Photography is an art. And it is also a technology! The world of camera bodies, lenses, flashes, softboxes, and other lighting features can be downright overwhelming.
We get a lot of questions about the equipment we use and while it is, of course, an ever-evolving list, we thought we’d share the list of what we currently own and use for weddings and other sessions for those in the market or exploring photography themselves! While providing some brief notes, we did not want to go overboard in describing these. We order our camera equipment from B&H, LOVE the store and its fast and convenient shipping, and you can find way more in depth reviews and features for this equipment there.
Canon EOS 5D Mark iii - our primary camera body that we really love for its usability and features.
Canon 7D - our back-up camera body. We’ve had and used it since 2010, and it has held up very well with no problems.
Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 EF II (USM) - our most common go-to lens for weddings and other photography. It is both versatile and functions well in low light.
Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 EF ZOOM - our second most used lens for weddings, the ultimate for amazing close-ups from afar to capture all the detailed moments without anyone knowing we’re there
Canon 100mm f/2.8 Macro L IS - great for those macro detail shots of rings, flowers, the lace on wedding dresses, and the like
Canon 50mm f/1.4 EF (USM) - least used among our wedding lenses because we don’t find it to be as versatile, but when we’re in the right lighting environment, I love pulling this out
We have continued to upgrade our Canon Speedlites as the technology has improved. In order of our favorites and also newest to oldest, we’d recommend either of the first two for their wireless capabilities.
Canon Speedlite 600EX II-RT
Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT
Canon Speedlite 580EX2
favorite other equipment
We have a range of other equipment, from reflectors to studio lighting. In our world of wedding photography, here are the extra items that we use the most or love the most.
Canon ST-E3-RT Speedlite Transmitter - now that we have this, I’m not sure how we ever lived without it. The transmitter sits in the camera (and importantly, weighs much less than a flash), and communicates wirelessly with off-camera flashes simultaneously. Common uses of this are when we set up softbox lighting for sparkler exits or when we’re in situations that we end up doing wedding couple or wedding party photos inside during inclement weather.
Chimera Mini Softbox (Silver, XX-Small) - we currently have and use two of these as mentioned above to provide on-site flexibility with lighting. They require a camera ring and a tripod to place them on stands.
Lowepro ProTactic 450 AW Camera and Laptop Backpack - Yes, packing and hauling all of our equipment is quite an activity in and of itself! After using a couple of different shoulder bags for years, we upgraded to a backpack this year that fits nearly all of our equipment (sans tripods, reflectors, etc.). We find it easier to get around with this.
While batteries, memory cards, and the like aren’t exactly exciting, they are essential to photography going smoothly! Here are our favorites:
Duracell Rechargeable Long Life Ion Core AA NiMH Batteries - while batteries aren’t very exciting, they are absolutely essential for the flashes. Because flash photography can eat through batteries, we find reusable ones to be most economical and environmentally sound. After trying some other ones over the years and doing research, we landed on this brand and have loved using them - the charge holds pretty well even when using a lot of flash.
Powerex MH-C800S 8-Cell Smart Charger for AA / AAA NiMH / NiCD Batteries - to accompany the batteries, the charger! What we love about this one is that it is easy to take with us to weddings so we can recharge while we’re there when needed. It also allows for both fast or slow charge options to maximize the lifespan of the batteries. That is not an overly common feature for battery chargers.
SanDisk 32GB Extreme Pro CompactFlash Memory Card - these are all we use at this point. They’re large enough that we don’t need to change them too frequently, are highly reliable, and we have had no issues with them.
Flash bounces - we use several different techniques to minimize the ‘deer in headlights’ look that direct flash creates. When you need to be on-the-go and softboxes or other off-camera options aren’t possible, flash bounces are a must-have. Most or all of ours are Vello brand, and these are one of the most affordable pieces of photography equipment out there. The only tip is to make sure you get one that is a match for your flash, as they are fitted to match certain ones.