The question of what I use when I shoot a wedding or indoor ceremony is often asked by other photographers and non-photographers alike. Today, I want to share with you what is in my bag.
Like any profession, photography changes rapidly. In today’s world, you might be using one of the most advanced tools from one of the industry’s established camera companies like Canon, Nikon, Sony, etc. These tools could be considered obsolete tomorrow. It does not mean you are not a professional if you do not have the newest gadget. Most professionals do not just switch up the types of gear they use for the latest tech that has been released. The best cameras are not always new ones.
Now let us discuss what is in my bag.
My obsession with canon products has grown over the years and I have attempted to pinpoint exactly how I became attached to canon systems from my very early photography days, but I cannot. There is a good chance I have picked it up from all the videos I watched on YouTube and they were usually Canon related. It is safe to say YouTube converted me, is it possible not to be convinced by just watching stuff on YouTube? I will let you answer the question.
Currently, I own two Canon camera bodies.
- Canon EOS 5D Mark 4 – It is my go-to camera of choice when shooting events where precision is paramount to me. The 5D Mark IV is an upgrade of the 5D Mark III camera body, both of which can be considered amazing pieces of machinery. When it comes down to it, you cannot go wrong with either one. Although I do own these two items, the Mark 3 is a real dinosaur, so it needs some major repair work.
- Canon EOS R Mirrorless Camera – It is Canon’s high-end mirrorless camera (Canon has also released Canon EOS R6 which is its latest flagship). Canon was late to the mirrorless craze that swept the photography community, but I believe that they outdid themselves with this mirrorless body. Personally, most of the weddings I have photographed were done with this mirrorless camera. One thing I love about this camera body is its form factor, the ability to see the image before it has been taken. This is the case for every mirrorless camera out there. Since I could use the lenses from my DSRL system on the mirrorless camera, I did not need to purchase a whole new set of lenses.
I have other camera bodies available, including the old 5D Mark 3 (that I mentioned) and the Canon EOS Rp. The two cameras are mostly used for backup or hobby purposes nowadays.
Having a great lens helps create high-quality images. If you have the best body and horrible lens, I recommend you sell the camera body and buy a mid-range one and use the remaining funds for a good lens. Below are my top lenses for shoots in my bag.
- Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM ART – The 50mm lens is in my opinion the best one for all-around use. The range of this lens means that you do not need to be too close to your subject, nor far from the person you want to take a picture of. I own this specific lens instead of the Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L because of how sharp it is as well as how fast it focuses. I do not think either is an awful lens, however, I prefer the Sigma.
- Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro – It goes without saying that you will need a good macro lens for closeup shots like rings and some other details when you shoot tons of weddings. It helps me get as close as possible to the object to get a good shot of it.
- Sigma 18-35mm F/1.8 DC HSM ART – Another lens I use commonly, mostly for group photographs. It is wide enough, and I can also get close to subjects when needed.
- Canon EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM – This lens is mostly used for backup purposes. It is an excellent lens when used properly.
Camera Grip & Battery
The battery grips that I use with both of my cameras are essential to me. Due to my large hands, any camera without a grip feels hard to hold. The grips I use not only provide comfort but also reduce the number of times I must get up in the middle of an event to replace a battery. Two batteries can be held in one grip at the same time, so I can shoot a whole wedding day without having to change batteries. One grip is for the Canon 5D Mark 4 and the other is for the Canon EOS R.
The horrors of failed SD cards. Every photographer’s greatest fear is either not having a card with them on the day of their shoot or having one only to have it get corrupted because… (provide your reasons here). If you are a photographer and you do not feel this fear, then I do not know if you are a photographer.
- Lexar 2000X Professional 64GB
- Kingston CANVAS Go! 64GB
- FUJIFILM Elite Performance 8GB
Everyone in the wedding photography business knows that a flash is one of the most essential items in their bags. My experience has been the same. With club lighting being used, and wedding venues using some of the worst lightings in the business, there is no doubt that some type of lighting is required. Today, capturing an indoor wedding will not be the same without some form of light.
Following are two of my on-camera flashes.
- Two (2) Flashpoint Zoom Li-on X R2 TTL For Canon: My favorite thing about the two on-camera flashes is that they have long-lasting battery life. My Canon flashes used to consume batteries so quickly that I would buy a battery pack every 2-3 weeks. There is no need to use double AA batteries with these flashes. Two 2600mAh batteries are all you need for a single event. And the bonus is that they are rechargeable. I carry four batteries throughout the day, one main battery, and three backups.
- One (1) Flashpoint Zoom R2 Manual Flash: I rarely use this flash, but when I need it, I plug it into my Canon 5D Mark 4.
Camera Bag and Others
This last piece is my camera backpack. It is a small bag that holds some of the equipment I mentioned above.
As you can see nothing extraordinary or out of the blue can be found in my bag. It does not matter what camera or equipment you choose; all you need is a little creativity on your part and then you are set.