As a wedding photographer, you have the unique responsibility of capturing one of the most special and sentimental days in a person’s life. Because of this immense responsibility, having the right photography equipment is undeniably something you’ll want to carefully consider before you start booking any clients.
When you start off your career as a wedding photographer, you want to ensure you’re capable of delivering the highest-quality images possible. While talent is, of course, a big part of this, you also need to have the right equipment.
From a professional camera to the best lenses for various scenarios, we’ll make sure you’re all stocked up with the best wedding photography equipment before you put yourself out there. Because, trust us, as much as disposable camera wedding photos might be trendy now, your bride and groom will likely want to have professional images that they can cherish for a lifetime.
Read on to discover our top recommendations for wedding photography equipment, and don’t forget to check out some of the best wedding photography portfolios, as well as these wedding websites for even more inspiration.
You won’t be too shocked to discover that a high-quality camera is an absolute must as a professional wedding photographer. Remember, it is your responsibility as the photographer to capture special moments that otherwise would be missed if you weren’t present. Take this role seriously and be sure to purchase the best wedding photography camera possible. It might seem like an investment now, but if you’re serious about wedding photography, having a reliable and professional camera will make all the difference.
Here are some we recommend and their features:
Are you just starting out in wedding photography? Are you reluctant to invest in a pricey camera? If so, the Fujifilm X-S10 is one of the best options on the market. The perfect combination of both affordable and professional, this camera will get you beautiful images without breaking the bank. In particular, we recommend this camera for those who are searching for a mirrorless SLR camera. If this sounds like what you’re looking for, some of the other desirable features associated with this option include:
An intuitive design that is great for beginners
26.1-megapixel sensor for great detail and vibrant color
In-body image stabilization (amazing for wedding photographers who will spend most of their day shooting handheld)
Magnesium-alloy front and top-plate to keep the body rigid and robust
Ergonomic grip, making it easier to keep the camera stable when larger lenses are mounted
Impressive autofocus with Face and Eye AF
Low light autofocus with sensitivity down to EV -7
High speed continuous shooting up to 20fps
Silent shutter for those moments when you don’t want to interrupt the day (i.e. during the wedding vows)
4K video with Full HD recording at 240p and F-Log
This is another great option for beginners who are on a budget. It is a DSLR camera with a 24.4-megapixel sensor. And, unlike the option mentioned above, this Nikon model shoots stunning 4K video, which can be a great asset when working as a wedding photographer. In addition, with an ergonomic design and wonderful handling, this is a camera that is a joy to shoot on. Other notable features include:
High-resolution tilting touchscreen display
Durable and lightweight
24.5 megapixel backside illuminated full-frame sensor
273-point phase-detection autofocus system inherited from Nikon’s top line D5
Focus stacking for images where focus throughout the entire composition is essential
10-Bit N-Log and new HDR (HLG) shooting formats preserve more detail, dynamic range, and contrast in video
Dual UHS-II SD memory card slots for more redundant image capture or so you can spend less time swapping cards when you’re shooting
Impressive low light performance with ISO range of 100-51,200 (expandable to ISO 204,800)
The tough magnesium alloy body with extensive weather sealing build is rugged and can handle shooting in harsh conditions
While it’s hard to pick just one option, if we had to, we would say this is probably the best camera overall for wedding photographers who prefer Canon cameras. Why? Well, most notably, the autofocusing capabilities on this camera are incredibly impressive, which is helpful for wedding photographers who will need their autofocus to be in top form for the entire wedding day. In addition, this camera is packed full of amazing features from WiFi to In-body Image Stabilization, dual card slots and 4K video. Quickly a crowd favorite among wedding photographers, this camera is a mind-blowing all-around awesome camera body. Here are some of the EOS R6 top-line features:
High quality 20.1-megapixel sensor full frame CMOS sensor to capture sharp and detailed images, even in low-light
ISO range of 100-102400 (expandable to 204800)
High-Speed Continuous Shooting up to 12 fps with Mechanical Shutter and up to 20 fps with Electronic (Silent) Shutter- perfect for dynamic action throughout the wedding day
Compact and easy to carry around
AF can operate in light as dim as a light rating of EV -6.5
High-speed focusing with Dual Pixel CMOS AF II with 1053 automatic AF zones
Advanced subject tracking of People and Animals using Deep Learning Technology including head and eye detection
In-body Image Stabilizer can provide up to 8 stops of Shake Correction
4K up 60fps, 1080p up to 120fps 10-bit 4:2:2 with Canon Log and internal recording
Dual card slots for UHS-II SD memory cards for redundant recording so you don’t risk losing images to a corrupt card on the wedding day.
The above option might be the best for Canon lovers, but if you find yourself gravitating more towards Nikon, this is your best bet. With best-in-class quality, this full-frame, mirrorless option has a lot to offer aspiring wedding photographers. Considered a mid-price option, this is another camera that offers a great balance between function and price. While you certainly can upgrade to a camera with more pixels, if you want something that is affordable and reliable, the Nikon Z6 II has you covered.
Brand new 273-point hybrid AF system with Eye-Detection (humans, dogs, and cats) and low light autofocus down to -4.5 EV
5-axis VR image stabilization for ultra-sharp photos
Multiple exposures allow you to combine up to 10 different exposures in one composition from the viewfinder
Up to 900-second exposures controllable from your phone, perfect for astrophotographers
Direct connection to PC or Mac so you don’t need cables to transfer your files
Dual processors for faster image processing, more buffer capacity, and more overall speed.
4K Ultra HD video at 60p with full pixel readout
Dual card slots for peace of mind and additional memory
One of our favorite DSLR cameras out there, we had to include this on our list of best wedding photography cameras. Most notably, the impressive high resolution is guaranteed to help you deliver quality images that your clients will love. Plus, if that alone isn’t enough to sell you, it’s also important to note that it has an incredible battery life, which is extremely helpful when you’re shooting weddings which can be all-day events.
45.7 megapixel back-side illuminated FX-format full-frame CMOS sensor with no optical low-pass filter
Dual memory card slots
4K and 8K time-lapse with the D850’s built-in Interval Timer Mode
120p for buttery slow motion video
ISO range of 64-25600
Impressive autofocus performance with 153 Point AF system inherited from Nikon’s flagship DSLR
Deeper, more comfortable grip for better handling
Stellar magnesium alloy frame that’s built to last
A premium choice for professional photographers, this full-frame DSLR camera will help you capture every special detail of the big day. While you will find that the resolution is slightly lower than some of the other options on this list, it makes up for it with its lightweight nature, which is ideal for any photographers who do a lot of dynamic shooting that involves motion. Bottom line, this is a versatile option that delivers on both quality and performance.
30.4 Megapixel Full-frame CMOS Sensor
Dual Pixel RAW for focus microadjustments in post production to ensure ultimate sharpness
Shoots 4K 30p Full HD 60p and HD 120p video
1.62 million dot, low-reflection 3.2-inch Clear View LCD II touchscreen
up to 7.0 fps continuous shooting
Impressive autofocus with 61 AF points with expanded vertical coverage and 41 cross-points, plus Dual Pixel AF for smooth and responsive video and LiveView focusing
150,000-pixel RGB+IR metering sensor for advanced exposure, subject, scene and light recognition and performance
Built-in WiFi, NFC, and GPS (so you can geotag your images)
While this might not be the most impressive mirrorless camera out there, there are some features about this option that are ideally suited for wedding photography. Remember, if you’re set on wedding photography, it is important that you pick a camera that is best suited for this style of photography. Doing so will save you a big headache down the line. Some of the features that make this such a great option for wedding photographers include:
Well priced compared to other full-frame mirrorless options
Sony’s Eye AF technology for easy focusing on human subjects
5-axis SteadyShot stabilization
10 frames-per-second burst shooting
Up to ISO 204,800 for low light performance
Dual SD slot for more memory while shooting
Light and compact for easy shooting
Silent shooting (great for shooting during the ceremony)
While this might not be the newest camera model available on the market, it still remains one of the most popular wedding photography cameras out there for both newcomers and well-established wedding photographers. This is largely due to this model’s versatility. Whether you’re shooting posed shots of the bridal party or more dynamic shots at the wedding reception, the Nikon D750 can handle it all. Some of the top reasons why photographers love this option so much include:
24MP – Full frame CMOS Sensor
Dual card slots
ISO 100 – 12800( expands to 50 – 51200)
3.20″ Tilting Screen
Optical (pentaprism) viewfinder
6.5fps continuous shooting
Full HD Video at 60fps
Weather Sealed Body
Once you have your camera picked out, it’s time to start considering various lenses. And yes, we’re using the plural form here, because you will definitely require more than one lens as a professional wedding photographer. While we know this can get pricey, remember the upfront cost might be high now, but when you’re able to take stunning photos that other brides and grooms notice, you’ll struggle to keep up with business. Trust us, quality lenses can help with this.
If you’re overwhelmed by all the various lenses available, we’ll make it easy for you by suggesting our recommendations for the best wedding photography lenses. You might not need all of these, but slowly building your collection as you grow your business can be immensely helpful.
If you had to shoot a wedding using only one lens, this is likely the option that you would want to go with, making it the best lens for wedding photography in our books. We love it so much because it allows you to capture intimate moments without having to be right up in the couple’s face, which is often frowned upon in wedding photography. It will also give you those beautiful background blurs that we all know and love. If you haven’t picked out your 70-200mm lens yet, here are some options:
While this isn’t exactly a lightweight lens, it’s still one that we recommend all wedding photographers have available to them. We consider it one of the best options for wedding photographers because of its versatility. Whether you’re shooting from a distance or you’re able to be up close and personal during the moment, you can use this lens and rest assured that you’ll have beautiful sharpness in every shot. When in doubt, pick between this option or 70-200. You’ll find both options are versatile.
No doubt about it, as a wedding photographer, you’re going to be shooting your fair share of portraits. For this, we recommend having a 50mm on hand. With a low aperture, this lens will help to soften your client’s skin, creating a more dynamic image that flatters and highlights the subject. In addition, this is a wonderful lens to have for low-lighting situations (i.e. at the reception).
If the 50mm option doesn’t work for you, an 85mm is another great option for portraits. In particular, if you have a full-frame camera, we would recommend going with the 85mm option over the 50mm since it will give you a more flattering angle. You’ll also get a better background separation with the 85mm option. In fact, if we had to pick just one between the 50mm and 85mm, we would say the 85mm is the best wedding photography lens for portraits, but the 50mm option is more affordable. Pick and choose what works for you:
A macro lens can be really handy as a wedding photographer, especially if you want to capture a lot of detail. For instance, if your bride has a beautiful lace dress, you want to be able to see the lace in the images. You’ll also often see the wedding rings photographed in wedding photography. A macro lens is an absolute must for this if you want a sharp image that captures all the detail. Trust us, investing in one of these macro lenses will really help elevate your career:
On the total opposite end of the spectrum from a macro lens, we also recommend a 35mm as a must-have wedding photography lens. This lens is best for capturing large scenes like the bridal party, for example. It won’t give you the same level of detail as a macro lens, but it will allow you to get multiple people into your shot while still maintaining the quality of the image. Plus, 35mm lenses will deliver beautiful, bright images. Some of our favorite 35mm lenses include:
If you want a lens with a bit more versatility than the 35mm option mentioned above, it might be worth looking into a 16-35mm option. Again, this lens is ideal if you have any large scenes to shoot. It also might be good to have if your wedding has a lot of picture-worthy scenes. For instance, a beautiful sunset backdrop or a grand historic mansion. This is also a favorite focal length for videographers. Here are some options for you:
As a photographer, it’s easy enough to get stuck in patterns and stick with the familiar. In other words, you likely have lenses that you gravitate towards, and you also likely have ones that you probably don’t have as much experience with. As a wedding photographer, you should feel comfortable with all different lenses, or, at the very least, you should feel comfortable with all the ones mentioned above since you will likely have to work with them at one point or another.
The general rule as a wedding photographer is to work with the lens you need, not necessarily the one you want. This prevents you from just simply reaching for the same lens over and over again because it is familiar to you. Avoiding this will result in higher-quality images.
In general, these are the types of lenses you should have as a wedding photographer:
Classic focal length
Even if you’re just getting started with your photography career, there’s a good chance you already know that there’s a fair bit of equipment involved with your new line of work. While, yes, a camera and multiple lenses will be absolutely necessary for capturing your best work possible, you’re also going to want to invest in wedding photography equipment to help you elevate your work. While we wouldn’t say that each of the pieces is necessary, we would say they are worth considering. Pick what works for you and your style, and we have no doubts that your wedding photography career will be off to a great start.
1. A reliable camera bag
If you have a camera, you likely already have a bag for it. Having said that, as you grow and become more established as a wedding photographer, you’re going to start investing more in lenses. We mentioned seven different lenses above, and while you don’t necessarily need all of them, you will need 4-5, which means you need a camera bag that can carry all your lenses plus your camera (and anything else you might require).
Here’s what we recommend when picking out a camera bag:
Easy to carry
Sturdy and well made
Compartments for multiple lenses and dual cameras
Wheels for easy travel
2. A drone
If you’ve done your research into wedding photography, you know that wedding drone photography has become popular, especially for those of you who shoot wedding videos pr photographers that like to add a little extra to their offering. If you want to upgrade your offerings or make yourself stand out as a wedding photographer, offering drone photography is a great way to do this.
Some things to keep in mind when considering using drone photography at a wedding include:
Local laws about drone usage
Your own ability (i.e. losing control of a drone at a wedding could be a disaster)
It’s an extra thing to think about on an already frantic day
3. A second camera
When you’re already carrying around multiple lenses and all the other equipment that you need to shoot a wedding, it might seem like overkill to bring a second camera, but trust us, it is worth it. Think of it this way: What if, for whatever reason, your camera just stopped working? Or, what if you were to somehow drop your camera? If you don’t have a backup, you won’t be able to shoot the wedding, and we don’t think we need to tell you how bad that could be.
For a second camera we recommend:
Something compact and portable
Something that is compatible with all of your lenses
Ideally the same as your primary body so that you have the same resolution, color reproduction contrast etc… It will make your life so much easier in post-production.
4. Camera harness
As a wedding photographer, you need to be ready to snap a photo at a moment’s notice. This means you need to have your camera on you at all times. There are many options for this, but because you’re working at a wedding, we recommend upgrading to something more professional than what came standard with your camera.
Look for something professional and durable
Consider a dual harness if you carry two cameras
Invest in something reliable and well-made
5. Back-up memory cards
If you haven’t already picked up on this you want to be cautious and over-prepared as a wedding photographer. Remember, this wedding is only going to happen once. There are no do-overs, meaning you can’t afford to have an off-day or forget a piece of equipment. Having backup memory cards saves you from any of your cards becoming corrupted.
Get cards with fast read and write speeds
Invest in large storage sizes
Consider bringing extra batteries for your camera
6. Photo editing software
No doubt about it, every wedding photographer needs to have access to photo editing software. It doesn’t matter how talented you are, you will need to manipulate images to get the right lighting and contrast. Keep in mind, though, this doesn’t mean you should use any basic photo editing software. You need to invest in professional software that will give you professional results. There are two major software programs that we recommend:
7. Speedlight Flash
If you’re going to be shooting in any dark spaces—and, let’s be honest, between the reception and dark churches, there will likely be some dark scenes—you’re going to want to have a speedlight on hand. A speedlight can help you achieve the perfect lighting when you don’t have as much control as you would like. Without a speedlight, you’ll likely end up pushing your ISO too high and end up with muddy grainy photos, which we want to avoid at all costs.
Scenarios where you might need speedlight include:
Detail shots (i.e. wedding bands)
8. Light stands
If you have a speedlight, you also might want to invest in a light stand. A light stand gets the flash off your camera and allows you to position the light wherever you want it. This allows you to manipulate the image more and get creative with your shoots. It’s also worth investing in a high-quality light stand so you can feel comfortable knowing that your speedlight is securely attached and not going to fall. With this setup you have the ability to trigger the flash remotely and can create some really dynamic images.
If you want to mount your speedlight on a light stand, you may also need:
Cold shoe mount
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