Preparing to photograph a wedding can be a daunting task. You want to make sure you’re prepared but you also don’t want overload yourself. There are so many times during the course of a wedding day that you’ll realize you need something you may not have on you, so going into it as prepared as possible in important!
You’ll also realize that as a wedding photographer, you’re going to be moving, walking, running all. day. long. There usually isn’t time to sit and relax, go get a drink of water, or sit down to eat (though we TRY really hard to make time for this!!) You need to take care of yourself so you can serve your clients to the best of your capability.
Some of my fellow photographer friends call me the bag lady. It’s okay. I’m fine with that! I have a system that works for me and I want it to be as easy on me as possible. There is no need to waste time fumbling around on a wedding day! I’m going to share with you today how I use my bags, what I put in them, and how I transition things in and out of them throughout the day.
What’s in my Bag?
Getting Ready – First Look & Bridal Party Photos
Always on me:
- Nikon 58mm 1.4
- This lens is on my D750 85% of the day
- Sigma Art 35mm 1.4
- Nikon 60mm 2.8
- I only use this lens for details – this gets put away for good after that
- Memory Cards
- I use this card holder
- Extra Nikon Battery
- A small, cosmetic zip bag that holds film, spare Contax battery, & spare light meter batteries
- Clipboard with timeline, family formals, questionnaire & a pen
- Swell Bottle (great because it keeps water cold but doesn’t sweat on my gear)
- Nikon SB700 (Just in case I find myself in a situation that needs flash)
Details Bag (a medium sized tote bag from Target):
- Styling kit
- 3M hooks
- small sewing kit
- extra water
- hairbrush 🙂
I switch bags here because the ShootSac allows me to switch lenses quickly! I don’t need to use lens caps with this bag because the lenses slide easily in and out of individual lens slots. I keep my Ona close by because I’ll need it immediately after the ceremony for family formals. If I need flash for the ceremony portion, I’ll use it, but I won’t cover that topic here!
- Sigma 70-200mm 2.8
- Nikon 24-70mm 2.8
- Nikon 58mm 1.4
- Nikon SB700
- zip bag of film accessories
- water bottle
I don’t wear a bag during the reception. I shoot the entire reception primarily with my 24-70mm 2.8. It saves a lot of time editing because I can zoom and crop in camera.
- This is where I switch all my gear in and out of the other bags. It goes basically everywhere I go!
- Back up D750
- Back up film camera, Pentax645N
- Extra batteries
- 2 (so 3 total) Nikon SB700 flashes
- Savage Drop Light Stand (13ft)
- 2nd Light stand
- Vello Flash Triggers
- Flash Bracket
- This is great because you can put two flashes behind one umbrella.
I know my system may not work for you. And sometimes it seems complicated and overly static, but I think it’s important to go into the wedding day with a solid plan. It’s important to be as prepared for the unexpected as possible. You have to take this seriously. This is someone’s wedding day and there’s no excuse to show up unprepared.
I hope this post gave you some insight into how my mind works and my workflow for the wedding day. I hope it’s inspired you to think through your own workflows and systems.
Let me know what you’ve changed and how it’s working for you! I’d love to know!
Interested in learning more on a one-on-one basis? Click here to learn more about my one-on-one mentoring sessions!
Wednesday Workshop comes from my love of teaching (did you know I used to teach kindergarten?!) and genuine hope to build others up. When I first started my business I was hungry for information and I scoured the web to find it. I was so thankful every time I landed on a website or blog that shared the information I was grasping for. I hope this series is that for you. Please email me or DM me on Instagram with questions you want me to answer on a Wednesday Workshop – I’d love to answer them for you!
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