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For Photographers: What’s In My Camera Bag (my photography gear & when I use it)

August 10, 2017

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Hey everyone! Today I’m sharing what I use to photograph all of the gorgeous photos on a wedding day and what I use everything for! :) Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions about what I use and why! So let’s get started in showing you what I have, why I love it, and what parts of the day I use it for:

CAMERA BODIESfavorite-nikon-camera-body-for-a-wedding-photographer

I use a Nikon D750 as my primary body with a Nikon D610 as a backup. Making the jump up to the 750 was one of the best decisions ever! I loved my 610 (I used it all of last year as my primary) but there’s something about the 750 that makes my images just that much more awesome (I love the colors better and they look creamier to me :))

LENSESnikon-camera-lenses-to-shoot-a-wedding-with

Now what I use each one for:

Sigma 50mm 1.4 Art: This is my FAVORITE lens that I use for the majority of the day! If you’re going to get ONE lens, this is the first one I would recommend (I talk more about it here). I love how it’s so versatile and I can use it for so many things. I typically use this the majority of bride & groom portraits, bridal party & family photos (if I have room),  details (of shoes/invites/bouquets, as well as venue details), and processionals.

This lens is on the most on any wedding day or session!! Sigma lenses are absolutely incredible and give images that are like no other. They do take some fine tuning for the autofocus, though, and are more prone to break (both of mine have stopped focusing at one point in the past 2 years). They are kind of known for that, so I do have a backup Nikon 50mm I take with me as well. But they are incredible and I haven’t found a Nikon lens I love as much!! Not to mention, they save you about a thousand dollars. :)

Sigma 35mm 1.4 Art: I use this the most for wide venue shots (as well as wide ceremony shots), for the getting ready portion of the day, and for reception events (I use this for formal dances, cake cutting, etc., and use it for about half of open dancing). I also use this for some bride and groom portraits when I really want to compose my couple in a large area!!

Sigma 85mm 1.8 Art: I used to not use an 85mm very much (I had the Nikon 85mm 1.8) but once I got this lens, I KNEW I was going to fall in love with it… I *almost* love it more than my 50mm, and probably so for portraits!! WOW, it’s soooo dreamy and the bokeh is UNREAL, you guys. If you love dreamy blurry backgrounds, the 85mm is for you. ;)

Nikon 70-200 VR II: This lens is INCREDIBLE for a few different parts of the day that no lens can do as well: tight shots at ceremonies, toasts, and for second shooters. If a ceremony isn’t too dark, I use this to get all of my tight shots of the bride & groom, especially while they’re exchanging vows & rings! It’s also incredible for toasts, because it can get so close for capturing the speaker or the bride & groom’s reactions (although, like ceremonies, if it’s a little dark I might opt for my 85mm). I also highly recommend it for anyone who second shoots a lot, because there are so many ares of the day it is really helpful for! I use it a lot for bridal party if I’m second shooting, and also more throughout the day to get smaller details and candids that the lead photographer might miss. When Michael shoots with me, I have him put this lens on for a lot of the day!

Tamron 90mm macro 2.8: This lens does one job for me and it does it well: ring shots & macro detail shots. I typically only use this lens at the beginning of a wedding day, when I’m shooting details! It’s great for getting macro photos of rings, cufflinks, jewelry, and any other small details where I need to focus in super close. I believe the quality is just as amazing as the Nikon equivalent, and at a fraction of the price! I have used both and personally think it’s just as great. All of my ring shots are taken with this lens! :)

Nikon 20mm 1.8: I bought this lens specifically for crowded dance floors and it is SO FUN to use! If open dancing is a little crowded and my 35mm isn’t wide enough, I’ll pop this lens on so I can stand right in the thick of the crowd. It’s so fun, because you can usually get almost full body shots just standing a few feet away from someone! It gives you a little more distortion, which isn’t typical of my photos at other parts of the day, but is SO fun for open dancing when it can be a little crazier!

FLASHocf-setup-for-wedding-photography

I go way more in depth about my flash setup and HOW I use it here, but the main reason I pull out flash is for dark receptions, or when it’s absolutely necessary. It’s one thing I was determined to learn and master, so I started using it within the first few weddings I shot!

I just started using the video light for sparkler exits, and it works so well at helping me to keep my focus but not have that super flashy look. :)

FULL DISCLOSURE: I do receive a small commission off of the links to Amazon if you decide to purchase! If you found this blog post helpful, consider using the links when buying the different gear! :) THANKS!

MY BAGSona-brooklyn-camera-bag-for-weddings

I carry most of my equipment in my Think Tank roller bag! It’s great for keeping the weight off your shoulders so they’re less sore the next day.

For my side bag, I carry an Ona Brooklyn! It’s a great size for having a couple lenses and a water bottle on me at all times. :)

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  1. Reilly says:

    Hi! The link you have for the flash doesn’t list D750 as one of the cameras it is compatible with. I noticed that you shoot with a D750 though (I do as well!) and just wanted to double check that the flash works with that camera! This post was super helpful as well as your flash post!

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