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Reviewing essential gear


From:

Wedding Photography for Everyone: Fundamentals

with Chris Orwig

Video: Reviewing essential gear

In the next few movies, we're going to talk about gear, and here in this first movie we're going to focus in on some of the essentials, some of the essential gear that you need when photographing a wedding. And here's the good news. You don't need a lot of gear. Let's first talk about camera bodies and lenses. Now, if you have a camera body, almost anything will do, even if it's an entry-level digital SLR. Typically the images that come off those sensors are good. They're good enough for photographing a wedding. So, you want to have a camera body that you can rely on. You also perhaps want a couple of lenses.
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Watch the Online Video Course Wedding Photography for Everyone: Fundamentals
1h 32m Intermediate Mar 01, 2013

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If you're a photographer (an enthusiast or a pro), you'll eventually be asked to photograph a wedding: a task that's both a privilege and a challenge. You're capturing one of life's most significant milestones. You're shooting an event filled with unpredictable moments that can't be re-created, and you need to be involved without being intrusive. It's a balancing act that professional wedding photographers work hard to perfect.

Chris Orwig has been in exactly this position, and in this course, he shares his experiences and creative insights, all liberally illustrated with examples from weddings that he has photographed. The course begins with details on preproduction—your gear and equipment decisions and the importance of talking to the bride and groom about their goals for your photographs. It also explores some key strategies for documenting the ceremony and the celebration afterwards. Lastly, Chris reviews some postproduction strategies for enhancing your images and delivering them to the happy couple.

Subject:
Photography
Author:
Chris Orwig

Reviewing essential gear

In the next few movies, we're going to talk about gear, and here in this first movie we're going to focus in on some of the essentials, some of the essential gear that you need when photographing a wedding. And here's the good news. You don't need a lot of gear. Let's first talk about camera bodies and lenses. Now, if you have a camera body, almost anything will do, even if it's an entry-level digital SLR. Typically the images that come off those sensors are good. They're good enough for photographing a wedding. So, you want to have a camera body that you can rely on. You also perhaps want a couple of lenses.

When it comes to thinking about lenses, you really want to think about your vision. What type of images do you want to capture? Typically what you will want is you want something that has the ability to capture a wider perspective of a scene. So that you can get those group shots, those family photographs, photographs of people at a table or just the establishing images which show the whole scene. So, again, you want something which allows you to go wide. You also want something which allows you to get close. Now, this is where it's really helpful to have a zoom lens, like perhaps this one. It's a 24-70.

You could capture the wide-angle shot, and you can zoom in and capture something a little bit more close. Then I also think it's important to have a lens that allows you to get really close. Often at weddings, you'll see some action across the room, across the hall, or across the park or the field or whatever it is. You need a lens which allows you to get there quickly, to capture those candid moments. So in this case, perhaps a lens like a 70-200 might work well. Or maybe you have one of those lenses which covers everything from wide all the way to up close.

Again, you want something, though, that allows you to kind of capture what your vision is. In other words, my vision is to get group shots and get the energy of that and also to get up close, so perhaps this combination will work well. Another thing to consider is emotion. You know, I think back to my own wedding day, and I think of locking eyes with my bride Kelly, and when I did that, everything else was a blur. All that mattered was her.

And so in a sense, for me, the emotion of a wedding day calls for using a lens which allows you to create Shallow Depth of Field, where you're focusing in on one thing and everything else just kind of drifts off, everything else is out of focus. All right, what else besides say camera body and lenses do we want to consider? Well, a couple of other things. It's always a good idea to bring batteries. You can see that I have a lot of batteries, and I have a lot of batteries because there have been a few times when I've been shooting and my battery has died.

And so, I want to make sure that I have twice as many batteries as I know that I need. Of course, you want charge those up before hand. What I do is once a battery is charged up, I put this little back on it. That tells me that this battery is fired up and ready to go. If this backing, the little piece here is off that tells me that that's dead. It's no good. So, you want some way to sort of organize your batteries as well. Next, you also want to bring battery chargers. I typically bring two. Again, if your batteries go, you are out of luck.

So, I don't want that to happen. And then you need your CF Cards, and you want some way to organize those cards. Again, here, I recommend that you bring twice as many CF Cards as you think you'll need. You always want to be the doubly prepared when you're photographing a wedding. And in this case, this little wallet is really helpful. The cards which are good and unused on this side, once they've been used, I move them over to the side which is orange. And that way they're organized. That way I know that I'm always-- I can always reach for a good card.

Then if you're photographing a wedding where it's going to be dark eventually, where it's going to be night, you may want to bring a flash like this one here. Because once the light goes down, there isn't going to be many options, unless perhaps you have a flash. And of course, if you have a flash, you want to bring batteries, bring twice as many as you need. Now, another thought in regards to gear is this. Perhaps you don't have two lenses, or maybe you don't have extra batteries or enough CF cards, what do you do? Well, you can always borrow or rent or buy, and sometimes for a wedding, you may need to do that.

I think it's essential to have at least this gear here so that you have your bases covered so that you can capture the images so that you don't miss any of those important moments.

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