wedding photography camera bags

The must-have checklist for photographing weddings

what equipment is needed to photograph a wedding

What’s in my wedding camera bag and how do I keep my camera bag organized? I get this question from new photographers all the time. It makes sense and I wondered the exact same thing when I started second shooting. 

Right here, I’ll show you a peek inside both my rolling bag of ‘extra’ gear and the camera bag I wear all day at a wedding.

–>> A special hot tip at the end of the video below is the #1 piece of gear I cannot live without.

what's in my wedding camera bag

Let's peek inside my camera bag

When I began second shooting weddings with my mentor, one thing I looooooooved about that experience was getting to play with her expensive lenses and learn more about gear. She let me use her older lenses and taught me how to use off-camera flash for formal portraits

Becoming a second photographer is a great way to learn on the job, without the pressure of ruining someone’s wedding day. It was similar to hiring a business coach, in that it jumps you forward with your learning instead of years of trial and error.

If you are interested in becoming a wedding photographer, I highly recommend that path. This post isn’t about how to find a job assisting wedding photographers (I’ll save that for another day), however, I’m giving you a peek behind the curtain with a tour of my camera bags!

My favorite camera bag for weddings is actually...

Over the years, I’ve tried many different camera bags. Most of them just haven’t been a good fit, or worse, they fall apart. It’s been a struggle to find exactly what I want in a bag. There are probably 30 bags in my house that go unused. Anybody wanna buy one??

My favorite camera bag for weddings is actually *spoiler alert* a high-end diaper bag!



The best thing about using a diaper bag as a camera bag is being able to leave it in my car and not worry about it getting stolen. Not that I would do that, but I could. I mean, it’s a big purple bag!

Traditional camera bags are black and have the name brand on them. They might as well have neon lights flashing STEAL ME!

Another reason I’m in love with my diaper bag is that it is waterproof. Oh, and that it’s made for easy access, and…

what's in my wedding camera bag?

So seriously, check out other bags and see if they work for you. My search took years because there just wasn’t anything unique when I started. I seriously missed an opportunity by not just making something myself and selling it.

Now there are a few brands that make cool camera bags, like Kelly Moore bags, but I still love my weird purple diaper bag. 

So what's in my wedding camera bag?

Think outside the box and throw helpful items for the Bride in your bag too: tissues, tampons, safety pins, tiny scissors, bobby pins, etc. You never know what you’ll need on the wedding day.

What do I pack in my larger gear bag?

Next up is what’s in my ‘extra’ gear bag that I bring, mostly to the wedding reception. This bag is actually just a cheap suitcase that I put a camera bag organizer foam thingy into. Again, so it is less enticing to thieves. Also because the expensive rolling bag’s zipper broke. Lame. 

Generally, in this bag is just all of my over-flow and backup gear. Yes, you should have backup gear. Especially backup cameras and batteries.

  • extra lenses
  • extra flashes
  • extra batteries
  • all the battery chargers
  • extra pocket wizards
  • a big ole bag of misc. cords and stuff I might need (but never actually do)

So, what’s in YOUR camera bag? Is there one item you can’t live without? Have you found the perfect bag yet? I’m still looking for an ideal rolling bag that fits in an overhead bin on a plane…

3 thoughts on “The must-have checklist for photographing weddings”

  1. Great info. Thank you! I love posts like this! I’m always wondering what others bring with them. Sometimes I feel like a packrat heading into a wedding. I’m interested to hear if you use a light stand for your flashes at the reception. Do you find that you need a light stand or do you just use the feet and set them up high? I shot a wedding last weekend and I brought my light stand but didn’t use it.

    1. Oh, I used to be a packrat for sure. Even while making the video/post, I was thinking that I should take OUT a ton of stuff I’ve literally never needed. The struggle is real. For light stands, I use cheetah stands and LOVE them. At the end of the video, I show my main reception light. That thing is a beast and can out-power the sun. I keep it on the stand, with the battery & radio trigger, at all times so I can pick up and go. Some weddings dont require or have room for light stands, some have spots I can use the little feet. It depends on the wedding. I always have them in my car, just in case.

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