Photo: K.I.S.S.

(Click the above photo to go to the flickr photostream and view the notes to see the equipment details)

I recently got to be the principal photographer for the wedding of my two friends. Although I will probably have a wedding recap/highlights post later, this post is more about the old adage I learned in high school of “K.I.S.S.” or “Keep It Simple Stupid”. An old physics teacher used to use that phrase all the time, and I think he put it at the top of all the quizzes to make sure we didn’t fill up all the blank space with meaningless filler.

Leading up to the wedding, I had been gathering as much information as I could about wedding photography. Being that this was my first wedding, I wanted to be surprised by as little as possible. I read photographers’ recommendations on what to bring, what to wear, what to keep on your person, what photos to take, how to pose people, how to compose shots of groups, etc. I compiled all this information in my head and tried to pack enough camera equipment to cover the situations I might be in. So as you can see in the above photo, I was ready with a mini-portable studio type of setup in my bag.

I brought:
2x Canon Rebel XTi bodies
1x Canon 40D body (backup)
1x Canon 580 EX II Speedlite Flash
2x Canon 430 EX II Speedlite Flash
1x Tamron f/3.5 18-270mm VR Zoom Lens
1x Tokina f/2.8 11-16mm Super-wide Lens
1x Canon f/3.5 100-300mm IS Zoom Lens
1x Canon f/1.4 50mm USM Lens
1x Macbook + power adapter
1x 250 Gb portable hard drive for immediate backup
3x Canon XTi Batteries + wall chargers
12x AA Rechargable batteries (2500 mAh) for flashes
1x 30-minute quick AA/AAA recharger
32x AA Batteries for Flashes (backup)
1x Manfrotto 190PROBX + 360MG head
1x 24′ off-shoe flash cord
1x bogen 5001 nano 6′ light stand
1x AIM 7′ light stand
1x AIM satin white shoot-through 32′ umbrella
1x light stand flash mount adapter
1x opteka 44′ 5-in-1 reflector
1x Gary Fong Lightsphere II
2x 16 Gb CF cards (primaries)
3x 8 Gb CF Cards (backup)
1x set of 77mm close-up filters for the Tokina lens
1x Nikon Lens Pen set

All in all, I think the equipment weighed about 40-45 lbs total. I’m really thankful the Crumpler bag is really comfortable! The Hakuba bag carried all the long items (tripods, stands etc)

So as you can tell, I packed a lot. There are some things that I would keep only because they are backup and you never know what could go wrong. I had a backup camera, flash, batteries, telephoto lens, and even a backup light stand (what was I thinking?). I brought an umbrella and tripod setup in case it was cloudy or raining or anything else, but thankfully it was a beautiful day – perfect for shooting outdoors.

But looking back, I would have kept some things in the car:
close up filters: originally I thought I’d do some close ups with a shallow depth of field but on a super wide – ended up not having time for this.
light stands: really, I would have only “needed” one, if I used it. I could have attached a flash on the light stand (two actually, the mount is long enough) and used one with the umbrella.

I think I could have kept to K.I.S.S. a little better, but I think I streamlined my load primarily becuase I knew I’d be walking a lot with it – so I had to be able to move it. So next time I know what to leave in the car and what I’ll really need on site.

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One Comment

  1. Andrea
    Posted September 10, 2009 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    I want to see wedding photos! 🙂

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