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How to Build a Wedding Photography Camera Kit

A wedding is often one of the most important days in a couple’s lives, and as the wedding photographer, there’s a lot of pressure on you to capture those memories in the best way possible. Try our course, Wedding Photography for Beginners to learn about everything you’ll need. In this lesson you’ll find out what you’ll need to take with you in order to cover all your photographic bases!

Planning Your Wedding Photography Kit

The first thing sounds obvious, but let's mention it anyway: you need a camera! It doesn't really matter whether you work full-frame, crop sensor, or both, but whichever you choose is obviously going to have implications, like how much light you'll need, so learn about the potential advantages and limitations of your cameras for your style of photography.

Have Backups

Camera lenses / Envato ElementsCamera lenses / Envato ElementsCamera lenses / Envato Elements
Camera lenses / Envato Elements

Another Camera

Have a back-up camera, just in case the worst happens. This is particularly important if you're working alone. Make sure the backup is charged and ready to go, and that it still works properly — especially if it's been sitting around for a long time. Some photographers actually prefer to have both cameras with different lenses on to make it easier to flip between them for pictures rather than changing lenses, like a photojournalist. 


Spare batteries for each camera are essential and again, make sure they’re all charged and work properly.

Memory Cards

Extra memory cards are a real boon too, not just if you run out of space, but also to shoot a backup as you go, if your camera lets you have more than one card in at a time (SD + CF for example) then try to make good use of that. Make sure those cards can handle the speed and specs of the camera, you don't want to miss important shots because you're waiting for a slow card to write.


Camera lenses / Envato ElementsCamera lenses / Envato ElementsCamera lenses / Envato Elements
Camera lenses / Envato Elements

What you’ll need will vary depending on what and where you intend to photograph. At least one fast, low-light lens is a must because places like churches are often really dark and ideally you wouldn't want to use a flash or speed light – and in fact sometimes you aren’t even allowed to.

Prime Lenses

Prime lenses tend to be fast and also very sharp. They can be more expensive too, but some like the 50mm f/1.8 prime that both Canon and Nikon make can be picked up for less than £100 pounds, new. The ‘nifty fifty’ as it’s known is a must-have for your kit bag, If you can stretch to the f/1.4 version then all the better.

Wide Lenses

A wide lens is great for group shots and getting lots of impressive location shots like castles or lakes. Beware distortion on a wide-angle lens though, if anybody's standing near the edges they can look weirdly elongated and it's not always possible to sort it out in post-production.

Zoom Lenses

Think about having a zoom lens for candid shots. It's much easier to get people relaxing and having a good time if you’re further away and not pushing a camera right in their face. Zoom lenses also make group portraits a little easier to manage.

Speedlight or Flash

Speedlight / Envato ElementsSpeedlight / Envato ElementsSpeedlight / Envato Elements
Speedlight / Envato Elements

Natural light is great but sometimes a speedlight or flash can be essential, particularly for an evening party when lighting can be very dim. It’s important to learn how to use a speedlight properly so every photo isn't harsh, stark light; plus you don't want to blind the guests!

Bouncing the light off ceilings or walls is often useful, as is softening the light using gels or a diffuser.


You'll probably want to bring a tripod along just in case, you never know when it’ll come in handy. If, say, the couple are having fireworks in the evening or shots taken outside at night, then it can really help combat camera shake from a slightly slower shutter speed.


Kit isn’t all about the tech. Have a think about taking things along that might help you get the shots you need. A small set of step ladders are great for getting some height and a different perspective on group shots. Even a set with only one or two steps can make a real difference and it’s an angle that none of the guests are likely to get with their own cameras.

During your meetings with the couple, you’ll have found out if they like anything quirky or fun that might include props. If so, you’ll need to remember to bring those along too.

More Wedding Photography and Filmmaking Resources

About the Authors

Marie Gardiner created the video course that includes this lesson, and wrote the updated text version. Marie is a writer and photographer from England, with a background in media.

This lesson was edited and published by Jackson Couse. Jackson is a photographer and the editor of the Photo & Video section of Envato Tuts+.

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