What's In My Bag : The Cameras I Use to Photograph Weddings and Why
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit of a gear geek.
I love what having the right gear for the right moment can do for my job and for the level my clients end up loving their photos. While it is true that it is about the person (and their knowledge) not the gear on what makes a good photographer, there is definitely something to be said about having the right gear to tell the story you want to tell.
While I don’t want to get technical on you, as most folks reading this won’t know what I am talking about if I went down that path, I thought I’d share my gear and why I love what I love about it.
What's In My Camera Bag : The Camera Bodies
I shoot with Nikon professional gear. Why? Because I love the color quality, I love the crispness of the lenses, and because Canon’s zoom backwards and I just don’t get that ;)
As many can share, it really doesn't matter between Canon and Nikon. It just comes to personal preference. They are both amazing tools that get the job done. And I love what Nikon does for me, so that's the path I took when I started out.
It truly doesn't matter if you walk into a wedding with a Nikon or a Canon camera in your hand, what matters is that you go to that wedding with multiple tools that do the job you've been hired to do.
These tools are mainly cameras, lenses, flashes, batteries and memory cards. It’s not because I like being redundant, but because if something breaks, then I have another tool that will provide me with the results I need quickly. Some of those redundant tools never get touched (until they are needed the most), and some get used at every wedding. It really just depends on what does what the way I like it best :)
I have three cameras every time I walk into a wedding. My D800 which is my work horse, my D700 which is my backup and 2nd camera for ceremony, and my D300 which is my Photo Booth camera, and my backup’s backup just incase things go terribly wrong. (Which in 8 year’s I’ve never had to use it so that’s nice ;)… but I still bring it anyhow.
The Nikon D800 is my work horse for 4 main reasons.
•I love the color and detail it gives.
• It has a ridiculously high resolution sensor, which means that it affords me the flexibility to still capture what I need even if a moment happens when I have the wrong lens on. For example say, a beautiful moment happens between a bride and her dad, and I am across the room with a wide lens on my camera (so the picture isn’t close up) and I don’t have time to change lens because I’ll miss the moment, I can still photograph it, and crop in quite a ways without losing the ability of showing that moment, and also still printing it large.
• Two memory cards slots in camera. Why this is important is because while usually technology does what I want it to do, it is not uncommon for a memory card to become corrupt or fail, and since this camera has two memory card slots, I can set the camera to record each image on both cards. So in the case that a card gets corrupt, or the very unlikely situation of it getting lost, I still have all the images on another card. Instant backup!
• The camera does AMAZING in low light situations. What this means is that I can photograph you in the darkest of venues, and still be able to light you with my flash, and have enough of the ambient light show up that you don’t look like you are in a black cave. Seeing in the dark (practically) and still providing a beautiful image to work with is a win win for me and my clients!
My Nikon D700 is my backup and ceremony double. My D700 is also an amazing camera. It’s seen me through 5 wedding seasons and is still producing amazing images. Because I tend to be a one camera shooter for the majority of a wedding, this camera stays in my bag except for short ceremonies. If your ceremony is going to be super short, I will put a long lens on one camera and a wide lens on the other camera, and I can ensure I capture the full array of images I need, even if you only give me 10 minutes to get it done it. Other than that, the D700 lives in my bag as my backup. Just in case. Some of my all time favorite images were produced with the D700, and so it stays near by even though I have the more up to date D800 as my main.
My Nikon D300 is my photo booth camera and my backups backup. (not pictured because honestly I forgot to photograph it with the others...)
The D300 is mainly around for piece of mind and for my photo booth set up. Works great on the photo booth set up, and won't be tragic to me if a drunk guest knocks it over, so it's the perfect set up for the photo booth. Great quality, but not an important part of my gear set up.
The cameras I choose are really important that they are the caliber of tool I need to create some awesome images fast and in any light, but they are only part of my arsenal.
The tools that actually tell the story of the day are the lenses. So stay tuned for the next post What's in My Bag : The Lenses I Use and Why