Choosing the Best Gear for Wedding Photography
Many photographers purchase expensive cameras and lenses without really understanding their utility. It is important to purchase equipment that suits your needs more than following trends. Here’s a small guide that will help you make the right gear choices.
A good, sturdy camera bag that has provision for your camera body, lenses, accessories, memory cards, cleaning kit and other related equipment is ideal. Make sure you are comfortable while carrying the bag and that it is not too heavy. This is because an already heavy bag will become difficult to carry when filled with equipment. It might become a hindrance to you while shooting.
Many frown at the thought of using compact cameras for wedding photography.
But for an amateur, it is a brilliant way to start. They are easy and convenient to use. Additionally, they are portable, which makes it easier for you to blend into the crowd with a compact camera rather than with a DSLR. Moreover, compact cameras today are quite capable of producing fantastic images, which can almost match up to DSLR-quality.
For hobbyists, an entry-level DSLR is a good investment as you can always upgrade it by using good lenses.
The Nikon D3300 is easy to use and is a good choice for amateurs. It also provides HD video recording, if you wish to foray into the world of wedding videos.
The features, resolution and image quality of a professional-level DSLR are more than what an entry-level camera can offer. For instance, Nikon’s D4S is a high-speed professional model with a brilliant high ISO performance. This makes the camera ideal for shooting in low-light conditions and achieving natural results in available light. However, full frame cameras don’t come cheap, and they are certainly a hefty investment.
A telephoto lens allows you to shoot a scene or freeze a candid moment discreetly. A 70–200mm lens is a good choice for such candid moments, plus an 85mm lens is ideal for portraits. A telephoto lens can also be used to photograph couples as well as groups.
Standard Zoom Lenses
Standard zoom lenses are an excellent choice for photographers who do not want to change their position a lot while shooting. One can take decent portraits, close-ups as well as group shots with a 28–70mm or an 18–55mm lens, as they are convenient and easy to move around with.
These can be the ideal choice for wedding photography, as they are sharp and fast.
Since the lighting condition at weddings can vary greatly, this flexible lens becomes the perfect choice. For instance, the 50mm prime lens provides high quality images with an amazing control over bokeh. The only drawback of prime lenses is the lack of zoom functionality.
Having an external flashgun provides you with some amount of control over the light conditions. You can even add light in dark situations or even achieve diffused lighting by bouncing the light off the ceiling or with the use of reflectors. You may also adjust the lighting and achieve creative results by using a flashgun off-camera.
A Portable Studio Setup
Continuous light sources and flash units along with a few accessories can help you make a portable studio setup which can be used at weddings. Continuous lighting is easier to work with, since the photographer can perceive how the light is affecting the subject. However, flash units use less power and do not generate much heat. So, they are not quite useful while shooting people, as you do not want your subject to be uncomfortable due to the heat.
Other accessories that you can incorporate in your portable studio are light stands, reflectors, umbrellas and sync cords or flash sensors. A laptop and a printer can also be useful.
Most wedding venues can be very crowded. In such scenarios, a monopod is easier to keep your camera steady rather than a tripod. While selecting a monopod, make sure that it is sturdy and can hold the weight of your camera. Also, make sure that the leg tip is interchangeable so that you can switch it depending on the location, ensuring a longer life for your tripod.
At the end of the day, the gear required for wedding photography can be limited to one camera and a lens. Any other addition should be made only to support your style and vision.