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Recommended Equipment for Shooting Weddings and Portraits

by Chris Gampat on 02/26/2010

With WPPI coming up soon in Las Vegas, we’re getting ready for some exciting times before it gets warmer and everyone wants their wedding photos done. Even if you’re a portrait/headshot photographer it’s going to be an exciting time as the slow season finally starts drifting away. If you’re interested in upgrading your gear or want to get into the industry, here are some items to take a look at.

Cameras

If you’re a Nikon shooter, then the D3s, D3x and D700 are the best choices for you. If you come from the Canon side of things, go for the 1Ds Mark III, 1D Mk IV or my favorite the Canon 5D Mk II. All of these cameras are full frame (with the exception of the 1D, which has a large APS-H sensor) and will really help you make the most of your lenses and whatever available light there is. The autofocus on them works well for these types of events as well. The last thing you want is to not be able to trust your camera’s capabilities at a wedding. You’ll need too shoot in low-light as well as brightly lit scenarios.

The versatility provided by these cameras will make them your constant companions. Besides weddings though, they’re all very good for portraits as well. For these, you’ll probably want to lean more towards the cameras with the higher megapixel count and resolution.

Lenses

The Nikon 24-70mm F2.8 and Nikon 70-200mm F2.8 ED VR II are going to be essential for you. I also know that the wide zoom 12-24mm F4 is also used quite a bit. If you’re a Canon shooter, the Wedding Documentary blog has your essential list. I use the 24-105mm F4L IS, 50mm F1.8, 85mm F1.8, and the 80-200mm F2.8 L.

If you’re also the videographer, you may want to check out my list on recommended lenses.

Flashes

Nikonians use the SB-900 typically. I use the Canon Speedlite 430 EX II, but most people use the 580 EX II. I also use the Gary Fong Lightsphere.

If you shoot weddings, what do you use?

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