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What’s In Wedding Photographer Susan Stripling’s Gear Bag?

by Topher Kelly
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“Wedding photography is all about catching the right moment.. and it only happens once.” That’s why it’s extra important you have the tools to capture that moment as beautifully as possible.

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If you take one look at wedding photographer Susan Stripling’s gear bag, you’ll know she is quite serious about capturing all the right moments for her clients. She prides herself on being extra prepared for her events, often carrying extra flashes, lenses, and camera bodies that she knows very well might not be used at all. Although she owns all of her gear, Susan believes not owning the gear shouldn’t stop you from being fully prepared. “If you are just starting out, owning all the equipment isn’t realistic, but remember, you can always rent,” says Susan. “After a while, you might think it’s overkill, but the first time something breaks, the first time something goes wrong, that’s when it’s all worth it.”

So, what does Susan carry in her bag? We took a look inside to find out and show you what a world-class wedding photographer needs to get the job done. “Everyone’s style is different and their gear will reflect that, but the following is what works for me and what I am comfortable using,” says Susan. Below, in bold, you will find Susan’s “must have” items.

LENSES:

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70-200mm

Susan carries a wide variety of lenses. “At a wedding, you can’t do everything with one lens, although the 70-200mm is by far my favorite.

35mm, 1.4 – This lens is perfect for capturing candid moments with the classic 35mm feel. Amazing low light capabilities with this lens in case you find yourself in a darker ceremony or reception hall.

105mm macro – “ I could not do the ring shots or any of the detail work without this lens.” Enough said.

24-70mm 2.8 – This lens gives you a good range when you are working a reception and capturing moment up close or across the room.  The 2.8 aperture camera setting gives allows you to shoot fast in low light for any shot.

85 mm, 1.4 – “This is the perfect lens for shooting the bride getting ready. It just has the perfect focal length and it invaluable in low-light situations.” Susan also adds that this lens works superbly well with the D4 camera.

28mm, 2.8 – This wide 28mm is great for capturing the entire scene.  It is also the perfect lens to get right in the middle of celebration during the reception and capture some great dancing shots up close.

70-200mm 2.8 – “Whether I’m shooting the ceremony, the first dance or portraits, this is my number 1 lens.” Susan also uses this lens to capture details. “If I shot a wedding without, it would severely change the look of what I had done.”


RSVPs now to join Internationally acclaimed wedding photographer, Yervant on August 8th for Creating A Successful Wedding Photography Business.

Creating A Successful Wedding Photography Business


FLASHES:

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SB-910

Susan carries a total of 6 flashes in her bag. They are:

2 SB-910’s  – Using these flashes with the monopod, transmitters and battery packs below, Susan can create the perfect off camera flash for any situation.

2 Sb24’s

SB800

SB900

FLASH BENDERS:

Susan carries one  ROGUE flashbender for her on-camera flash and another for her off-camera flash.

BAGS:

Susan carries two bags. One for her flash cards and the other for her dead batteries. Using this system, she can remember which batteries need to be charged and which cards are full.

BATTERY PACKS:

2 SD-9 packs

Battery charger:

Batteries need to be charged. To make sure they do, Susan carries a 2x Ansmann 5207123 Energy Charger on every shoot. The Ansmann can charge up to 12 batteries at a time.

MONOPOD:

Monfrotto Monopod. “The monopod is useful at every wedding,” says Susan. From bridesmaid speeches to balcony ceremony shots, a monopod is a must.


RSVPs now to join Internationally acclaimed wedding photographer, Yervant on August 8th for Creating A Successful Wedding Photography Business.

Creating A Successful Wedding Photography Business


LIGHTS:

Jerry Ghionis Ice Light – This is a great dimmable ice light.

Neewer Pro CN-160 LED –  This inexpensive light emits the perfect neutral temperature light, giving Susan a gentle, flattering light for skin tones, portraits, etc.

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CAMERA BODIES:

Nikon D700 – For a long time the D700 was the wedding camera of choice for stills. And Still a great camera to have on hand.  Always have backups. No video on the D700.

Nikon D3

Nikon D3s

Nikon D4  – There’s a reason Susan loves this camera. As the top of the line Nikon camera there isn’t much this baby can’t do.

RADIO TRANSMITTERS/RECEIVERS:

Between the monopod, the SB910’s, the batter packs and of course the Phottix transmitters/receivers, Susan has everything she needs to make a great off camera flash.

2 Phottix transmitters and just in case, 2 older pocketwizards

2 Phottix receivers.

MISCELLANEOUS

Deodorant

earplugs

camera chargers

Chapstick

Business Cards

A pen

Phone Charger

Matches

Flash foot

Lots of batteries


RSVPs now to join Internationally acclaimed wedding photographer, Yervant on August 8th for Creating A Successful Wedding Photography Business.

Creating A Successful Wedding Photography Business


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Topher Kelly

Topher Kelly is a San Francisco-based freelance writer and editor at CreativeLive. Follow Topher on Twitter@Topher_LIVE.