Wedding Photography, The Wedding Photographer’s Kit Bag

Not going to be a long post this one, guys. Just a quick overview of the equipment I carry on any given Wedding Photography gig.

So lets start with the camera/cameras, to use the technical term, the ‘camera body’. There’s loads of choice out there. Canon, Nikon, Sony, Fuji, Olympus etc etc. I myself, I’m a Canon man. So I carry with me a Canon 5D MKiii and a Canon 5D MKii, both full frame cameras, important for capturing the full picture especially in tight venues. And also very important if you’re going to print, especially larger prints like canvases. As an extra spare, because I’m super cautious. I also have one Canon 7D, just in case the other two bodies fail me. I know, right? As if, but hey, you never know. So I definitely won’t fail to record somebody’s big day because a camera decides its the perfect time to give up the ghost.

Lenses. For me there are only two absolute must have lenses. The first never leaves one of the camera bodies, and that is the Canon 70-200mm F2.8 L series lens. This lens is a workhorse, it gobbles up light like nobody’s business. It’s fast, it’s sharp, put this lens up against most other lenses and it will embarrass them. Plus it has a really nice focal length, so I don’t have to be in people’s faces when capturing the big moments. Meaning I can capture natural reactions, more candid shots of the Bride, Groom and their guests. Who doesn’t want the teary mother shot in their wedding book, right? The second must have lens for me is at the other end of the focal range. So I have my Tamron 24-70mm f2.8. Again, it has a nice aperture, so it swallows light. It’s another super lens I wouldn’t be without, a cracking “walking around lens”. It allows me to capture wider shots, such as the big family shots, without being about 200 metres away. And also it’s a great portrait lens for more up close, posed shots. Like when guests throw themselves in front of you wanting a picture (I love that everyone is so happy at a wedding, and wants their picture taking). I also carry a 10-18mm wide angle lens, that doesn’t get as much use, but can come in handy if your family is extra big and the venue doesn’t offer the vantage to get you all in with any other lens.

Lighting. Lighting is super important, churches can be dark places. And unless you want all your images to suffer from low shutter speed camera shake, or really high iso digital noise, you better be packing something. I carry with me as many as four speed lights, these can be mounted on camera, or preferably, off camera if the venue allows it. Of course, a trigger to fire them. The first dance is almost always guaranteed to be in some degree of darkness, this is where the big gun comes in handy. One Godox AD600. A powerful 600 watt portable studio strobe, when you simply haven’t got other light sources to play with, accept no substitutes. Used as a key light and combined with a couple of speed lights, this will do the job just grand.

Sundries. A lot, of fully charged batteries for all the equipment. Battery grips for the cameras and multiple camera straps. And last but not least (cheesiness incoming) a smile and a good attitude. Nobody, and I mean nobody, wants a surly, up themselves photographer gracing their big day.

What Is The Problem With Boudoir Photography?

Boudoir photography? *Gasps* isn’t that just an excuse for a
seedy photographer to take pictures of pretty ladies in their

Right. I’m going to stop you right there, we need to discuss
boudoir photography and its merits, and the misconceptions around it.

So, here’s the thing. Your view is not just your own, its
quite widely held. And I daresay there are a few photographers out there that
do only want to photograph women in their undies. But they are the minority. Boudoir
photography is not what a lot of people think it is, and what they think it is?
Top and bottom, “adult entertainment”. A friend of mine recently encountered
this problem when arranging a boudoir shoot, he was looking for a nice
location. A nice room in a nice hotel, he wasn’t trying to get it free. He was
more than happy to pay for the room, for the time he was going to use it. By in
large, the response to this request ranged from the flat ‘no’ to the ‘we don’t
allow that sort of thing here’. What sort of thing? I can only assume they
thought he was going to have the beautiful lady he was working with, naked and
trussed up like some kind of roasting joint. With all sorts of unsavoury things
being photographed (like unsavoury things don’t happen in their hotel rooms,

It’s complete madness, and not what boudoir shoots are about
at all. More often than not, there’s no nudity and if there is any, it’s
generally of the ‘implied’ variety. That means, you think you’re getting
something really racy and risqué. But really, you’re looking at a person
wearing more fabric, than if they were on a beach in St. Tropez or Benidorm.
(have you seen swimwear these days?) Boudoir is a beautiful expression of the
art of photography, and something amazing you can give to your partner as a
gift. Or, you know what? Something amazing you can do with your partner.
*Gasps* That’s right, boudoir photography is not just for female subjects. I’ve
seen male boudoir, too. Granted, there are usually less stockings and suspenders
involved, usually. But yes, why not? If you’re comfortable being intimate in
front of the camera, absolutely go for it. And in the end, that’s what it comes
down to, being comfortable. A good boudoir shoot can be empowering for the subject,
but you should never do anything you’re uncomfortable with.

And one for the wedding photographers. Sometimes, the bride
or groom are going to want some boudoir style photography. Something to give as
a gift to their soon to be husband or wife. Perhaps before the wedding? It’s
actually a really nice idea, and something as a photographer you should consider

So, remember. Boudoir Photography is an art form, it’s not
seedy and it’s probably not half as risqué as you think it is. Maybe give it a
try? Oh, and the friend I mentioned earlier. He did get a location to do his
shoot, and it turned out fantastic. Some really nice shots of a really
beautiful lady. Kudos.

Wedding Photography, What’s Important?

You’re getting married! Yay, go you! Now its time to get all your ducks in a row. To church or not to church, Reception venue, guest list (who is sitting next to flatulent uncle Dave?), food, drink, favours, invites, wedding stationary, rings, honeymoon etc. Wait, I feel like I’m forgetting something. We’re here for………Photography, that’s right. How did I forget? You wouldn’t be the first, you won’t be the last. Don’t forget your photographer, some can be booked years in advance and you don’t want the headache of trying to book your photographer last minute.

Anyway, what’s important? Firstly check your chosen photographer out, it’s as simple as having a look at their website. Do you like their style? Some photographers are exclusively journalistic, that means they won’t be too eager about taking the big family shot in the shape of a love heart. Some will exclusively want to do posed shots, because that is what they’re comfortable with. Hell, I daresay you’ll find one or two that only like to take pictures of inanimate objects like the table decoration because they’d rather not communicate with a human (it’s true). 

Next, the client (you) is always right. ALWAYS, no exceptions. You want some lingerie boudoir style photographs as part of your bridal prep? Great, you can have it. You want the cheesy, funny photographs? Great, you can have them. You want your photographer to dangle upside down from a chandelier like a monkey? Great……, wait, probably don’t do that. The venue wouldn’t be best pleased. The point is, you have to find a wedding photographer that is happy to deliver what you’re looking for. Be clear with your photographer when you meet them, as to what you want. And if they’re uncomfortable with what you want, then perhaps they aren’t the photographer for you? 

MEET YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER. This is super important, they are going to be a part of one of the biggest days of your life. So the purpose of the meet, is really to make sure you get along with the photographer. The last thing you want, is a surly rude photographer turning up to your wedding. Chastising your guests every time one of them uses the camera on their phone (yes, some will do this), barking orders at you and your family like some kind of hyped up Sergeant Major whenever he wants you somewhere. Yes, that would be a nightmare scenario, and it’s thankfully rare. 

Get a contract from your photographer, it will usually detail what your package will entail. What happens in the event of a cancellation by your photographer, usually this will and should only happen through illness. But I have heard of instances of photographers cancelling because they have double booked, or just because they fancy going to watch the footy with their mates on that day, instead. Again, rare, thankfully. But if you have a contract, you’ll know exactly where you stand. 

Check with your photographer what equipment they use. Do they have at least one full frame camera? Do they use a telephoto lens (the last thing you want is the photographer in your guest’s faces with a 10mm lens)? Will they be using flash? Trust me, indoors this one is important, especially if they are covering your evening reception.  Are they using software, such as photoshop or lightroom to edit your photographs? Just get a general idea, I wouldn’t expect you to know the technical terms. That’s why you are paying a professional.

Lastly, enjoy your day. Honestly, it rushes by at the speed of light. From that nervous moment of waiting to see each other at the altar or registration desk, to crossing the threshold into the bridal suite, it will all be over before you know it. So try and take it all in. Let your photographer worry about capturing those memories in a visual format. And if you’re having a honeymoon, have a blast, that’s the best bit because it’s just for you and your new spouse.