The minimalist's guide to wedding photography gear

As a wedding photographer, you know how heavy, cumbersome and expensive photography gear can be. Maybe you carry two or more bags to every wedding, feeling weighed down, and end the night with aches that you can only attribute to all those lenses! If you’re SO done with that life, then we’re here to help you live the mantra “do more with less” in a slimmed-down lifestyle when it comes to your gear checklist. Read on for the ultimate guide to the minimalist’s wedding photography gear. Marie Kondo would be so proud, and your wallet and body will thank you.

The Ultimate Minimalist Wedding Photography Gear List

1. Camera

Infographic stating when it comes to gear do more with less and become a minimalist

Bulky DSLRs can weigh you down but they are also a part of your ‘essential gear list’. And if you are thinking of shifting to that minimalistic lifestyle, you may want to consider investing in lighter-weight cameras or going mirrorless. Mirrorless cameras often come with the advantage of being lighter and more compact. So neither do they weigh you down, nor do they take up a lot of space in your camera bag. Sony, Nikon (Z series), and Canon make some great mirrorless models. It’s always a good idea to have two cameras with you in case one fails, but choosing a lighter, smaller, but still powerful camera body to back you up will at least help keep the gear lighter. If you’re a dual-camera shooter, ask yourself how often you use that second camera when it’s on your body. If you don’t use it that often, consider sticking with one camera, switching out the lenses as needed, and storing that second camera as a backup only in your bag.

Related Read: Best Wedding Cameras: A Comparative Analysis

2. Lenses

Prime lenses tend to be lighter because they are smaller, especially the 50mm and 35mm. Also, with their f1.2 or f1.4, or f1.8 capabilities (depending on the lens), you’ll get beautiful bokeh to boot. The only drawback here is that if you start carrying only primes, you’ll soon fill up your bag with a lot of lenses. So if you want to lessen the amount of equipment you carry, consider two lenses only – a 24-70mm and a 70-200mm. They may not be lightweight, but they’ll cover the most commonly needed ranges at a wedding. If you had to add one more lens, you could choose a 20mm wide-angle for those big group shots or get into the 14-24mm.

If you are just starting to steer towards the minimalist photographer lifestyle, reducing your bag wedding photography equipment to 2-3 lenses might feel impossible, but ask yourself how often you use all the lenses you currently carry, and if the answer is “hardly ever,” then that’s your cue to leave them behind.

3. Lighting Gear

Infographic stating compact and light weight gear can still be powerful for dark or low light venues

As a wedding photographer, you never know when you may end up in a dark or low light venue, and at that time, lighting gear could turn out to be your best friend. But don’t worry, wedding photography lighting gear doesn’t have to be heavy. Several brands like Profoto are all about the lighter, compact, more portable lights that are also powerful. Their B10 is a prime example. Their A1 series is also great if you are looking to lighten your load and can be bought (in quantity) to set up at a reception. If you have a three-light system in mind, two A1s and a B10 plus a trigger and some lightweight light stands (Cheetah Stand makes some great lightweight stands with deployable legs), you can lighten up your gear load easily.

Another popular lighting company called Godox also makes inexpensive, smaller lights you can buy in quantity to place around the reception and not worry too much about getting knocked over. In terms of less is more, reception lighting isn’t always the place to start, so lightening the load here is maybe preferable to lessening the load.

Suggested Read: How To Shoot In Small And Dark Wedding Venues

4. Storage Options

Infographic stating increase your efficiency with secure and budget friendly lightweight backpacks

If you have covered all bases and switched to lighter wedding photography gear, but still have a bag that weighs heavy even without all the equipment in it, you might want to consider other lightweight bags. Think Tank has a great list of lightweight gear bags that roll and won’t break your back or your bank. Their Airport series rollers and roll bags that convert into backpacks are a fan favorite. Their bags also come in different sizes, are made to last, and have advanced security features to keep all your gear safe.

When it comes to bags, keep them lightweight and portable and challenge yourself to bring only what you can carry in one bag. For example, you could put your lighting gear for receptions in a separate bag, but one you don’t need to keep on you at all times. You could also consider investing in waist belts for cameras and lenses. Spider Camera Holster has some great options and also has tons of wedding photography accessories that you can attach to the waist belt. Although you have to get your gear to the wedding in a big bag, this gives you the option to move around freely at the wedding.

Have an Assistant to Lessen the Load

Infographic stating hire an assistant to lighten the load and carry your bags and wedding photography gear

Even though switching out your wedding photography gear for lightweight alternatives could help you reduce the equipment weight you carry around at weddings, there’s another option that might work for you – get an assistant. When you have someone carrying your photography equipment for you, or watching over the lights and lenses, you don’t necessarily have to change your go-to or trusted brands just to buy gear that weighs less. Your gear for wedding photography is what helps you do your job, but having an assistant do all the heavy lifting could lower the physical impact of your work day and still allow you to do what you do without making any major changes to your gear checklist.

Suggested Read: Wedding Photography Burnout: Signs, Prevention, & Recovery

At ShootDotEdit, we are passionate about helping you hone your skills and enjoy doing what you love. In order to give you more time to focus on your craft, we also provide professional photo editing services. To learn more about how we can help your wedding photography business, you can check out our pricing plans.

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