Probably the most common questions I get are -
What equipment do you have? - Or - What should I buy as a beginner photographer looking to transition into more professional equipment?
Here’s an easy breakdown, also I’ve included links and pricing - approximate as of the date this was published. The items on this list are Nikon compatible, if you’re canon or otherwise they might work for you but always check the links and specifications :-)
Alright, lets dive in here!
| camera body |
First things first, my camera, I shoot with two Nikon D750s. I always recommend two camera bodies for the following reasons:
In case one breaks, you should ALWAYS have backups of any equipment, especially the most important one - your camera.
To achieve different purposes with each camera. For example: I use one for video and one for still frames, or one for tight lens captures and one for a more wide lens.
The Nikon D750 was voted camera of the year, and is an FX format camera - meaning it is a full frame camera. If you plan on shooting both video and still photography, it’s a good transition between the two. It has the following features:
6.5 frame per second continuous shooting
ISO 100 - 12,800 (expandable up to 51,200 (aka it’s great in low light))
Full HD video - 1080P 24-60/fps
WiFi Built In (you can download an app to take images / upload without an added external shutter)
Not ready for all that? Here’s the first DSLR I purchased, and shot a wedding on! It’s the Nikon D3300 and it’s only about $500 with a lens included.
| lenses |
Okay, next up we have lenses. There’s a large debate on if you should shoot prime lenses or zoom lenses. I don’t care what you shoot, and heck I have a backup lens that is a zoom. But if we’re talking preferences and what I actually shoot 99.9% of my weddings on - it’s a prime 85mm and prime 35mm lens. So do you boo, just be sure to invest in good quality glass - preferably full frame.
The 85mm is a prime, full frame lens and perfect for moments during ceremonies or guest candids without getting too close. Plus it’s so great for portraits. Next is my favorite wide angle prime lens.
| FLASHES + LIGHTING |
A standard issue to have to deal with while shooting a wedding is bad lighting. Churches, receptions and getting ready rooms are notoriously dark or lit poorly. To combat this, I use several lighting sources outside of the sun.
I own two of these flashes for OCF (off camera flash) purposes. OCF can be extremely beneficial during receptions and will help remove grain from dark images as well as light your subjects well in dark spaces.
Another good resource with flash photography is an add on like a diffuser. I use the magmod system because of its versatility.
This set will work on any size flash and you can swap it from one to another - I use it at every wedding!
NEEWER 160 LED CN-160 - $22
(yep, that inexpensive)
Another option with external lighting, especially helpful is continuous lighting. Continuous lighting systems are particularly helpful with videography. My video lights are very early starter equipment but they have great customer service and I’ve used this specific light system at multiple events.
Now that you have all these lights and modifiers and you’re hip to that off camera flash thing, you need somewhere to put the lights, I use these Westcott light stands because they’re easy to transport and they are super lightweight. To attach the flashes I use this modifier which will work with the flash hotshoe.
To get the flashes and camera to communicate you need transceivers, I use Yongnuo and apply this to my two SB-700s.
| video equipment |
In addition to the continuous lights I posted above, I use a gimbal and tripod to stabilize my video shots.
| Straps and Holsters |
Still hanging in there?? Ok, final items I use are a Clydesdale Pro-Dual Handmade Harness to carry my cameras if I’m using both at the same time. If it’s just one at a time I use a Neoprene Quick Release Safety Tether, Camera Sling.
I hope this list is beneficial, theres so much more than goes into it like SD cards, a good camera bag and a BILLION BATTERIES. But this is a good start! Please note this blog contains affiliate links, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. :)
Have any questions for me regarding equipment or what I keep in my camera bag? Reach out to me here: email@example.com