You’ve taken the time to explore the different types of photography and found that you’re drawn toward the beauty and excitement of wedding photography. You’ve found your dream camera for your wedding photography business, and you have a stellar selection of lenses that’s going take you to the next level. You’ve even got your wedding website up, and started to build your online wedding portfolio to promote your wedding photography business online.
Now that you have your business in hand, it’s time for the fun part: you can start gearing up with other must-have camera accessories to make your wedding photography even more gorgeous—and your workflow as seamless as possible.
The camera accessories shopping list can get pretty long: tripods for your DSLR, holster clips, belt holders, camera holsters (including the beloved Spider Pro), DSLR memory cards, dual camera straps, lens accessories… Never fear—we’re here to make buying camera accessories easy!
Here are all our favourite items that will make shooting your next wedding a total breeze:
Basic Camera Accessories
Even if you’re new to the professional wedding photography scene or just second-shooting for a more established wedding photographer, there is some wedding photography equipment that you simply can’t live without.
Keep it Going
- Spare Batteries: Having extra batteries is extremely important. We’re talking one or two backup batteries for your main camera, and spare batteries for your flash.
- Battery Grips: Not only do they boost battery life—which enables you to avoid fishing through your bag for a fresh one—but they also come with extra controls to help with portrait photography. (Downside: they’re a bit heavy, and somewhat bulky.)
Keep it Clean
- Lenspen: This lens-cleaning tool ensures that your lens or LCD screen is spot-free. Its fine brush that keeps dust off of your lens or sensor.
- Microfiber Towels: These are essential for cleaning and wiping down camera gear and lenses.
With all the camera accessories you’ll be bringing with you to a wedding, the most important thing you can invest in is a camera bag! It’s important to maintain a certain level of professionalism and presentability. Here are some of the best camera bags on the market:
Lowepro Adventura TLZ 20 II
This is as basic as it gets, but for a wedding photographer doing a quick engagement or ceremony shoot, or for a second shooter gaining experience, it’s perfect. For $30 USD, you can’t go wrong. It’s small but can fit one camera with a lens, spare DSLR memory cards, and small accessories like a backup battery and cleaning supplies. With a removable and adjustable shoulder strap, it’s delightfully simple, and weighs essentially as much as the camera itself.
The Oliday Messenger Bag
For around $100 USD, you can get a sleek and stylish messenger bag that still puts in the work. It holds a fully equipped full-frame camera with an attached lens, and two extra lenses as well as some basic accessories (a wedding flash, batteries, cleaning supplies). It’s 100% full-grain leather and boasts a water-resistant canvas so it’s both handsome and durable.
Lowepro ProTactic 350 AW Camera Bag
At around $270 USD, this bag is perfect for heavy-duty wedding photographers. It includes a water bottle pouch, an accessory case, and a tripod cup. It also comes with a specialized cover that slips over the bag in case the weather changes on you. Inside, the ProTactic offers a phenomenal setup. It carries one to two cameras, multiple lenses or flash units, an assortment of camera accessories, a tripod for DSLR, and a 13″ laptop (perfect for editing photos on the go!).
Think Tank Photo Airport Security V3.0 Carry-On
Sitting at around $420 USD, this Think Tank has everything a destination wedding photographer could dream of. It holds two DSLRs, up to six lenses and tons of lens accessories. With a padded interior and nice dividers, plus an outstanding zipper and combination lock, your gear is safe and secure. It also comes with three seperate grab handles, a tripod strap, and a retractable trolley handle for ease of movement. It’s the ultimate bag for a professional wedding photographer who spends as much time at airports as they do at the actual weddings!
Wedding Flashes and Lighting
The thing about wedding photography lighting equipment is that most photographers have different relationships with light and lighting. In fact, much of your signature style stems from how you capture and play with light. There are so many options besides a primary wedding flash: secondary flashes, light-boxes, diffusers, LED lighting, and light panels/sticks. Here’s a list of some of the go-to lighting equipment for wedding photographers. Just always make sure you have spare batteries!
This is a cheaper alternative (under $100 USD) third-party wedding flash that is compatible with all models of cameras. It’s the perfect size for mirrorless bodies, so it is very popular with Sony and Fujifilm shooters (this means you can get two flashes and a transmitter!). This is by far one of the best third-party flashes, but if you are loyal to Nikon or Canon and want the best flash for wedding photography, have a look at the Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT or the Nikon SB-910 AF Speedlight i-TTL.
With this affordable ($77) technology, you have the opportunity to trigger your flash in manual TTL. And, with the high-speed sync, you can trigger multiple flashes based on groups and channels. This transmitter not only allows you to adjust the flash power in manual and TTL, it lets you play with the zoom of each flash, enabling your style to shine.
Westcott Ice Light
This guy provides soft, wrap-around light that mimics natural window-like lighting. It’s essentially a light-stick that can add some beautiful fairy-tale-esque lighting, which is especially flattering.
Tripods and Monopods
All professional wedding photographers tend to carry either a tripod and/or a monopod in their wedding kits. While most shooters go hand-held most of the time, there are special moments when a tripod comes in handy. Using a monopod for wedding photography gives you a little extra support and distributes and balances the weight of camera/lens combinations.
A tripod for DSLR cameras can be used for large group shots and evening shots of the venue, as well as stellar shots in various natural light conditions (especially sans wedding flash)—essentially, anything somewhat static you’re planning to shoot. Tripods can also be very useful for long exposure shots, and when you’re using multiple cameras to canvas and capture the entire room at different angles. They’re also essential for stationary work like photographing the wedding ring, wedding cake, and wedding clothes. When it comes to tripods for wedding photography, the quality of the tripod isn’t too pressing; if you’re traveling, however, it’s worth investing in something special. These are some stand-out options:
Sunpak 6630LX Medium-Duty Aluminum Tripod
With a load capacity of 6.6 pounds, a max height of 66 inches, a minimum height of 24 inches, and a folded length of 30.5 inches, the Sunpack 6630LX is a sturdy, medium-duty support for your DSLR or mirrorless system. It also has a wonderful quick-release plate for fast mounting/dismounting of your camera.
Manfrotto Compact Photo Monopod for DLSR
With a load capacity of 3.3 pounds, a max height of 57.3 inches, and a minimum height of 15.4 inches, this monopod is perfect for quick, lightweight stabilization, and is great for getting a more bird’s eye view of your subjects. Super-quick mounting and dismounting gives you an edge, and with an ergonomic soft grip and wrist strap, you’ll be totally comfortable.
Manfrotto Befree Advanced Travel Aluminum Tripod with 494 Ball Head (Lever Locks)
With a load capacity of 17.6 pounds, a max height of 59.1 inches, and a folded length of 15.7 inches, the Manfrotto Befree Advanced Travel Tripod is the definition of a workhorse. It’s a phenomenal tripod for DSLR that has one of the sturdiest ball heads, giving you the accuracy you want when it comes to setting up your camera. It also has an advanced hook at the bottom where you can add a weight to increase the overall stability of your tripod in more turbulent conditions.
Straps and Holsters
Straps and holsters come in handy for many reasons. They allow you to fasten your camera to yourself so you can have it ready-at-hand at a moment’s notice (instead of fishing for it in your bag). By strapping it to yourself, or holstering it on your camera belt, it frees your hands to focus on other things like fixing a tripod and dealing with flashes. If you’re shooting a wedding for over five hours, it’s a nice camera accessory to have so you don’t have to lug your bag everywhere you go.
The Holdfast Money Maker
Yes, it’s extremely convenient and yes, it makes your life easier, and yes, it’s beautiful, but dang does it ever make you look like a serious badass. Hailed by pretty much every wedding photographer on the market, this dual camera strap allows you to clip two cameras onto yourself so you aren’t fishing through your bag. Made with premium high-grade leather in the United States, it distributes the weight of each camera that hangs by your waist. This strap is going set you back about $300 USD—but it’s worth it.
Spider Pro Holster
This camera belt and holster is far cheaper, sitting at around $130 USD. You’ll feel like a cowpoke in the Wild West with your camera clipped to the side of your waist. This camera belt and holster enables you to be agile and quick, and gives you time to stretch those fingers! Any wedding photographer on a budget wouldn’t regret getting one of these.
When it comes to memory cards, always purchase the best ones you can afford—and always, always have more on you than you think you need! Why? Because the top-of-the-line memory cards allow faster downloading and hold more images (especially when shooting thousands of photos in RAW). Here are some must-have mirrorless and DSLR class 10 memory cards:
- Lexar 256GB Professional 1066X CompactFlash
- Lexar 64GB SDXC 64GB Professional Memory Card
- SanDisk SDXC 64GB Extreme Pro Memory Card
- SanDisk SDHC 32GB Extreme UHS-I Memory Card
Other Wedding Photography Essentials
Shooting weddings is one of the most fun jobs in the world. They can also be long, stressful, unpredictable, boiling hot, freezing cold, and exhausting! Here is a final wee checklist for what you should pack in your kit for every wedding:
- Bare necessities: Always try and keep a small bottle of water, sunscreen, and Advil in your bag. The last thing you want is to be dehydrated or have a bad headache. It might also be wise to have a few snacks to keep you going.
- Business Cards: Other guests often inquire about your services—have a good one ready to give them!
- Thinsulate photography gloves: When it’s too hot, or too chilly, you don’t want your photo-snappin’ fingers to be too sweaty or frozen!
- Pen and small notebook: These are essential for keeping checklists for gear, making sure you have all your amazing, creative shot ideas written down, and if anything comes up during the wedding you need to jot down.
- Silica gel packs: These absorb any moisture or humidity in your camera bag.
More tips to up your photography game:
20 Wedding Photographers with Exceptional Portfolios
The 11 Best Free Online Photo Editors
The Complete 9-Step Guide to Developing Your Own Film