Saturday, 10 May 2008

The wedding photographer's camera bag

A breakdown of my wedding photography kit. I'll share more detailed information on specific items in future posts.

In the centre:

Canon EOS 5D
Canon BG-E4 battery grip
Custom Brackets Digital Pro-M kit
Canon Speedlite 580EX II
Lastolite Micro Apollo light modifier XL
Canon off-camera shoe cord 2

Moving to the left in the above picture:

Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8 L II USM
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 L USM
Canon EF 85mm f/1.2 L USM
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 USM Macro
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS USM

All the lenses have B+W F-PRO MRC filters mounted for protection.

Moving to the right:

Canon Extender EF 2x II
Lensbaby - original
2x Canon Speedlite 580EX II
Canon Speedlite Transmitter ST-E2

Also in my bag (but not pictured above):

Sekonic flash master L-358
Lastolite tri-grip reflector
Homemade diffusers
2x Lighting stands with Novoflex ballheads
Flash gels with homemade holders
10x 4Gb SanDisk Extreme III CF cards
Remote release cable
Manfrotto monopod 676B
Cokin circular polariser P-series
Cokin neutral density graduated filters
Enough spare batteries to illuminate the Blackpool lights

All packed (just) into a Lowepro Stealth Reporter D560 AW bag & large plastic box.

Near to hand I also have:

Canon EOS 350D (back-up digital body)
Manfrotto 190X PRO-B tripod
Manfrotto 486RC2 ball and socket head
Small step ladder


Darren said...


Great kit!

Love doing portraits etc.

Great photography!

Many Thanks

Darren House

Chris said...

Do you use a light meter - I wasn't thinking so much of at the time, but in preparation of specific shots (like inside....) or is experience all you need now?

David said...

Hi Chris,

I only occasionally use my light meter at a wedding because I find it quicker to check the histogram and then exposure compensate. The one exception to this is if I'm shooting in a location where the incident light is unchanging (a sunny afternoon with a clear sky for example). In this case I'll use the light meter to help me determine the 'ideal' exposure, set the camera to manual with these values and then shoot away in the knowledge that whether the subject matter is white, black or medium grey the exposure will be spot on.

Best Wishes,


Tony said...

Hi David,
Can you possibly find time to explain in a post how you use a light meter? I understand the principles but how do you use it with your flash.

Thank you

Kent Photographer said...

Hi Tony,

I haven't used my light meter for about a year and it no longer forms part of my wedding kit. I'd recommend doing without one!

If you can't, however, check out this link:

Lighting Guide



dave wright said...

Do you only use the 350d as a backup, or do you use it as a second camera while shooting?

I've seen some wedding photographers run two cameras at once - one with a 24-70, the other with a 70-200, for example.

David said...

Hi Dave,

I only had the 350D as a back-up and, fortunately, never had to use it.

I now have a 5D Mark II as the primary body and the 5D has become my back-up.

All the best,


Emma said...

Hi, i was just wondering if you actually need all of this equipment to take good wedding pictures? My Cousin has asked me to take his wedding photos. I am taking photography as an A-level and enjoy photography in general. But I only really have a basic film camera and a fairly good digital one. do you think i should maybe higher a camera?

would much appriciate your comments.

Thanks Emma.

David said...

Hi Emma,

All you need is a basic digital SLR to take 'good' pictures. You as the photographer are the biggest determinant of achieving good shots.

If you get into wedding photography professionally then it's nice to invest in L-series lenses since they offer such wonderful optical quality. They're also very fast, which permits you to shoot in low-light conditions, and allow you to take shots with very low depth of field (an effect which, like B&W, is not natural but everyone seems to like).

All the best,


Emma said...

Hi it's Emma again. I was wondering wether you thought a 'Panasonic DMC-FZ20' would be a good camera to use. I would prefer to go down the digital route so i can edit the pictures afterwards. much appriciate any suggestions. Thanks, Emma.

David said...

Hi Emma,

I would not advise using a Panasonic DMC-FZ20 for a wedding. I would be looking at a Canon or Nikon digital SLR.

All the best,


ronnie lim said... Ronnie From Indonesia. Love your blog!
I need something to ask..
do you use manual on your flash?
and what mode you use on camera?
do you always use flash even if it's bright indoors?
and also if the room is dark and the ceiling is high (also dark ceiling and walls),how do you take the pictures? (push the iso?)

David said...

Hi Ronnie,

Many thanks for your lovely feedback. With regards to your questions:

1. 99% of the time I use flash in E-TTL II mode. The only exception is if I'm firing flash remotely which is directed towards the camera - then I set it to manual.
2. I use the camera in aperture priority mode BUT I exposure compensate to correct for any problems that can arise due to the camera metering reflected light.
3. I use flash in <5% of shots. It's only if the natural light is of poor quality or there really isn't enough.
4a. I frequently shoot at ISO 3200.
4b. I like to bounce flash but if a room has high ceilings or dark walls I'll fire flash forwards and soften with a Lastolite micro Apollo.

Hope this all makes sense!