Wedding Photographer - What's in My Camera Bag on the Day?
Updated: May 15
Hi everyone! I am a Buckinghamshire Wedding Photographer, I do also shoot a mixture of Family photography, Newborn photography, Pet photography. I am here to tell you about what I have in my camera bag for my weddings in and around Buckinghamshire. Have you ever seen a professional photographer lugging around a big bag and ever wondered what they really have in there? Their puppy they can't leave at home? Full of food in case they get hungry? (this one is a possibility!) A wedding photographers camera bag is a bit like a bag of magic tricks - you would half expect us to pull the kitchen sink out of it. It is our life source to the day, it has everything in it that we need to capture your special day and also to make our lives and even yours that bit smoother. Wedding photographers do a lot of moving, running, jigging and we manage to get ourselves in some awkwardly strange positions to capture certain and special shots - Believe me I've been running round over the grounds of Notley Abbey to capture shots. I've been carrying brides bags out of Pendley Manor, covering her with an umbrella and carrying my equipment at the same time, so having a comfortable bag that contains everything we need in just one place is essential. When you hire me, you also hire my equipment, so I am here to let you in on a little secret as to exactly what is in my bag ( and extras ) that I bring along to your day.
Well safe to say this is a pretty important item to be in my bag! My main camera is a Canon EOS 5DS which consists of a 50.6-megapixel resolution which is ready to capture every tiny detail of your beautiful day. It's fantastic for static up close detailed shots, excellent for group shots and superb for moving action shots.
It also contains a dual memory card slot which is paramount for wedding photographers - just incase one has a glitch. I love this camera, it's my new upgrade this year and I fell in love with it instantly. My secondary camera is also a Canon EOS, it has been by my side loyally the past couple of years and it solidly remains in my camera bag on the day of your wedding.
Possibly the second most important thing. I carry 3 lenses with me to weddings, I carry my 50mm prime lens, my 24-70mm and my 70-200mm zoom lens.
All 3 have 3 different purposes, my 50mm is great for portraits and group shots and gives excellent bokeh for a beautiful and elegant look. My 70-200 zoom lens is my most used lens at weddings - because of its zoom range it allows me to remain out of the way but still capture those upclose and personal detailed shots. My 24-70mm is my lesser used lens however it is still a favourite and it still remains in my bag as either a back up - or extremely useful for any shots where I am tight on space, or where I possibly need a little bit of zoom to capture the shot.
3- Lense Cleaning Equipment
You honestly never know when you might need it. I always clean all my lenses and cameras and equipment before and after any shoot or weddings. However I still take my cleaning equipment with me and I will still use it throughout the day if I need to. If there is a quiet moment I will always check for any dust specks on the lenses - there is nothing more frustrating then getting home, uploading your beautiful wedding photographs and noticing dust specks, they can be edited out - its just rather time consuming.
4- Off Camera Flash
I prefer to use natural light when and where I can - however sometimes you need a little boost. Most usual places I will use a flash is low light fast moving situations such as the reception - first dance, or possibly winter outdoor portraits, a little light can really enhance and make a good photograph excellent.
Batteries! I have batteries for my flash, batteries for my cameras, battery chargers for my cameras, batteries for my off camera flash remotes, battery chargers for my batteries! I have a lot of batteries, batteries for everything, I can certainly assure you that none of my equipment will run out of battery power.
This is a very handy piece of equipment - it is a great handheld tool for either reflecting light or diffusing strong light. It folds up nice and small and fits into my bag for the day and easily within reach if I need it.
7- Spare Memory Cards
Both my cameras will have clean and formatted cards at the beginning of the day - however I will also bring at least 2 spares with me, for both back up and/or if I use up the space on my other memory cards.
Now you are either wondering how big my camera bag is that I take to weddings, or do I lug my tripod round with me all day? Neither - My tripod will come with me, however its not practical to carry with me all around your wedding venues, so when I pre-visit your venue I will have already discussed and arranged a suitable room where I can store some of my larger equipment for easy access and minimal disruption to your wedding day.
9- Tripod Attachments and Remote
Safe to say there is no point in me having my tripod without my attachments - seems pretty simple but you never know. I will always have my remote with me as well incase I need to capture a long exposure shot, it's also really handy if I need to get the attention of little ones - I can step to the side of the camera and concentrate on getting their attention and smiles and click the remote when they finally decide to look at the camera.
Again - not something that will be in my bag as my folder won't fit, but I will always bring the details along that we have discussed - your shot lists, timelines, special requests, addresses, special details - that folder is my lifeline and timeline for the day and it has everything in it that we have discussed and that I need to know for the day for minimal disturbances for you.
11- Dual Camera Chester and Hip Holder
My new toy! ( Jamie doesn't even know I've brought this - but I guess he will do now!) My dual chest harness allows me to carry both my cameras each with their lenses attached on my body to be able to grab and shoot in seconds. One camera is attached to the front of my chest, the second to my hip - both with backup straps attached to the harness to avoid and falls. This opens up more room in my bag!
Que my EXTRAS that are in my bag!
So every wedding photographer will (should) have the above - their basics that they carry, but I imagine there will also be a few surprises in there that are personal to the individual photographer.. Here are mine.
15 - Hair ties and Bobby Pins
Honestly you never know! My hair needs to be out the way and out my face when I am shooting. You also never know when the bride may want to kick her heels off and tie her hair up, I'm prepared. Bobby pins are great to be able to restrain and control any fly away crazy hairs during those wedding party group shots.
16- Glow light
You may have spotted it in the picture at the top and wondered why I take a little tiny light-sabre to weddings that I photograph? Don't worry -It it used purely for the entertainment of children - sometimes it helps to have a glowing flashy light to distract them and to get them to look at your camera for a split second to capture that shot. There is a lot going on at weddings and trying to capture a child's interest even for a few moments can be very tricky, to have something of interest to them is usually the way forward.
These are a must for me - wedding photographers usually have a long day. I can usually be expected to arrive at the bridal preparations around anytime from 8-9 and then not leave till after the first dance and the evening music and entertainment in underway which can be pushing 10pm. It is a long day on your feet and I need my snacks. Usually there will be a couple of protein bars and maybe some nuts, quick and easy no mess snacks that I can nibble whilst driving from one venue to another or during a quiet moment.
Not commonly used but I do still bring it will me - If its a little wet out and the bride needs something to protect the bottom of her dress foe any outdoor shots or to keep her warm then I have it handy ready at a moments notice.
Super important! I drink a lot so I always carry a re-usable water bottle with me which I will refill throughout the day. Not an overly interesting item in my bag but essential nonetheless to a wedding photographer.
I am the type of person who will have 8 lipsils and can never find 1 when I need one. I think I actually have 5 1 in my car, 1 on my bedside table, 1 in my camera bag, 1 in my coat pocket, 1 on the table downstairs. My issue is my little girl enjoys playing with my lipsils and unscrewing the lids so they never end up where they should be when I need one. Which is why I always keep one locked away in my camera bag.
It has saved me from very uncomfortably chapped lips a number of times..
They can always come in handy, for myself , or for others. You do you want a wedding photographer with a headache, nor a bride with a headache, or a groom with a headache.
So thats what I have in my camera bag as a Buckinghamshire Wedding Photographer. I do sometimes take a few slightly different things for my family sessions or squeaky toys for pet sessions, but that is generally what's in my bag for the norm, a squeaky toy doesn't usually have a purpose at weddings unfortunately. I hope this has explained and cleared up a little of the gear I have when you hire me for your wedding. I am always upgraded my kit, my next upgrade I am hoping for in July is an upgrade in my 70-200mm lens which I am super excited about! With an ever growing kit and an ever growing portfolio, keep checking back to my site for new images and new blog posts.
This is Sian Pill at SianP Photography Have a lovely day! www.sianp-photography.com