April 29, 2022

Three gifted wedding photographers with completely different types and approaches share their package suggestions with Geoff Harris

If you happen to’re considering of going into wedding images – otherwise you simply need a nosy at what the professionals is likely to be utilizing – we converse with Gurvir Johal, Tanya Weekes and Mick Shah about their package suggestions and what you would possibly discover within the typical bag of a wedding photographer. Trace – it’s loads.

Wedding images is among the most diverse jobs, photographically, that anybody can do, and as such, you’ll discover that the common wedding professional must be ready for every kind of conditions. There’s portraits, reportage, low gentle, macro, close-up, motion – and extra genres in between that every one should be captured.

Gurvir Johal

Birmingham-based Gurvir is a specialist in Asian and Indian weddings who’s ranked Quantity 3, World’s Greatest Wedding Photographer within the One Eyeland Worldwide Awards. He’s additionally an SWPP Fellowship photographer and works carefully with the society. See www.gurvirjohal.com, Instagram @gurvir_johal and Twitter @gurvy_johal.

Gurvir, who’s internationally recognised for his ability at capturing Asian and Indian weddings, describes himself as a long-time Nikon ‘fanboy’ who now swears by the Z 6II. ‘In addition to the invaluable twin reminiscence card slots, the Z 6II is so gentle and nimble, which is de facto vital for me. Asian and Indian weddings can generally be 20 hours lengthy, over someday. Or I will be doing three weddings again to again… So it may be very bodily demanding. A bulkier physique and lens mixture, such because the D3s, would kill my fingers.’

Reena – a bride with a sliver of light

Reena – a bride with a sliver of sunshine 1/640sec at f/2.5, ISO 1600

Gurvir additionally cites the digital camera’s silent focusing, in addition to the advantages of Eye-Detection AF typically. ‘The digital camera focuses so rapidly, so I can fear extra concerning the composition and the storytelling – the appropriate angles, proper place, and so forth. Fairly than continuously checking the again of the digital camera, I generally shoot blindly, figuring out that the Eye-Detection AF will seize a pointy shot of the
topic’s face.’

Gurvir makes use of back-button focusing, which he additionally finds ‘snappier’ on the Z 6II in comparison with his older Nikon DSLRs. ‘The Z 6II’s AF is like “glue” the best way it sticks to topics. Though, having not too long ago used the newer Z 9 I’d say it’s extra like superglue! Not that
I’m planning to alter, nevertheless, because the smaller Z 6II is ideal for me. It’s precisely the appropriate dimension for my bookings.’

The Z 6II: best kit for wedding photography

The Z 6II: comparatively compact whereas providing excellent AF, says Gurvir

To date, Gurvir has solely used the Nikon Z 6II to document on-line tutorials and webinars. ‘My filming skillset may be very fundamental and for me this does the job completely. I do know a number of videographers who love the filming capabilities of the Z 6II, nevertheless.’

Lenses and lighting

‘For normal wedding protection, whether or not it’s a Hindu ceremony on a stage or a Sikh wedding in a temple, I typically use my Z collection 35mm, 50mm and 85mm prime lenses. These allow me to shoot at f/1.Eight or f/2 and simply isolate the principle topic, blurring out any distractions or undesirable additional individuals within the background. You don’t need anyone within the background trying distracted, so these lenses are perfect for that.’

Sharan and Kul infront of the Taj Mahal kit for wedding photography

Sharan and Kul. ‘The Taj Mahal is so busy. I bribed safety guards to maintain individuals away for 3 minutes!’ 1/160sec at f 7.1, ISO 200

Gurvir can be famend for his lighting abilities. ‘I do love utilizing my very own lighting (steady and strobes) as I’ve extra management in shaping the ultimate picture. ‘I imagine gentle provides depth to the picture, and in the end creates a way of temper. Lighting is in the end the principle distinction between a superb picture and an incredible one.’

He guides brides and grooms into poses with easy directional cues. Having already constructed sturdy relationships with all of his purchasers, they’re already comfy with being photographed.

‘I’m a Mild & Movement ambassador and I exploit the corporate’s Clx10 steady lights and extra not too long ago, the brand new Reflex S. Each are so small and highly effective and match nicely in my digital camera bag. I typically couple them with a softbox, too.’

In terms of modifying, Gurvir does many of the work in Lightroom utilizing his personal custom-made presets for his type. ‘I solely use Photoshop to refine the photographs additional to create “fine-art” photographs or for pores and skin retouching.

Amee and Prash

Amee and Prash. 1/200sec at f/4, ISO 3200

‘You possibly can try some on-line tutorials, which present you my modifying and retouching work on my web site by going to www.gurvirjohal.com/retailer.’

Gurvir’s high ideas

  1. You want to be spontaneous and ready – I typically have two cameras on me with completely different lenses so I can get completely different views. This additionally allows me to work in a extra unobtrusive manner.
  2. In order for you the bride’s eyes to at all times be within the centre, a superb tip is to get her to take a look at the tip of her nostril after which again straight up. Typically brides can look an excessive amount of to the left or proper and there’s an excessive amount of white.
  3. Don’t oversharpen. I see a variety of this not too long ago and it could possibly trigger halos round topics (which will be eliminated in Photoshop). I at all times sharpen a picture on the final stage, previous to printing.

Tanya Weekes

tanya weekes

Tanya Weekes is a extremely profitable portrait, wedding and way of life photographer, presently primarily based in Manchester. Along with weddings, which takes her everywhere in the world, Tanya additionally works on all kinds of portrait and way of life shoots. See www.tanyaweekes.com, Instagram @tanyaweekes and Twitter @tanyaweekes. She can be an energetic member of the UKBFTOG neighborhood.

As with many profitable wedding photographers, it wasn’t Tanya Weekes’ first profession alternative. ‘I used to work in style shopping for,’ she explains. ‘One yr, while mendacity on a seaside in Spain and considering the considered going again to work, I made a decision that it was time to strive one thing else. With the additional time on my fingers, I had time to pursue my curiosities, one among which was images. After being requested to {photograph} an occasion and being paid, I made a decision that perhaps this may very well be my new job.’

Vânia and Ricardo wedding reception photograph

Vânia and Ricardo. 1/1125 sec at f/5, ISO 800

After utilizing the Canon EOS 5D Mark III for weddings for a number of years, Tanya now favours the Canon R6. ‘For me, the principle good thing about a mirrorless digital camera is the digital viewfinder. You’re capable of look via the viewfinder and see what the picture will appear to be earlier than you’re taking the shot in addition to immediately see the outcomes of any changes to shutter velocity, aperture and ISO you would possibly make.

The viewfinder means that there’s much less time trying behind the digital camera to examine how your image turned out (and probably lacking photographs) and in concept a discount within the quantity of modifying changes you might need to make afterwards. The touchscreen focusing can be one thing new for me which I’m nonetheless getting used to, after which there’s the useful eye monitoring.’

canon eos r6 best kit for wedding photography

The R6’s shiny viewfinder and touchscreen focusing attraction to Tanya

Tanya nonetheless makes use of her DSLR lenses through an adapter. ‘My Sigma Artwork 24mm lens is my go-to for large group photographs and broad photographs of the reception or ceremony room, as a result of it provides me the width I would like. I additionally use the Sigma Artwork 35mm F1.Four for preparation photographs because it’s an incredible story-telling lens. I wish to make use of it for portraits and smaller group photographs too the place I don’t want as a lot width.

My favorite lens is definitely the Canon 85mm F1.8; once I come throughout an image on the modifying stage that I’m actually pleased with, it’s often taken on the 85mm. It does an incredible job at creating these blurry backgrounds that purchasers love, so I like to make use of it for bride and groom portraits and capturing reactions throughout the speeches and in addition generally throughout the ceremony. One other go-to lens is the Canon 100mm F2.Eight which is a macro lens – so it’s excellent for capturing particulars just like the rings.’

Derin and Adam kit for wedding photography

Derin and Adam. 1/640sec at f/3.2, ISO 500

Tanya has a method that’s each relaxed and casual – it’s been described as ‘gentle and ethereal’. She prefers to benefit from pure gentle, however may even use bounced on-camera flash at wedding receptions with synthetic gentle.

The modifying course of

‘I exploit Lightroom to edit my photos however I don’t use presets or filters as a result of each wedding is completely different,’ Tanya explains. ‘Nonetheless, there are some comparable issues I do to all of my photographs – for instance crushing the blacks and muting the greens and taking out among the blue, however once more, it is determined by the wedding, I wish to maintain the colors trying as pure and true to life as potential, because the consumer has spent of lot of money and time selecting these colors. I need my modifying course of to suit it into a selected aesthetic, which is completely different for every wedding.’

Tanya can be eager to document extra video and once more, the R6 is completely suited to this. ‘In concept it might be good to movie a bit of bit throughout the bride and groom portraits, though generally while you’re in “stills mode” it’s not as simple to recollect to take a little bit of video footage while I’m within the second.’

Afifa and Hamzakit for wedding photography

Afifa and Hamza. 1/1250sec at f/3.5, ISO 160

Tanya’s high ideas

  1. Follow. Work onerous on understanding what makes an incredible picture by learning the photographs you actually like, and take into consideration how one can deal with these parts when taking your personal photographs.
  2. I’m an enormous fan of Instagram and like it to Fb. No matter type of wedding images you’re into, you may simply seek for that sort. You possibly can be taught loads from taking a look at pictures you want by way of composition, lighting, posing and so forth.
  3. There is no such thing as a excuse to not have a group of your greatest photographs available as most of us now have smartphones. My tip could be to create an album of your greatest photographs and put it aside within the photographs part of your telephone in order that when you’re having a dialog about your work or what you do as a job, you may rapidly pull out your telephone and present your work.

Mick Shah

Mick Shah is the founding father of MIKI Studios, which he runs together with his companion, Ash Davenport. With over a decade’s expertise of capturing weddings, each stills and video, the duo are in demand everywhere in the world. See mikistudios.com, Instagram @mikiphotography, Twitter @mikistudios.

As with Tanya, Mick turned a wedding images via a considerably circuitous route – he began out within the music business earlier than in search of a job that might give him extra household time. As each a wedding photographer and a video maker, he’s an enormous fan of the Sony Alpha 7 IV, whereas additionally utilizing Sony Alpha 7S III purely for video.

Sammy and Tom bride and groom

Sammy and Tom. 1/160sec at f/4, ISO 6400

‘The best way the wedding market is shifting, purchasers count on each stills and video,’ explains Mick. ‘Whereas the Sony Alpha A1 sits on the high of the tree, it is usually fairly costly. The A7 IV is extra reasonably priced, whereas additionally providing you with nice choices for each stills and video. The standard viewfinder, mixed with the insanely good Eye AF, assist me to be nimble and discreet and fear about capturing the perfect scenes, reasonably than worrying concerning the digital camera.’

Mick additionally appreciates the velocity. ‘Folks say the A7 IV solely shoots a bit sooner than the A7 III, however with the appropriate card it’s very onerous to fill the buffer up. That is very useful when capturing repeatedly via a confetti line, for instance.’

The Sony Alpha 7 IV best kit for wedding photography

The Alpha 7 IV – a wedding workhorse with ‘insanely good’ Eye AF, says Mick

The digital camera’s useful ergonomics attraction, too. ‘There’s a bit of change for altering from photograph to video to gradual movement/fast movement capturing, for instance. So I can rapidly soar between my {custom} settings for every. I additionally love the flip-out display and the twin card slot. Then it’s acquired 10-bit 4:2:2 video recording, which is nice for color grading. Different highlights embody a brand new menu system, the main focus map function in video mode in each guide and auto focus, focus respiration compensation and extra.’

As for the Sony Alpha 7S III, Mick reckons that it’s most likely the proper video digital camera for weddings. ‘It’s adequate to shoot most industrial tasks till you get to broadcast stage. The digital camera has twin native ISO (for video) with the primary base being 640 and the second being 12,800 – that means it’s cleaner to shoot at 12,800 and even 25,600 than it’s at 6400! This all makes capturing in low gentle simpler.’

Erika and Cedric. 1/1600sec at f/1.8, ISO 640

Mick pairs each cameras with the Sony 35mm f/1.Eight and the 50m f/1.2. ‘Between these two lenses I’d say 95% of the day is roofed. The 35mm is so gentle but extremely sharp, which once more means I can transfer quick. With the 50mm, I can get stunning portraits and particulars. I even have a Sony 20mm f/1.Eight for dancefloor photographs, once I have to seize extra motion within the body. It’s gentle, however an incredible performer.’

Lighting and modifying

Mick tries to make use of pure gentle as a lot as potential. Now and again he’ll complement this with both off-camera flash or an LED gentle for speeches, after which on- and off-camera flash for dancefloor photographs (he favours Sony flashguns, or Godox fashions as a less expensive different).

‘LED lights are most well-liked when potential as they’re fixed, and never as distracting as flash, however flash has extra energy – so it is determined by the state of affairs. LEDs weren’t superb once I began out in weddings, so I tended to go along with off-camera flash. However now, for extra pure, documentary type shoots, they’re a great-value choice. At a wedding, individuals’s eyes rapidly adapt to an LED gentle being on, whereas off-camera flash will be distracting.’

Adam and Jenn.

Adam and Jenn. 1/1250sec at f/1.6, ISO 1250

For modifying his stills, Mick culls photographs in Lightroom after which edits with customised presets. ‘I then take some photographs into Photoshop, for eradicating undesirable indicators, for instance.’

Mick’s high ideas

  1. Follow, apply and apply. You want to shoot day by day. Bear in mind the outdated adage that it takes 10,000 hours to get good at one thing, and it’s the identical in case you are honing video abilities. I used to practise by filming numerous household occasions, for instance.
  2. You additionally have to know the actual traits of your gear. Examine all facets of the AF system and low-light efficiency specifically.
  3. Take care of your gear. Have a routine for packing down so you understand the place every part goes. You don’t need to panic on the precise wedding day.

Extra package for wedding images


The selection of digital camera is usually a contentious one for wedding photographers. There’s heaps to keep in mind together with how heavy the digital camera is, the lenses which can be found for it, how sturdy the digital camera is, and the sort of images you’ll be doing as a part of your wedding images type.

Most have a tendency to search out {that a} full-frame digital camera is the best choice for wedding images as full-frame sensors can cope nicely with low gentle, are inclined to have essentially the most element, and create stunning shallow depth of discipline results.

Time was {that a} full-frame digital camera left you with one choice: DSLR. Nonetheless, with the supply of full-frame mirrorless cameras, all that has modified. The advantages of the Sony system is that its gentle (which is nice for carrying all day), and you’ll shoot silently (splendid when in quiet church buildings and for not ruining the environment). The Sony A7S III can be famed for its lowlight capabilities.

The lens ranges for Canon and Nikon DSLR techniques are far better, so many will most likely persist with these choices. You have got a superb vary of selections for full-frame Canon and Nikon DSLRs, together with the Nikon D850, Nikon D6, Canon EOS 1DX Mark III and Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. Plus, mirrorless choices embody the Nikon Z7 II and Canon EOS R5 or R6. You would additionally think about the Canon EOS 7D II and Nikon D780, or second-hand choices 7D and D700.

Most wedding photographers may even have a second digital camera of their arsenal. This implies they don’t have to swap lenses on a regular basis, and you’ll depend on one if the opposite fails for no matter purpose. Some individuals persist with two of the identical mannequin, whereas others may have one digital camera which is cheaper than the opposite to chop down on prices. You can too think about shopping for second-hand, see the perfect second-hand full-frame mirrorless cameras right here. 


Since you’re more likely to be capturing a reasonably wide selection of topics, you’re going to wish a critically various vary of glass.

High of the checklist will most likely be a full complement of prime lenses. 35mm and 50mm are nice lengths for “documentary” type photographs, whereas an 85mm lens is a traditional portrait focal size.

You may additionally need to think about a 24-70mm f/2.Eight zoom lens which offers you a superb vary of focal lengths with out the necessity to swap lenses. The utmost aperture is just not fairly as broad as prime lenses can provide although. 

85mm lens best kit for wedding

Subsequent up, telephoto lenses for when you may’t get near the motion, similar to throughout the ceremony. A 70-200mm lens is a traditional alternative for a lot of wedding photographers, however you might also need to think about going a bit of longer when you can. These are nice lenses to think about: Sony FE 70-200mm f2.Eight GM OSS II, Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM, Sigma 70-200mm f/2.Eight DG OS HSM Sport

Different speciality lenses which will be helpful for wedding photographers embody a macro lens for particulars similar to wedding rings and flowers, a tilt-shift lens for fascinating portraits, and a really broad angle lens for capturing venue interiors and for very massive group portraits.

Try the perfect lenses for portrait images

Digital camera luggage and straps

Many wedding photographers might equip themselves with two completely different digital camera luggage that are helpful at completely different factors all through the day.

You might need to use a backpack sort bag which holds all your gear – simply be sure there’s someplace appropriate on the venue which you can securely depart your gear while you’re not working with it. Nonetheless, a rolling digital camera bag will provide good safety whereas letting you drag your package to the place you want it, reasonably than carrying it in your shoulders, the 42T, 59T and 55BT from the Vanguard Veo Choose vary are nice examples that may maintain a number of cameras and as much as eight to 10 lenses, plus a laptop computer or pill.

Vangard Veo Select 42T fully loaded with kit best kit for weddings

The Vanguard Veo Choose 42T will accommodate an honest amount of package, together with two cameras and lengthy telephoto lenses

One other instance is the Lowepro PhotoStream RL 150. Which options an armoured exterior and a versatile inside to guard your precious gear in transit. Its streamlined design makes it carry-on appropriate and it’s massive sufficient to accommodate one or two DSLRs with a 70-200mm f/2.Eight connected, plus as much as eight further lenses. A tripod may also be strapped on the facet. The development and supplies are second to none, so it ought to survive a few years of heavy use.

A messenger type bag is nice for strolling across the ceremony and it’s essential rapidly entry a few completely different lenses or different equipment.  A strap which lets you carry two digital camera our bodies is usually a nice funding too, see our collection of the perfect harnesses and straps for wedding photographers.


A tripod received’t be crucial for a lot of varieties of wedding images shot, however they are often helpful for sure photographs, similar to posed group photographs. Putting the digital camera on a tripod and arranging numerous teams is usually a faster option to work than handheld. The three Legged Factor Equinox Albert is ultra-tall, which will be helpful for big group photographs. Additionally take into consideration stands when you’re going to be utilizing off digital camera flashes, diffuses, and lights.

See our final information to tripods.

Flashes and different lighting gear

Nikon SB-900 Flashgun

At the very least one flash is nearly important for wedding images – particularly in the case of the tip of the day and it’s time for first dances and night-time photographs. A flash may also be helpful for darkish ceremony photographs (though you’ll have to examine with whoever is holding the ceremony that flash is suitable).

You may also need to equip your self with exterior lights, diffusers to melt the sunshine when you can’t bounce it from a wall, and distant triggers when you’re utilizing off digital camera or a couple of flash.

The Hahnel Modus 360RT is an efficient instance for small mirrorless cameras. It’s a compact, light-weight flash that’s powered by a devoted Li-ion battery reasonably than AA cells, which packs in additional vitality. Consequently, it guarantees extra flashes per cost than its rivals, together with faster recycling occasions of simply 1.5sec.

Hahnel Modus 360RT

Learn our final information to flash images.


A reflector is an easy piece of package than can save numerous topics. They’re helpful when photographing wedding portraits, or for photographing nonetheless life photographs of issues like wedding rings, flowers, clothes and so forth.

Ideally you’ll need to search for a 5-in-1 reflector which includes a gold facet, a white facet, a silver facet, a black facet, and a diffuser to equip you for numerous lighting situations and conditions. One thing just like the Lastolite Round Bottletop Reflector is right for this type of factor.


The Lastolite Round Bottletop Reflector package comes with two reversible covers and the principle physique of the reflector is translucent. The concept of the translucent half is that it lets a variety of gentle via, giving photographers the power to diffuse harsh daylight. The covers boast 4 completely different coatings to permit photographers to govern the sunshine in numerous methods. The package is obtainable in 50cm, 75cm, 95cm and 120cm variations.

Learn our Lastolite Round Bottletop Reflector 120cm package overview


lithium-ion battery

You possibly can by no means have too many spare batteries in the case of a wedding. It’s doubtless you’ll be photographing all day, and fairly intensely too. Ensure you pack not less than two spare batteries for every digital camera. It is likely to be value carrying the charger with you too so you will discover someplace within the venue to cost any flat batteries. Bear in mind to additionally pack spare batteries for any equipment, similar to flashguns, that you simply’ll be utilizing.

The key to lengthy battery life – High 15 Ideas!

Reminiscence playing cards


In addition to spare batteries, spare reminiscence playing cards are additionally important purchases for wedding photographers. Ideally your digital camera may have two reminiscence card slots. You need to use the second slot to make a backup of the primary reminiscence card to protect in opposition to reminiscence card failures and corruptions. Ensure you have not less than three spare reminiscence playing cards, and ideally you’ll need to purchase excessive capability playing cards.

Check out our final information to reminiscence playing cards  to search out out how one can choose the appropriate one on your digital camera.

As you’re going via the day, backing up your card utilizing a back-up gadget (or your laptop computer) can be extremely beneficial when you can. The WD My Passport Wi-fi Professional is an efficient instance of one thing you may simply slot in your digital camera bag for backing-up on the transfer. This useful gadget helps you to again up your photos out of your digital camera to its sturdy inner solid-state drive with out the necessity for a pc and is obtainable in capacities from 250GB to 2TB for £220-£760.

It has each a built-in SD card reader and a USB 2.zero port that enables backup of different card varieties utilizing plug-in readers. Its rechargeable battery will final for hours and may even be used as a powerbank to high up different gadgets. You possibly can by no means have too many backups in the case of wedding images.

WD MyPassport SSD best kit for wedding

See extra important digital camera equipment right here.

Contemplating additionally capturing some video at weddings? Try our guides to capturing video and the important gear you want.

Additional studying:

10 photographs you will need to get at weddings!


Best kit for Wedding Photography


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