Need to know your essential wedding photography equipment? Here’s the kit that pro shooter Brett Harkness uses and some standard kit for you to consider.

Essential wedding photography equipment: The camera

wedding photography - Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III

Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III

A proper DSLR is essential for achieving professional quality results. Anything over 10MP is fine but a decent AF and low light performance can really help you out.

Brett uses: Canon EOS 1Ds MkIII & EOS 5D MkII

Consider: Canon EOS 7D, Nikon D700

Essential wedding photography equipment: Standard Lens

For your wedding photography you’ll need a range of focal lengths at your disposal. You’ll need a wideangle for group shots and a 50mm equivalent or longer for portraits, ideally with a large aperture to blur backgrounds.

Brett uses: Canon 50mm f/1.2 L, 50mm f/2.5, 16-35mm f/2.8 L, 24-70mm f/2.8 L, 15mm fisheye

Consider: Sigma 10-20mm, Nikon 50mm f/1.4, Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8
Long lens

Sigma 70-200 28 EX DG OS HSM lens

Sigma 70-200 28 EX DG OS HSM lens

For getting close in on the action while keeping out of the limelight, a long lens is essential for any good wedding photographer.

Brett uses: Canon 70-200mm IS L f/2.8

Consider: Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8

Essential wedding photography equipment: Flashgun

Even when working in bright daylight, using a flashgun can help your subject stand out. This can be essential for getting a sharp shot during the speeches or later in the evening.

Brett uses: 3x Canon 580 EXII flashguns, and four Pocket Wizards plus stands

Consider: Nikon SB-900, Sigma EF 530 DG SuperEssential wedding photography equipment: Backup drive

One reason for backup drives is the risk of running out of card space, but when images are as precious as with wedding shots you’ll want to double up your image-saving and keep both.

Brett uses: Epson P5000 Hard drive

Consider: Epson P-3000

Essential wedding photography equipment: Studio flash

If you’re forced to work inside due to bad weather, studio lighting can really save the day. Sets with battery packs could even be used outdoors too.

Brett uses: Elinchrom Quadra kit

Consider: Interfit EX150 Mk II two-head kit

Essential wedding photography equipment: Reflector

With the sun behind your subject, a well-positioned reflector can be more effective than a flashgun at lighting your subject and can be a very controllable light source – especially if operated by an assistant.

Brett uses: Lastolite Tri grip reflector

Consider: Lastolite Tri-Flip 8:1 kit

Essential wedding photography equipment: Memory cards

It sounds obvious but make sure you have enough card space to cover the number of shots you are likely to take. As an estimate, aim for between 10-20GB in 2, 4, or 8GB cards.

Brett uses: 8GB & 16GB Lexar 300 speed cards

Consider: Sandisk Extreme cards

Essential wedding photography equipment: Stepladder

In the absence of anywhere high enough to stand to get a group shot, a stepladder can come in very handy.

Essential wedding photography equipment: White umbrellas

If it starts to rain then using a set of colour co-ordinated umbrellas can keep the subjects dry and even add to the shot.