(Last Updated On: March 27, 2020)
Home Professional Photography What's in the Camera Bag?

What’s in the Camera Bag?

(Last Updated On: February 27, 2020)

Equipment to Bring on a Photo Shoot

Wedding Photography EquipmentI get asked frequently by wedding guests who are also photography enthusiasts what I bring with me to a wedding photography session. I, generally speaking, have the same gear with me at all of my weddings, give or take. I also have an extensive equipment wish list that grows longer every time I get my monthly issue of Shutterbug, so feel free, readers, to donate any of the items on that list.

Camera Equipment

First things first, I have two camera bodies. I only shoot with one camera at a time, but I keep the other one around as a back up in case my first one has a melt down, refuses to work, gets dropped in a swimming pool, etc. None of these things has actually happened yet, but I have nightmares about them often. I use a Canon 5D as my primary camera, and I have a Canon 20D as a back up. I love the 5D, it is an amazing camera, but as the first item on my wish list, I would like to include the Canon 5D Mark IV because of its low light capability, plus I love anything shiny and new.
Wedding Equipment

Essential Lenses

I always include my workhorse lens, my Canon 24-70 2.8 L lens. If I had to choose only one lens to bring to a wedding photography session, that would be it. I love the wide angle for big group shots, I love the nice crisp images it produces and I like that it isn’t so hefty and long that I can’t interact with my subjects.

I also bring my 50 mm 1.8 lens. I got this lens used from a classified add for $50 bucks and I have loved it since day one. It is such a great little lens for such a small amount of money. That being said, (and I say this with the utmost respect for the little guy) the second item on my list would have to be the Canon 50mm 1.2 L lens. I have rented and secretly coveted this lens for some time now. I love shooting that guy wide open, and the super low aperture means I can shoot in darker spots without any fill flash! Small word of warning? I have not been able to find that lens used or otherwise for $50 or anything even close. If you must own this lens, beware, he ain’t cheap.

The newest addition to my camera bag is my Canon 100mm macro lens. I love, love this lens. I can get amazing detail shots of tiny things with it when I am doing wedding photography, think wedding rings and words on invitations. It is incredible.

I also have been known to rent the Canon 70-200 lens from time to time depending on the wedding I am photographing. I have a lot of photographer friends that use and love these lenses, especially when they are doing children’s portraits. I like to have it around in case I can’t get close to the altar during a wedding. I don’t use it often enough to buy, and I can usually rent them from my local camera rental place for around $40 dollars.

Other Equipment Goodies

In addition to these lenses, I also bring a Canon Speedlight 480 EX. I don’t use it often, but it certainly does come in handy in those low light situations, or times when everything is backlit. I also have a transmitter, which fits in the hotshoe on my camera. I use this to photograph the first dance, the reception guests having fun, etc. I love setting the flash up on a tripod somewhere else in the room and seeing what kind of effects I can get while firing it from the transmitter.

I always bring all the memory cards I have, I like to buy mine to hold no more then 4 gigs at a time. I have a pathological fear that I am going to have a card go bad or get lost before I can dump it, and I would much rather lose 2 or 4 gigs worth of raw images, then 8. Yes this does mean a lot of switching and storing, but as I may have mentioned before, I am a little nutty and this helps me sleep at night.

Wedding Photography Equipment

I also have a reflector disk that I bring if I will have an assistant to hold it up when I need light, and carry it around when I don’t. If not I don’t bother, although it does seem like every time I don’t bring it, I find that I really could have used it.

Unrelated to the camera, I also try and bring gum, some sort of snack and water to a wedding photography session. If my assistant is with me, she brings water also. It can be somewhat exhausting on a long shoot and staying hydrated is a must. I also have a pack of baby wipes, a pen, a pad of post it notes, and some business cards. Once I found a “littlest pet shop” pet in my bag, and although I am not sure how it got in there, it helped to quiet a fussy flower girl when we were nearing the end of the photos that day.

Wedding Photography LensesSo that’s it. That is what I bring with me. You may notice that I am partial to Canon, but that is only because Canon lenses are awesome. ( I once owned a lesser brand and became extremely dissatisfied when the macro/micro button got stuck in the wrong position and there was no way to fix it. ) The key to a good bag of equipment is having things in there that you are comfortable using, so practice and get good at using what you have.


  1. I’m with UrbanSophistic and Hasan. I too have a D5000. Great camera. I purchased it with the standard lens (18-55mm) along with the 55-200mm telephoto lens but i’m unsure if this will be enough for wedding photography shouldn’t I be trying to find a wind angle as well?

  2. I am with Hassan…I own a Nikon D5000, but it was a gift so I was not fortunate enough to choose the brand. Friends have requested me to shoot their wedding, and I need tips about how to best capture the important “wedding” moments…

  3. Hi Carrie,
    Thanks for sharing your very useful experience/information, although am not a professional wedding photographer like you but I do take quite a lot of photos (RAW only) whereever I can. Just last month, I took 852 pics at my brother’s wedding and they turned out to be very good, were much more appreciated than the ones taken by photographers we hired. I own Canon EOS D500; 18-55 IS, 55-250 IS and 18-200 IS canon lens, have been using third party flash, which served the purpose but have just ordered canon 430 EX.

    All the best and thanks again for sharing.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Must Read

White Balance

Color Balance Before we delve into the details of white balance, it helps to have an understanding of color balance in photography. Color balance is the adjustment...

Focal Length and Perspective

Focal Length In this article we shall look at two terms – perspective and focal length and find out how they are related to each...

3 Vital Facets of Winter Photography

Winter Photography Winter is one of the most welcomed and most hated time of the year. For those new to snow and even the snow-veterans,...

Inside Portraiture

What Makes a Portrait Special? When shooting a portrait, it is more than pointing and shooting so that your subject is in the right part...

Wedding Photography Classes

Wedding photography is the dream job of many aspiring photographers. Who can resist being part of such a joyful celebration, capturing treasured memories of...

Clint Clemens – Advertising Photographer

Clint Clemens Photography is created in a moment and that moment often times is well thought out and anticipated before it's created. Clint Clemens has...
Cart Item Removed. Undo Have a coupon ?
  • No products in the cart.