If you want to have a go and make money as a wedding photographer you really don’t need the top end (and expensive) professional photography equipment. There is cheaper photography equipment available that will help you capture high quality wedding photos that will impress any bride and groom. The point I am trying to make is that a budget wedding photography kit will be perfectly good enough to start out.
Budget wedding photography kit - camera
The image quality and performance of a crops sensor camera is plenty good enough to capture high quality wedding photos. Canon categorizes its dslr cameras in to 3 categories, and these comprise beginner, enthusiast and professional. All of Canon’s dslr cameras are capable of capturing high quality wedding photos and you don’t need to buy a professional or even enthusiast level camera.
The cameras I would recommend for a budget wedding photography kit comprises:-
With 24+ megapixels to play with all of the above budget dslr cameras will capture top wedding photos.
Budget wedding photography kit - lenses
A high quality lens is essential for wedding photography and you are going to have to be prepared to spend a little bit of money on a lens, even to buy a budget lens. There are cheap lenses available but I would never recommend these because the image quality is terrible and they won’t last five minutes. Recommended budget lenses for wedding photography are “mid-range” which means both build quality and image quality is very good.
Many photographers seem to be of the opinion you need a lens that will open up to f2.8 or wider for wedding photography, but this is not the case. You need to be very careful and accurate using wide apertures to make sure everything that should be in focus is in focus. Mess up the focal point and you’re stuffed. When shooting weddings it is better to shoot a slightly narrower apertures to make sure the photos are definitely sharp, and f4 – f5.6 is perfect for this.
The must have budget lenses for a budget wedding photography kit comprises:-
Canon 24 – 70 f4L
Being an L series lens this lens is made using the best quality materials, components and optics which means it is built to last and has excellent image quality. The maximum widest aperture is f4 which is plenty wide enough to blur out the background whilst ensuring the subjects remain tack sharp
The Canon 24 – 70 f4L is available from Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk and eBay.com.
Canon 10 – 22 f3.5 – 4.5
With an effective focal length of 16mm – 35mm is a wide angle lens that is perfect for group shots. The build quality of this lens is very good although it is not up to L series standard. Considering this is mid-range lens the image quality is exceptional and better than that of lenses costing several times more. The maximum widest aperture of f3.5 is too wide to get everyone nice and sharp in group shots, so don’t let the f3.5 – 4.5 put you off. This is an excellent budget lens for capturing awesome wedding photos.
The Canon 10 – 22 f3.5 – 4.5 is available from Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk and eBay.com.
Canon 70 – 200 f4L IS
This is another L series lens, which means it is made using the highest quality materials and components and also the best optics. The 70 – 200 will have an effective focal range of 112mm – 320mm on a crop sensor camera so it is perfect for those situations where you need to be out of the way whilst taking photos. This lens has IS which means you can still get sharp noise free photos.
The Canon 70 – 200 f4L IS is available from Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk and eBay.com.
Budget wedding photography kit – lighting equipment
A lighting system is essential for wedding photography and those photographers claiming you only need natural light, are talking out of it. Churches and chapels are dark places and you will need a burst of artificial light to get a good exposure. Photographing people out in direct sunlight is not a good idea and when you move them in to the shade you will need a burst of artificial light to lift the shadows. The bottom line is you will need some kind of flash for wedding photography.
A flash simply emits a burst of artificial light when required, and nothing more. The quality of the light emitted by a flash won’t noticeably vary, so it doesn’t matter whether the light is emitted from a flash costing six hundred bucks or a flash costing one hundred bucks. As long as you can get enough light out of the flash and control it that’s all that matters.
There was a time when powerful flashes and speed lights offering a full range of features were expensive. Fortunately, this is no longer the case and you can now buy a flash that is powerful, controllable and also cheap. These flashes may not be as bullet proof as the expensive flashes, but they are still tough and durable. There really is no need to spend a fortune on a flash for your budget wedding photography kit.
The flash I would recommend in a budget photography kit is the Godox V860.
The Godox V860 is powerful and jam packed full of features. It offers TTL automatic mode, full manual mode and high speed sync (HSS) modes. This flash is tough, durable and built to last. I have had my Godox speed lights for several years now and they are still working as good today as the day I first took delivery. The V860 flash costs a fraction of the top end Canon speed lights and I managed to get three V860 speed lights for less than the cost of one Canon 600EX.
The Godox V860 is available from Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk and eBay.com
The camera, lens and lighting system are the main components in a wedding photography kit, however you will need other bits and pieces such as lens cleaning equipment, spare batteries and lots of memory cards etc.
Keen photographer addicted to cameras, lenses and everything photography related. Feel free to follow me in my photography ramblings, and if you have any thoughts, comments, queries or anything else to add I would love to hear from you.