What’s In My Bag

atlanta wedding photographer

Recently I’ve been getting quite a few questions from other photographers and friends about what gear I use to shoot wedding days. Personally, I’ve always loved reading other photographers “What’s In My Bag” posts, so I’m so excited to finally share my own gear lineup today!

Before we get started there are two important things I’d like to note:

First, if you’re just starting out in photography, please know that it’s ok to grow your gear collection slowly. Most people cannot invest thousands of dollars into equipment right off the bat and that’s perfectly ok! When I first started my business, I shot on an entry-level Nikon 5300 and 50mm 1.8 lens and made a commitment to never go into debt for my business. For the first two years in business, I re-invested almost all of the money I made back into expanding my gear lineup to slowly grow my collection.

Second, it’s important to understand that image quality and the way your images look is mostly because of the photographer’s skill and composition and not the gear. Before you start investing in top of the line gear, it is so important to understand manual mode, lighting techniques, and composition. If you’re brand new with photography, I’d actually suggest investing in education (online courses, in-person workshops, or mentor sessions) before upgrading your gear. In short- it is so much more than the gear that goes into creating beautiful photographs!

So let’s go through what’s in my bag!

Sigma Art 35mm 1.4

I LOVE the Sigma Art series of lenses and have tried both the Nikon and Sigma versions and have found that I actually prefer the Sigma Art series. The 35mm is such a versatile lens and is my widest prime lens that I use on a wedding day. It is wide enough to capture events in smaller spaces without any lens distortion. I use this lens for getting ready shots in tight rooms, large group shots, and receptions.

Sigma Art 50mm 1.4

This is my absolute favorite and go-to lens to capture weddings and portraits! It’s versatile, sharp, and creates beautiful bokeh and compression. If I had to pick one lens to shoot an entire wedding day with, this would be it! I use this lens for pretty much everything– getting ready, portraits, group shots, ceremony, family formals, receptions.

Sigma Art 85mm 1.4

This lens has an even higher compression than the 35mm or 50mm and creates a beautiful, creamy, bokeh background. This lens is GORGEOUS for portraits but because of the longer focal length you need room to back up to get farther away from your subjects. This is the newest addition to my gear lineup and I am in LOVE with this bad boy!

Sigma Art 105mm 2.8

My other newest addition to my lineup is the Sigma 105mm 2.8! It was on sale for $500 off on Black Friday (holy moly!) so I HAD to jump on it. This lens is perfect for macro detail shots (like rings!) and offers beautiful compression of images.

Tamron 24-70 2.8

Although I shoot mostly with prime lenses, I do have two zoom lenses in my lineup. I first bought this lens for travel because it allows me to travel with only one lens due to the versatility of focal lengths, but it quickly became a favorite for weddings, too! The 24-70 is great for those moments when I need to capture a super wide shot (like ceremonies and reception spaces) or, for reception dancing.

Tamron 70-200 2.8

atlanta georgia wedding photographer

This is my “big papa” lens and boy is it heavy! I use the 70-200 almost exclusively for ceremonies when I need to keep my distance but want to capture those intimate moments between the bride and groom. Although I don’t use this lens often, it’s definitely a must-have for wedding days!

Nikon D750 (x2)

And finally, my camera body! I shoot with a Nikon D750 and have a backup Nikon D750. I LOVE this camera body. It shoots on dual SD cards so my images are always written twice which provides such peace of mind. It is also super important to always have a backup body if you’re shooting weddings. God forbid if your main body were to die on a wedding day, you need to have a backup option! If you cannot invest in 2 camera bodies right away, I’d recommend renting a second body for wedding days. BorrowLenses.com is a reputable company for gear rentals.

Flashes: Altura Photo AP-N1001 Speedlite (x2) and Godox TT685/N TT685N Speedlite (x2)

Flashes galore! I actually have 4 flashes that I always have on hand for wedding days. I always have 1 flash on-camera for wedding day receptions, 2 off-camera, and 1 back-up (because flashes always seem to be the piece of equipment that malfunctions or dies!)

Kamrette Lyra Backpack and Jo Totes Allison Butterscotch

These are the 2 bags that hold and transport all of my gear during portrait sessions! I use the Kamrette backpack the most often but the Jo Totes Allison Butterscotch is pretty much on my body all day during weddings to hold 1-2 lenses, backup batteries, and SD cards.

ThinkTank Airport International V3.0

atlanta georgia wedding photographer

This bag is allows me to transport ALL of my gear on wedding days and is the perfect carry-on size for almost all airplanes when flying. Hands down could not recommend more.

Other important accessories:

 

I hope you found this breakdown helpful! And always happy to answer any additional gear questions you may have!

xoxo,

Marybeth

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marybeth marlow  photography

ATLANTA BASED DESTINATION WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER