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Wedding PhotogPhotography Tips, 4 crutial items to never forget when shooting weddings

Today on the blog and on my YouTube Channel, I’m going to share wedding photography tips regarding the 4 crucial items I never leave the house without when shooting a wedding! My almost 7 years of experience as a full time wedding photographer has taught me a lot about necessary and unnecessary photography gear- and I’m going to let you in on some photographer tips so you don’t have to learn the hard way. Save yourself some stress, and make sure you have these 4 crucial items before you set off to capture your client’s big day!

Crucial Item #1: A Backup Camera/Lens

The first crucial item you do not want to be caught without on a wedding day is a backup camera. This is a non-negotiable. Even if you’ve never shot a wedding before and your friend asks you to shoot a wedding- you need to have a backup! Even if that means renting a camera/lenses, please take my advice and do it! You can check out Aperture Rent or Lens Rentals as some good online rental options, but there are so many good options out there!  You can even have them shipped straight to your house to keep it easy. While I’m sure you can image the reasons why it might be important to have a backup camera/lenses when you’re responsible for photographing one of the most important days of your clients’ lives, I’d like to tell you a little story from personal experience. This is something I will never forget!

I once needed my backup camera,  and it was at the worst possible time imaginable. The bride was just starting her walk down the aisle. All of the wedding party was in place. The groom was in place. Everyone had already stood up to watch the bride walk down the aisle. And what happened at that exact moment? My camera lens got an error code, it would not come off of my camera body, and my camera would not do anything. I thought quick on my feet. I ran to my bag that was close by, grabbed my extra camera, threw on an extra lens and didn’t skip a lick! If my bag with my backup camera had not been right there next to me where I could run to it and switch out quickly, could you imagine? Thankfully, I barely even missed four steps of the bride walking down the aisle and everything worked out because I was prepared.

But you never know what will happen! This is a prime example of why you never want to get caught in a situation like that without a backup camera/lens handy. This is also why your back-up camera needs to always be really close by with SD cards in it, ready to go with fully charged batteries, in manual mode, with an extra lens handy. Having a second photographer with you who can step-in at a moments notice is also incredibly helpful.

Crucial Item #2: An Additional Light Source

The other essential item you don’t want to get caught without is some sort of additional light source. If you don’t know anything about flash, I have YouTube video called Wedding Reception Flash for Dummies that can help you out. You can also check out other free educational photography videos on YouTube- there’s so much out there that can help you get comfortable with flash!

But if you’re scared to death of flash, you can at least get yourself a video light that you can either set up on your camera or on a flash stand somewhere. Trust me when I say that there will come a time when you’re shooting weddings when you will walk in to a room and you’re going to want to vomit because you don’t know what to do without any extra light. Having an extra light source will prevent you from ever having to be put in that panicky situation.

Crucial Item #3: Extra SD Cards

Another crucial item you don’t want to get caught without are extra cards. Sometimes cards get corrupt, and sometimes you fill up a card. Just make sure you have extra sd cards on hand. For me personally, I now shoot exclusively on a 128 gig cards for the extra storage. I used to shoot on 64gigs, and after a 9 hour wedding day it would always fill up. When I got the message that it was full, I would need to have new cards ready to swap out really fast. Or sometimes this can happen to your second photographer, so you’ll want to have an extra few handy for them as well.

I have one 128 gig card in each slot in my camera, and I have my camera set to record raw to both of them. I don’t record jpeg to one and raw to the other. Why? If my card that I’m recording raw to ends up corrupt, that other card ends up all jpeg and you don’t want that! Either way, you just always want a couple extra cards with you, just in case.

Crucial Item #4: Extra Shoes/Clothes

Last, but not least, if you’re a wedding photographer, extra shoes, sometimes even extra pair of clothes can really save you. You never know what can happen on a wedding day. If you have to walk around in soaking wet clothes or shoes all day, you’ll be absolutely miserable! Take it from me- I have been caught by weather that was not supposed to happen at all, but it did. In truth, they might just kind of be nice to have, rather then essential. But even if you keep them in the trunk of your car for a “just in case” scenario, I think if you shoot enough weddings, there will come a time when you’ll be glad you did.


Well there you have it. Take it from a seasoned wedding photographer- these are the 4 crucial items you do not want to be caught without when photographing a wedding day. Make sure you always have an extra camera/lens, extra SD cards, an additional light source, and an extra pair of shoes/set of clothes and you’ll be all set, no matter what gets thrown your way!

Looking for more tips on how to be prepared to shoot a wedding? These 8 tips to prepare for a wedding as a wedding photographer are all steps that I do for each and everyone of my couples!  These steps help set me up for a successful and stress-free wedding day as well as reassures my couples that they hired one of the best there is, and I hope they will help you too!

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Five Fourteen Photography

atlanta + North Georgia