Every photographer has a different approach to photography so it’s almost obvious to say that everyone relies on different tools. The style and the vision of the individual photographer usually characterize the type of tools contained in his camera bag, but despite this there are some essential photographic tools that are universally used and that are willingly included in the list of things to have. Here are what they are …
Macro lenses are perfect for close-up shots: wedding rings, small details on the bride’s dress, shoes, jewels, thank-you notes … With macro lenses, and a whole world of possible shots opens up.
Usually I use a dedicated 100 mm macro lens, mounted on a full-frame camera body and very often it also becomes a perfect lens instead of the specific ones for close-ups.
A spare camera, preferably analog
Nobody shoots on film today, does it? Wrong. The film is still in vogue, particularly among experts. The best thing about the film is the distinctive aspect of the photos: obviously it is possible to try to reproduce it also in digital through post production techniques but this implies a great expenditure of time and energy to devote to work.
Furthermore, apart from the classic aspect of the film, analogue photos are a security for digital photographers: in the worst case you could forget about the batteries for your digital camera, forget to recharge them or it could happen that an electromagnetic pulse turns off every electronic tool in the city (OK, maybe I got carried away a little …). In any case, if your digital equipment were to fail, you would still have equipment that is based on mechanics and not on electricity.
Most marriage photographers carry at least two camera bodies at weddings. Some particularly attentive carry even a third. And the lenses? Do you have spare targets? If your main lens is a 24-70 mm f / 2.8 and you should fall during the marriage by breaking, what would you do from that point onwards?
Since you are a professional, your first priority is your client, not your goal. Don’t think of the spare targets as a superfluous expense, rather consider them insurance, like the stock analogue camera we were talking about just above. If you can’t invest in a target right now (for budgetary reasons), rent one for the day and download the cost to the customer.
A silver and white reflector
There are a hundred different reasons that justify the purchase of a set of reflectors. Reflectors are the tools par excellence for shaping light and are a fundamental tool for all photographers of portraits in natural light. You can use a reflective silver to direct the light towards the bride’s face from afar. You can use a golden reflector to add a warm tone to an image taken during the blue hour. You can use a set of white reflectors to create what is known as a seashell light effect and create soft and beautiful lighting. The options are limited only by your imagination.
A set of flashes
As a wedding photographer you should already have some flash. Do yourself a favor and take at least a couple with you when photographing at a wedding: thanks to their flexibility, external flashes are perfect for these occasions as you can easily maneuver them in every room and in every corner. Wedding venues, like churches, impose various limits on photographers, such as the impossibility of using larger lights. Smaller lights with large guide numbers and the ability to zoom in on the flash head and use off the camera (an assistant is always very useful in these situations) are the only way.