Knowing how to photograph a wedding well requires a great deal of responsibility and serious proficiency in photography. This subgenre of portraiture, along with high-end photojournalism, doesn’t allow for mistakes.
There is no room for wrong exposures and out of focus images because there is no second chance to capture a certain moment.
Despite these frightening facts, wedding photography can be an extremely rewarding experience for a photographer. It brings together many different elements and styles found in other genres, such as glamour, landscape and documentary photography. Some exceptionally creative photographers organize surreal photo shoots to give a certain fairy tale touch to weddings, while others rely more on unique post-processing techniques.
No matter these different approaches, one thing holds true for sure – wedding photography has to be extraordinary! Beautiful, emotional and in a way, magical. Engaged couples often have high expectations when it comes to their wedding photographs and it is not always easy to meet such demands.
In order to perform your best under such pressure, it is crucial to be well-organized. You should have a reliable gear and bring a second shooter if possible. It is also important to be punctual and know the schedule so that you don’t miss any important moments.
Since the gear is so essential, we will start with hints and tips for wedding photography equipment and work towards more specific advice on shooting techniques.
What is The Best Gear for Wedding Photography? – Some Recommendations
1. Full-frame camera (plus backup camera)
By far, the most popular choices at the moment are Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, Nikon D850 or Nikon D5, as well as mirrorless models Sony A7R III and Fujifilm X-Pro2.
It’s problematic shooting weddings with DX cameras because wedding halls are often poorly lit and you need the bigger sensor in order to be able to shoot without a flash or LED lamps. In addition to full-frame models, medium-format cameras such as Pentax 645Z or Hasselblad H5D-50c perform outstandingly well.
2. The best zoom and prime lenses for wedding photography
In order to have a great variety of shots, it’s good to alternate between zoom and prime lenses. As for the best lens for a wedding, the following lenses are highly esteemed among wedding photographers:
Canon 35mm f/1.4L,
Canon 85mm f/1.2L II,
Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L II,
Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8,
Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VR II,
Nikon 24mm f/1.4G.
Sigma art lenses are also very popular nowadays, such as Sigma 35mm f/1.4 ART.
It’s next to impossible to shoot weddings with kit lenses due to their f-stop limitations and inferior quality.
Fisheye lenses are a nice extra feature to include in your wedding gear, because they give a unique look to everything, even to most ordinary scenes. The barrel distortion toward the edges of the frame can have a rather artistic vibe.
Also, lenses like Nikon 16mm f/2.8 FX or Canon 8-15mm f/4 USM are a common choice. 3. Using flash at a wedding
On-camera or off-camera flashes are necessary when shooting weddings (but make sure you check first with the celebrant as a courtesy). While you don’t have to use them all the time, sometimes it’s impossible to avoid them. The best solution is to have a model that supports both TTL and manual mode.
TTL mode is really helpful for wedding photographers since they move around a lot and don’t have enough time to change settings for every shot they take.
Flashes that are most common for wedding photography are Canon 600EX-RT, Nikon SB-910, Godox TT350 and Yongnuo YN-622.