I recently had one of my mentoring girls come along to two weddings that I shot! She has been interested in how a wedding day unfolds for a photographer and needed some experience with it before she takes on weddings of her own, so I welcomed her along the journey! I was packing the car when she got to my house and was telling her about all the things I bring with me on a wedding day. She seemed blown away and said “man, I need to take notes!” haha! It was a good thing I brought some of those things she had never thought about, because she needed them later in the evening! So here’s a list of what I bring (and why) when I shoot weddings!
- Camera, duh! And ALL of my lenses. Some people ask me “which lenses do you take to a wedding?” … I’m always flabbergasted because I take them all! You never know which lens you’re going to need for a certain ‘look’ so I haul my big bag around with everything! I also bring a cloth to clean my lenses – especially for beach weddings where ocean spray will get on the lens and create a ‘haze’ on photo’s. I also bring my battery charger and ALL of my CF cards!
- 3-4 bottles of water. Not only do you NEED to stay hydrated when you’re working, but seriously, you’re running around the whole day, on your feet the WHOLE time, and you WILL get super thirsty. I usually bring 3-4 and fill them up periodically through the day when I’m done with one so I always have a back up. I drink a LOT of water when I shoot and there isn’t always water where you’ll be – so bring your own!
- Hair tie – which I always need! I always start with my hair down but at some point in the day/night, it goes up! You sweat, it gets frizzy, you’re hot…so throw that mop up ya’ll ;-)
- Bandaids!! Anela (who came along with me) seemed a bit confused by the bandaids being packed, BUT– I have needed them at almost every wedding I shoot. It never fails, my flats always rub blisters on my feet and I need them at some point in the day. At that particular wedding though, Anela needed them instead of me! She wore new shoes and they rubbed blisters on her feet — She sure was glad I had packed them ;-) I once shot a wedding with a cotton ball covering a blister on my foot, and a bandaid over it. It hurt SO bad I was actually limping all night. When you have a horrible blister, you can’t be a pansy and sit down – you have to keep working, so be prepared!!
- Speaking of rubbing blisters on your feet… I always bring a pair of back up shoes. You never know when your shoes are going to give out on you, rip/tear, be totally uncomfortable, etc. So I bring a back up pair incase I need them. All those hours on your feet do some damage, so you’ll want to make sure you’re prepared incase something happens! And make your significant other rub them when you get home — that’s a must!
- Deodorant!! Haha, I won’t lie — I sweat a LOT when I shoot a wedding. I’m moving around constantly, running around to get different shots, and I don’t ever want to be that smelly photographer – GROSS! So I bring deodorant with me and apply throughout the day as I need to.
- Body spray – because lets face it, sometimes deodorant isn’t enough and you’re going to be around people all night — you should probably smell good ;-) Anela took advantage of the body spray all night as well, so I know its going on her list of things to pack when she starts shooting weddings!
- Snacks – I bring high protein snacks like nuts, a PB&J or beef jerky. Just something quick to throw in your mouth between a location change if you’re super hungry and its still hours before dinner time! I’ll also stop for a red bull on the way to the wedding for some extra energy! ;-)
- Chapstick! I love the stuff and apply it like 5 times a day! My favorite is the EOS Sweet Mint! :) I keep one in my car, one in my camera bag, one in my purse, one on my living room coffee table and one next to my bed. Seriously, I’m obsessed. Don’t judge!
So this may seem like a LOT or some may think its weird, but truly, I have learned ‘what to bring’ from shooting weddings without these things and realizing how badly I needed them! Anela was amazed by these things and vowed to always bring them with her when she starts shooting weddings. I’m sure she’ll come up with a list of other things for herself too, just like anyone. What do you bring when you shoot weddings?!
Thanks for these shots, Anela! :)
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