – I think at present I carry 4 different battery chargers.
I also carry a very sturdy tripod, monopod, gorilla pod and mini tripod.
I have a range of very fetching material swatches on which I can photograph the bride’s accessories etc. Along with the odd prop including umbrellas both for practical purposes and a white umbrella for photographic purposes.
I carry cleaning paraphernalia of every description to clean lenses, camera sensors, screens – you name it, I can clean it.
Oh yes of course I also carry, as does every other photographer I know, a roll of gaffer tape which can be used for a multitude of jobs on the wedding day. Lots of things end up being held together with gaffer tape but we don’t tell the guests.
Summary of Equipment Requirements
Any digital SLR can be an effective tool for wedding photography if combined with a high quality, high speed lens. For most photographers 3 professional quality zooms are the minimum requirement. Introducing flash or strobes increases the ability to be more creative with your photography but it also increases the complexity significantly.
Remember to spend at least a few days practicing with your camera body, lens or flash before a wedding – the buttons and switches on your equipment are there to help you change shooting modes quickly – you need to be well practiced and efficient – the biggest criticism I hear from couples is that their photographer took too long. Not only are you expected to take fabulous and creative images you also need to do it quickly and professionally.
A wise piece of advice that I read was that a wedding should be the 3rd or 4th project that you undertake with a new piece of equipment – not the first.
Ok now we have got an idea about the equipment we need, let’s have a look at the process – that is, what I do and when I do it – starting with the initial discussion with the prospective Bride and Groom.