What’s In My Camera Bag?

Wedding Photography in Cheshire is my thing at the moment, but it wasn’t meant to be this way. After completing my photography degree in 2007, I was certain that all aspects of commercial photography was going to be my way forward. At the time, my passion was for architecture and food photography and taking inspiration from the likes of Fluvio Bonavia and Adam Dobrovits.

My other photographic fascination is that of war photojournalism. Admiring (if that’s the right word?) the work of Robert Capa, Simon Norfolk and the great Don McCullin, something that I have taken forward to my wedding work is the need to be close to all action, to be right in there with the emotion, humour and energy. To standoff is to miss out.

Like most photographers, I fell into weddings by accident. Being asked to shoot a friend’s wedding seems to be the beginning of the journey that most wedding photographers take and that was mine also. But after 10 years and over 400 weddings, it’s a lifestyle that I greatly enjoy.

Kit List –

1 – Spider Holster Black Widow. A perfect camera holster when keeping a low profile, keeps the weight on my hips so no more backache. I’ve tried all sorts of camera holsters but have found this when combined with a good trouser belt is best.

2 – Hahnel Pro Cube 2. Not one to get excited about battery chargers but this manages to interest me more than others. Really solid and nicely designed with plug, USB and in-car charging adaptability. Dual slots for 2 Sony batteries with adapters for AA batteries too and a charge monitor with a battery health check too.

3 – Godox V350S Flash. Coming from a canon setup, I knew that my Sony kit needed to be more low profile and the V350S flashes are perfect. I tend to use on very low power (128/1 to 32/1) during the dancing and party in full manual but they have TTL capability too. The low power keeps the recycle time down and the built-in li-ion battery is excellent. The flash can also act as a master transmitter negotiating the need for an extra trigger.

4 – Sony Distagon T* FE 35mm F1.4 ZA. 35mm was my old go-to focal length for the majority of my wedding day work. This lens, whilst heavy, is solid and tack sharp even shooting wide open at F1.4. Also with it being a Zeiss lens, you know that you’re getting optical perfection. Whilst still in use for certain situations, this lens is more of a back up for me now.

5 – Zeiss Batis FE 85mm F1.8. This 85mm is just beautiful, the design, the optics and the small profile make it a proper workhorse for around 50% of my wedding days. Again, I shoot wide open at F1.8 all day with this lens and the focal length gives great lens compression which makes for crazy good portraits with dreamy bokeh.

6 & 10 – Sony A9 – Ah where to begin with my love for this camera?? As a former hot-blooded Canon 5D4 user, I knew that any change of camera system would have to seriously blow me away. So testing the water with the brilliant Sony A73 and then upgrading to the Sony A9 was a serious game-changer. Full Frame but small and lightweight was noticeable against the 5D4’s. The electronic viewfinder and flip out touch screen solved my neck ache from using Canon’s Live View. The face and eye-tracking are seriously jaw-dropping features even when shooting a wide-open aperture. But the god-tier feature that trumps everything – Silence! The silent shutter was and still is just and unbelievable feature. It’s changed how I shoot and made me braver to get in closer to all action. There are of course numerous other ace features like dual SD slots, function dials and custom buttons but the silence of this camera is the king.

7 – Rayban New Wayfarer RB2132 – A must-have for any sunny wedding day, plus they look cool AF.

8 – Canon TS-E 24mm F3.5 Mk1 – A hangover lens from my Canon days, combined with a Sigma MC-11 lens mount adapter, this tends to see action during the portrait session of a wedding day. Although the whole tilt-shift effect can be replicated in post-production, there’s nothing better for boosting your confidence by nailing a shot in camera. It’s a lens that is better when used sparingly and adds a new dimension too late night flash portraits.

9 – Sony FE 24mm F1.4 GMaster – I first bought this lens primarily for scene-setting shots and to use on the dance floor but I found that after a while, I just kept it on my camera. My new go-to lens for at least half of my wedding day, again used wide open around 90% of the time, it’s light, fast and compact. A perfect storytelling lens and a focal length that I have some to love. Also, combined with a custom button on the A9, I can activate the APS-C function and turn the lens into a rough 35mm when needed.

11 – Canon EF 135mm F2 L USM – Another hangover lens from my Canon days, again combined with a Sigma MC-11 lens mount adapter, this lens gives me reach over the 85mm. Used more now for big wedding aisles, it’s more than capable for awesome portraits. A very light and affordable lens that will always have pride of place in my camera bag.

12 – Godox TT350S Flash. Used as both a backup and kicker light for dancing or night portraits. This is the carbon copy of the V350s flash but for use with AA batteries so whilst the recharge times will be a little slower, it’s still a decent flash unit.

13 – Think Tank Pixel Pocket Rocket. Such a decent storage solution for CF & SD memory cards. I’ve had this for years and it’s gone the distance. I use the CF card version which gives me space for two SD cards in each pocket or 20 SD cards in total. Whilst I tend to use high capacity SD cards (256GB) knowing a have a protected pocketful of spares is always a reassuring thought.

14 – Godox X1T S. A neat trigger for my off-camera flash setups. With full TTL capability, wireless power control for each flash unit and a range of over 100 meters, this is my go-to solution for when I need consistent flash during situations like dark ceremonies, speeches and late-night portraits.

If you are interested in wedding photography mentoring or wedding day shadowing, please view my mentoring page here.