You're jumping into the photography world & you're not sure WHERE IN THE WORLD TO START.
You've researched all the lenses and watched many reviews.
You've asked photographers what their favorite lenses are.
You've spent hours googling different opinions just to be as confused as always.
What camera is best for you?! WHAT LENS!?
Look, I get it friend. I've been there. I remember being so confused where to start. You're not alone!
Equipment is expensive and it can feel like a big leap to jump into the photography world. It's so important to put thought into what works best for YOU because let's face it, every photographer shoots differently and has a different favorite lens.
What works best for me - may not work best for you.
Which is why I suggest renting lens to make sure it's the right fit before jumping into a purchase blindly.
I LOVE lens rentals and used it often when I first was figuring out what worked best for me. Check it out here to receive $25 off your first purchase: https://share.lensrentals.com/x/A3XDUk
When I started my business I didn’t have a clue as to which camera was best to start with or which lenses gave me that beautiful blurry background. Anyone feel me on this?!
If you're confused where to even begin or just curious to see what my setup is - let's hit the list!
Let's start out with the harness that holds my two camera's on sessions and wedding days. I didn't start out my wedding career with this workhorse but now my back couldn't live without it.
You can attach two cameras at the end of each side, that way you can work two lenses at once. It’s also pretty so that’s a plus. All on all, it does what I need it to do on a wedding day, and I highly recommend having a harness to shoot dual lenses at once if you’re getting into wedding photography.
GRAB YOUR OWN HERE: https://coiroshop.com/?ref=lyfhyda0kg
MY CAMERA BODIES:
A NIKON D750 & d780.
My main camera body is my d750 & my husband typically uses the d780 on wedding days.
I'm personally a Nikon user because the first camera I got was a Nikon point and shoot. (those were the DAYSS) But I'm 100% not opposed to other brands (Canon, Sony ect)
The main thing I would say is important when you're hopping into many sessions & the world of weddings is making sure your camera is a FULL FRAME. This is a game changer investment.
THE SIGMA 35mm 1.8
This lens is on my camera body 98% of the time. I'm a fan of the sharp images and the focal length. (the best way to describe the focal length of this lens is just eye view - how you see the world.)
I definitely recommend this as a starter lens. Sigma typically is cheaper than most brand names. Some photographers said they struggled with the sharp focus of the sigma, but I've had this lens for YEARS and haven't struggled with it once.
the 85mm 1.8
When my husband second shoots this lens is on his camera body 50% of the time for those dreamy close ups.
When I shoot alone, I use this combo with my 35mm. I've found that it's just the PERFECT combo for closeups and far away shots.
This really is a dreamy lens. I personally don't use it that much because I find it hard to incorporate movement & giving directions while being so far away.
It has absolutely beautiful, creamy bokeh which I love so much. Favorite times to use this lens is when I don't want to get too close during emotional or intimate moments (first looks, ceremonies or ring exchanges)
the least used lenses:
the 70-200mm 2.8 lens
pretty much the only time this beast is used is during the reception to capture those authentic candid moments (let's be real, as soon as anyone see's you with your camera they automatically FREEZE UPP) & sometimes during a large ceremony.
I'm not a fan of zoom lenses - never have, probably will never be. But sometimes it's nice to have a lens that moves for you. (especially when you're at big weddings)
the 50mm 1.8
Okay let's be clear here. I LOVE this lens. It's a perfect-in-between the 35mm and 85mm. It has such a creamy background and it's a beautiful focal length (not too close or too far away!) but I personally struggle with sharpness with the lens. I used it ALL THE TIME when I first started out but retired it two years ago when i started to notice that it wasn't being consistent.
The 50mm is hands down the number one lens I recommend to anyone starting out. This 50mm just happens to be on it's last leg of its journey.
let's talk other equipment:
Nikon Speedlight SB-700.
For external flashes I keep it super simple because I prefer to bump up my ISO and shoot in natural light but it's SO handy for those dark receptions that would never work with a high ISO.
The amount of flashes you may need probably depends on what style of photography you're shooting as well. I personally shoot darker, so it works with my style however, if you're trying to have a super, light style you may want to experiment with several flash set-ups.
Please, please make sure you have flash with you if you jump into the world of weddings. It may feel overwhelming or confusing but i promise you it will make the world of difference in dark receptions. (which is the only time I use this baby.)
the LaCie hard-drives:
is what I use to back up my photos.
I have TON'S of these back up drives and I’ve never had a problem with them. They have padding, so when I’m traveling it doesn’t bang around.
I use one for every new year of sessions and weddings & have another backup that I use as a double backup while I'm editing sessions/weddings. Once they're sent out/completed I then delete it of the extra back up drive.
Back up your photos IMMEDIATLY after a session, friend. Better be safe than sorry.
extra batteries & charger.
SD CARD CASE
& MANY SD CARDS
Quick tip for your day: if you’re shooting and your camera is lagging, it’s oftentimes the SD Card. It’s good to use cards that have a really high MB count. I love shooting rapid fire to get shots full of movement so I typically purchase higher MB counts.
THE JBL SPEAKER
This speaker is my best friend for creating a comfortable environment for my clients when we're shooting.
I personally curate a playlist perfect for them and it helps eliminate any awkward silence and I've found it's much easier to capture emotional images when music is playing!
& that's a wrap friends!
Let me know if this was a help in choosing what equipment works best for you! I'd love to hear what your favorite gear is.