As a photographer preparing for a wedding day starts long before the actual day. We have to make sure our gear is clean, charged and ready to go but also make sure we have all the info ready and correct for the big day. So I have created my ultimate wedding photographer checklist for myself so I know what I have to do and bring for the big day. This post is going to be geared a little more towards photographers but if bride & grooms are curious what we do the days before you day feel free to read on! Keep in mind this is just what I do and every photographer I’m sure has their own routine.
In the weeks leading up a wedding day I make sure I touch base with my couple and get a up to date timeline from them as well as a contact person (usually their made of honour, best man or wedding planner). This way if I need to get ahold of my couples the day of I have way to reach them. I also grab a vendor list so I know who I’m working a long side so I can credit them in the blog post but also share my photos after they are complete. Its not just me who pulled this wedding off so I truly believe all vendors involved should be able to have, and share the photos from the wedding day. At this time I also grab the family photography list. This is a list that has all the members of their family they want photos with and their groupings. I bring this the day of so the couple doesn’t have to try to remember and it saves so much time.
A couple days prior I start charging batteries, cleaning lenses and making sure all my gear is in working order. If your wondering what type of gear I use and what I bring the day of, well I’ll tell you! I shoot with a Nikon D750 and I absolutely LOVE this body. Its amazing in low light, which is perfect for wedding receptions. I do have four Nikon D750s and one Nikon D610. I bring all five of these camera bodies with my to every wedding. You never know when a shutter can crap out on you (which isn’t just something out of my nightmares and actually happened to 2 of my cameras in the same wedding!!!) I also bring two Nikon 24-70, one Nikon 70-200, one Sigma 50, one Nikon 35. The lenses you will typically see me shoot with are my Nikon 24-70 and my sigma 50. Those are by far my go to lenses. I also bring two Nikon SB910s, two Yongnu YN650IV flashes and two Yongnu RF605N triggers. This way we can set up some off camera lighting to make sure the dance floor is nice and bright. I also bring a LEDGo video light for those really dark reception halls. Along with the flashes are two stands and one tripod for doing some night photography work. This all fits into a couple different bags. I use my Kelly Moore Collins bag while Jason uses a LowPro Flipside Sport and a ShootSac.
The day before I also start cleaning and formatting cards. I shoot typically with Lexar Professional 32G & 64G cards. My camera has a space for two cards so at weddings I always shoot with both slots full. This way my 32G backs up to my 64G so I already has a backup of the photos from the moment I shoot it. We also have multiple AA & AAA batteries for all our flashes and triggers.
Snacks! We always bring snack the wedding day as well. We don’t ever get time to sit and have lunch we we need to bring food that is portable, healthy and easy to grab as we dive to different locations. Usually this is some sort of nut, fruits, or muffins I have made the day before. Also don’t forget your water. Thos hot summer days you will go thru water like never before.
In my car I also carry 12 clear umbrellas. Calgary’s weather can be very unpredictable so you never know when you will be needing them. It is nice to have the clear ones too since you are then able to keep shooting while keeping the couple dry and not affecting the light. Other smaller things I like to bring are sunscreen, deodorant (no one likes a smelly photographer), bug spray, and hand sanitizer. I have also found a cute wedding day check list off Pinterest that I use just as a reminder for myself.
We all know that feeling the day before the wedding day where we have a million and one things running through our heads from are we prepared for every light situation, do we have all our gear, is the dress I’m wearing too low cut, to are my feet going to fall off if I wear these shoes for ten hours. Can I get a foot rub and an amen?!? All jokes side wedding days can be hectic but as long as you go prepared with backup gear, and are organized things will run smoothly!
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If your looking for Wedding Photography and are in the Calgary, Cochrane, Canmore or Banff area get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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